A recent report by the IRS shows record numbers of American citizens are renouncing their citizenship (Source: Trunews.com). In addition, many others are leaving the country while keeping their citizenship, at least for now.
Anyone looking for a new country to call home should consider this list of the top ten best countries to live in during the next ten years.
Of course, the best place to be is where the Lord tells us to be regardless of anything else, but the Bible tells us a wise person sees trouble coming and hides himself from it whereas a fool proceeds on and suffers for it (Proverbs 22:3). So this information is provided as a starting point for prayerful consideration about what we might need to do in the future.
The primary source for my rankings are forecasts from a defense industry website, Deagel.com, but other sources are also considered. Deagel’s forecast covers the ten-year period ending in 2025 for 181 countries. For details on their forecast assumptions and conclusions, please see my previous post: Deagel Forecast Shows Big Changes Coming in Next Ten Years.
Like any forecast model, the conclusions are only as good as the assumptions that go into it, so this is not meant to be a word from God and is not expected to be 100% correct. However, I believe Deagel’s forecast is worth considering because it is the only one I know of that somewhat aligns with end-time prophecies.
If Deagel’s forecast is accurate, the next ten years will bring dramatic reductions in the populations of North America, Australia, and Western Europe. These declines will be partially offset by population growth in South America, Central America, and Asia. However, population is just one factor considered in selecting my top ten countries. Here is a list of all the factors considered:
- Population Size – I eliminated countries with shrinking populations to avoid whatever is causing them to shrink. I eliminated populations below 2 million due to concerns that countries smaller than that could have problems with national security and lack of essential resources.
- Religion – I eliminated countries with majority Islamic populations because of their hostility towards Christians.
- Government – I eliminated communist countries, which included Russia and China. However, I did not analyze the current governments or political climates of these countries, so that would be a good next step for anyone interested in taking a closer look. There could be some game changers in this arena that could knock some places off the list.
- Language – I favored English speaking countries, but unfortunately most English speaking countries were eliminated from my top ten list due to other severe problems.
- Purchasing Power Parity – I gave priority to countries with higher PPP. This is like GDP per capita, but it is adjusted for currency values in an attempt to put everyone on an equal playing field. It is basically a measure of the standard of living. The higher the PPP the higher the standard of living.
- Military Spending – I eliminated countries with little or no military spending due to national security concerns.
- Other Factors – Where available, I included information from other sources.
My Top Ten List:
Chile’s standard of living currently ranks 53rd in the world as measured by Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), but by 2025 it is forecasted to move all the way up to number 3 thanks a healthy +30% growth rate even in the midst of severe economic problems elsewhere. The economy (GDP) is forecasted to grow +73% by 2025. Those numbers are hard to beat!
Chile’s 17.3 million population is expected to grow by +4% during a time when the total world population is forecasted to shrink by -2%. Chile’s military spending is forecasted to more than double, up +106%, which will give them the 15th largest military spending in the world.
Chile offers a very long coast line so a trip to the ocean is never very far to go. For mountain lovers it has that too. The Andes mountains run all along Chile’s eastern border. The climate varies greatly with a dry desert in the north and icy cold with glaciers in the south.
The national language is Spanish. Religious profile is 55% Catholic, 13% Protestant, and the remaining 32% claiming no religion or other. (Source: Wikipedia).
One of the best endorsements for Chile is the fact that Simon Black lives there. Simon has made a career of investigating the best places to live. He could have chosen to live anywhere, but he chose to relocate from the United States to Chile. His website Sovereignman.com offers a subscription service for access to information he has gathered in his world travels.
Kids in Brazil are preaching the gospel in the streets, so no wonder the country is prospering! There are some amazing testimonies from there, even getting covered by the NY Times!
Brazil’s 202.6 million population is forecasted to grow by +7%, which will give them the world’s 5th largest population. Their economy, as measured by GDP, is expected to grow by a whopping +70% while the global economy shrinks -38%. The standard of living (PPP) in Brazil is not nearly as high as Chile, but it is moving up in the rankings, from 74th to 38th in the world.
Brazil’s military spending is forecasted to grow 66%, which will give them the world’s 4th largest military in terms of annual spending.
The national language is Portuguese, which might be harder for Americans to learn than Spanish, but a whole lot easier than some other languages. The religious profile is 65% Catholic and 22% Protestant.
