Happy Nations #14: Germany

Here is how Germany compares to the United States in each of the six factors for Happiness:

  • GDP: 1.924 v 1.982
  • Social Support: 1.088 v 1.182
  • Healthy Life Expectancy: 0.776 v 0.628
  • Freedom to Make Life Choices: 0.585 v 0.574
  • Generosity: 0.163 v 0.220
  • Perceptions of Corruption: 0.358 v 0.177

America is once again too corrupt, but at least we’re more generous than Germany.

Other Scoring Systems

Health Care

German health care isn’t as straightforward as Canada. If you are living and working as an employee in Germany, you are guaranteed free health care. However, the government doesn’t directly handle health care. You contribute 7% of your paycheck to the healthcare system, capped at $360 a month. You must contribute to their national insurance program if you are an ex-pat.

Health insurance is also mandatory. If you do not qualify for public insurance, you have to sign up for private insurance. The cost of private insurance can vary wildly based on your health. Young and healthy high-income earners may opt out of public insurance and pay closer to $150 a month.

This system feels a lot closer to what the American system could be. The German health care system is one of the best in the world, and the costs are lower than in America.


Although Germany is about the same size as Texas, the difference in temperature in the North (Hamburg) and the South (Munich) is only a few degrees. Berlin is a little warmer because it is not near the coast, and the temperature is relatively mild most of the year. The city of Cologne compares favorably to Vancouver, Canada.

With the lows of winter generally not being too harsh, it is a climate that I could survive.

Cost of Living

Germany is cheaper to live in than the United States.

Comparing Saint Louis, MO, to Berlin, we see it will cost 3.5% less to live in Berlin.


95% of Germans speak German, and if we were to move to Germany, I would expect to have to learn German. Although 56% of people in Germany also speak English, which would give us a coin flips chance of someone understanding us if we needed help.

Acceptance of Others

Germany finished similarly to The United States in a survey on the opinion of immigrants in 2018.

There is a favorable view of America in Germany.

Germany is less diverse than The United States.

Moving Feasibility

Germany is not easy to move to from the United States unless you are uniting with a spouse or have a job offer. You can stay there for 90 days without a travel visa. If you want to stay longer, you need a work, research, study, or family reunion visa.

Non-EU / EEA nationals may enter Germany for up to 6 months on a job seeker visa.


It would be a struggle for me to think about spending a long time in a country my Polish Grandfather fought against in the second World War. However, I would be interested in meeting people who live there and learning more about their country to move forward.

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