Here are a few reasons that come to mind ….
- Safe Country: Portugal continues to rank as one of the top safest countries in the world based on the 2022 Global Peace Index (it floats between 3rd and 6th place year-to-year). Meantime, the United States ranks 129 out of 163 countries (U.S. ranks just below Azerbaijan, Zimbabwe and Egypt – meaning they’re safer than the U.S.).
- Drugs: Portugal, in 2001, pioneered the decriminalization of the private possession of all drugs and moved the focus from criminal punishment to treatment. They’re still not out-and-out legal but I figure I’ll add my energy to moving it in that direction! Read more about that here. (Note: There is legal medical cannabis but very limited.)
- Firearms: In Portugal, gun violence is extremely rare with a ratio of 21 guns to every 100 people. In the U.S. there are 120 guns for every 100 people. Portuguese citizens can own firearms for hunting, target shooting, pest control and collecting. Self-defense is not considered a legal reason for owning a firearm. To gain a gun license in Portugal a person must be over 18 years old and pass a background check which considers criminal and mental health records.
To be sure, Portugal is not a utopia – it has issues that it struggles with but, as you can see, many of the social welfare concerns that Americans and others receiving this email care about are identified and taken care of in Portuguese society.
This is a rare moment in which I’m sharing with you a major life change that we’re making. I’m in no way encouraging others to make this move – I’m simply telling you about some of the considerations that contributed to us deciding this is the right move for us at this time.
Please drop down below in comments and let me know your thoughts.
P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about this, there’s a FaceBook page called: Americans and FriendsPT (Americans and Friends in Portugal), run by U.S. immigrants/expats with the slogan: “a resource-rich community where a life-changing event starts with every visa application.” A stunning 200 people a day are joining it – either considering a move, beginning it, in the midst of it or, like us, have completed the move and are building a new life. What’s your thoughts on this?