Colombia’s GDP is forecasted to grow +47% by 2025. Not too shabby considering the global economic slump!
Colombia’s 46.2 million population is forecasted to grow by +8%, so prospects for survival look good. Military spending is forecasted to grow by +50% compared to a -55% decrease for global military spending.
The standard of living (PPP) is forecasted to improve too, moving up to 32nd in the world by 2025 compared to the current 80th position.
The national language of Colombia is Spanish. Religious profile is 71% Catholic and 17% Protestant.
South American countries earned the top three spots, but the fourth spot goes to the Central American country of Panama. Deagel’s forecast shows Panama’s population growing by +11%, but given Panama’s small size of only 3.6 million people, and their proximity to the United States, I would not surprised to see their population grow much more than that.
Panama City has a reputation for being a great place for business, which should contribute to the forecasted +5% growth in their economy (GDP). The standard of living (PPP) compares favorably with other nations as they are projected to move up from 58th to 37th in the world.
Getting a visa in Panama is easier than most other nations in Central and South America, and even easier for anyone bringing them more business. Anyone who gets a permanent visa has found a permanent home there because anyone holding a permanent visa cannot be expelled.
The cost of living in Panama is very high. Home prices are about 5 times the cost of homes in the US. Decent homes start at $1 million. The condo market is over-built, so costs are less.
The climate is tropical, so it gets hot and humid during the summer and a rainy season during the winter with lots of cloudy and rainy days.
The national language is Spanish, but lots of people there speak English. The religious profile is 80% Catholic and 20% Protestant.
Trunews.com founder Rick Wiles shared his insights about Panama. His favorite place to live in Panama is Clayton, which is in the old Canal zone. He also said Boceti is very beautiful, has a Swiss population, and great coffee. He described it as similar to Vaal CO.
The 43 million population of Argentina is forecasted to grow +3% while the economy (GDP) grows by +12%. So the growth is not as strong as some other countries, but their standard of living (PPP) is projected to be 33rd in the world in 2025 at $16,285 per year, which puts them right behind Colombia.
Argentina offers an economical lifestyle that allows residents to live a high quality life at affordable costs. For this reason, Argentina is also considered to be a good retirement destination. However, the economy has been erratic and strong inflation in 2012 resulted in increased costs for living in the capital city of Buenos Aires. There continues to be uncertainty about the economic future of Argentina.
The national language of Argentina is Spanish. The religious profile is 77% Catholic and 9% Protestant.
Peru shows +6% population growth with a strong 37% increase in the size of their economy (GDP). Military spending is forecasted to grow +49%. All of these are great numbers that should have earned Peru a higher ranking, but the lower standard of living moved it down to 6th position. The PPP is expected to grow +6%, but even then it is only ranked 47th in the world.
Citizenship can be obtained with only 2 years of residency. The national language is Spanish. The religious profile shows 81% Catholic and 15% Protestant.
My friend James Jansen is a missionary from the United States currently living in Argentina, but before that he lived in Peru. He sent me an email telling me how easy it is for U.S. citizens to open a bank account in Peru.
“I don’t know why hardly anyone mentions Peru for an offshore bank. All I needed to open an account was my ID/passport and a residential address. The one I used was a Friend of the people we were with. No proof of anything was required. I could have given them any address and they would have opened an account.”
Ecuador’s 15.6 million population is forecasted to grow +11% by 2025. The economy, which is largely dependent on oil exports, is forecasted to grow by +19%.
The standard of living (PPP) is low at only $11,400 in 2014 and projected to drop by -14% to $9,844 in 2025. However, the cost of living is also very low. For example, a gallon of gas only costs about $1.00 today.
Ecuador offers one of the easiest visa entries of any country in the western hemisphere, even easier than Panama. After getting a permanent visa there is a three-year wait for citizenship. Purchasing at least $25,000 in property guarantees a visa for one person. Then add just $500 in additional property purchases for each additional person.
Ecuador just passed a new law for permanent residency visa holders. The new law is a progressive 3-tier Spanish language testing for verification that the holder of the permanent visa is integrating into society. Visa holders must take a Spanish language test their first year, third year, and fifth year of residency. Failing the test after three tries gets you escorted to the airport and sent back to your residency country at your expense. So its easy to get in, but could require some effort to stay.
Despite being located on the equator, Ecuador’s temperatures remain cool, getting into the 40’s at night and low 70’s (Fahrenheit) in the daytime because they are 12,000 feet above sea level. So the air is cool and thin .
Anyone interested in applying for a visa must have an apostilled birth certificate from the secretary of state (similar to a notarized seal), a police background check, and married applicants must present a marriage license to verify marital status.
Rick Wiles daughter Corisa Washburn lives there. Ecuador has borrowed billions from China. Heavily dependent on oil exports. Population 15 million.
Quito and Cuenca are both popular places to live. Rick Wiles said Cuenca is one of his favorite cities because of the cobblestone streets, outdoor cafes, and markets.
We don’t hear much about the tiny nation of Botswana, but at least on paper it looks like a candidate worth considering. The 2.1 million population is expected to grow +7% while the economy grows +29% by 2025.
The standard of living (PPP) is not very high, expected to rank 45th in the world in 2025, but here’s the good news… they speak English! The national languages are English and Setswana. And more good news… they are not all Catholic! The religious profile is 66% Protestant and 7% Catholic.
Located just north of South Africa, Botswana appears to be worth further consideration.
9. Costa Rica
Deagel’s forecast shows Costa Rica’s 4.7 million population growing +10% by 2025, but like Panama my guess is the actual growth will be much more than that due to the proximity to the United States. Costa Rica is located just north of Panama in Central America.
Costa Rica’s economy (GDP) is forecasted to grow +14% by 2025. The standard of living is not very high, forecasted to rank 69th in the world in 2025.
The national language is Spanish. The religious profile is 71% Catholic and 14% Protestant.
Located in Southeast Asia, Thailand is not the most convenient location for Americans seeking a new home, but if Deagel’s forecast is correct it will be a much better place to live than the United States. Thailand’s 67.7 million population is expected to grow +1% while their economy grows by a healthy +35% by 2025.
Thailand’s military spending is forecasted to grow +39%, which would give them the world’s 18th largest military spending level.
Thailand is currently one of the poorest countries in the world with a very low standard of living (PPP), just $1,400 per year, but it is forecasted to grow more than seven times larger to $10,037 by 2025, which will move them up in the rankings from 170th to 63rd. So at least they are moving up.
The national language is Thai, which sounds challenging. Thailand’s religious profile is currently 94% Buddhist, 5% Muslim, and 1% Christian. So finding Christian fellowship could be a challenge, but there would be lots of opportunities for evangelism.
Dominican Republic came close to making my top ten list because their 10.3 million population is forecasted to grow by +10% while their economy (GDP) grows +17%. However, their standard of living (PPP) is currently ranked 83rd in the world with $12,800 per year and is expected to drop down -32% to just $8,665 per year. So they didn’t quite make the cut.
Paraguay, Bolivia, Philippines, Nicaragua, and Guatemala were also close to making the top ten, but the standard of living (PPP) for all of these countries is very low and expected to stay low.
There are lots of other factors to consider, so this is by no means a perfect ranking system. This is just a starting point for further investigations that at least provides ten candidates.
A couple of years ago when I first heard about the problems coming to the United States, I was ready to pack up and get out of here. Self-preservation was my first reaction, but after a few days I realized I could never leave without knowing it is the will of God. I’ve already wasted enough years of my life missing His will, so I am determined not to miss Him again this time. So then I decided to just stay here unless He told me to go. That lasted for a few months until I re-considered this scripture:
The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, but the naive go on, and are punished for it. (Proverbs 22:3)
Based on that, I don’t think there is anything wrong with taking some small steps toward leaving and see how the Lord leads. He promises if we acknowledge Him in all of our ways He will direct our path (Proverbs 3:6). He is able to steer us in the direction He wants us to go if we are truly seeking His will. So if He shows me He wants me to stay I will gladly stay, but if He keeps giving me the faith and confidence to proceed to the next step then I will keep proceeding.
My next step would be to make a checklist of questions I want answered about a few of these places. I would first try to find answers online, but eventually I would start making plans to visit.
So we’ll see, but right now a place on the beach in Chile sounds pretty good to me.
Author: James Bailey
James Bailey is a blogger, business owner, husband and father of two grown children. In 1982, he surrendered his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. In 2012, he founded Z3news.com to broadcast the message of salvation by reporting end time news before it happens.