Expat parents have a lot of factors to consider when it comes to choosing the most suitable destination for a move abroad and to guiding their children through the relocation process. By choosing an ideal destination country, raising your kids abroad will be much easier and your child is also more likely to integrate better and become happier and healthier.
According to the recent Expat Explorer Survey
by HSBC, France
and the Netherlands
are the top countries for raising children. The survey also stresses that these results show that countries with the best economic opportunities and highest salaries are not always the best countries when it comes to choosing a place to live with your family.
The top countries for raising children were France, the Netherlands and Australia, followed by Hong Kong
, Singapore, the UAE
and Mexico. When it comes to expat
economics, however, factors such as income levels and private property, the countries that achieved the highest rankings were Saudi Arabia
, Egypt, Singapore, Russia
. France, the Netherlands and Australia rank much lower for expat
For expats moving with children, the child-friendliness of the international destination plays a significant role. This also means that expat parents are less likely to move to destinations with the best expat economics. As Lisa Wood, head of marketing for HSBC Expat comments: ‘Expats with children will obviously be putting their children’s needs at the forefront of their relocation decision. For many expat parents, the knowledge that their children will be able to easily integrate into their new community will outweigh any potential increase in earnings and saving potential when moving.’
The survey has looked at a number of factors to rank countries for raising children, including childcare, child wellbeing, healthcare, the safety of children, the standard of education available, the opportunities for children to spend time outdoors and whether children can integrate in the host countries.
France didn’t just rank as the best country for raising children overall, but also ranked first for the cost of raising children and for expat children’s integration. France has the lowest annual childcare costs and 62% of expat parents agree that they feel that their children are safer since moving to France. Expat children in Australia spend more time outdoors, more time playing sports, more time with their parents, and have also managed to integrate well, enjoying their life in their new country. Expat kids in the Netherlands find it easy to integrate and settle quicker and parents have more time to spend with their children after the move.
In HSBC’s Offshore Offspring report published in 2010, the top countries for raising children were Belgium, Spain, France, Hong Kong and Germany
, with both the Netherlands and Australia ranking in the top 10.
The UK, however has not performed very well in international comparisons in recent years. According to HSBC’s most recent survey, the quality of childcare is not very good, raising a child is rather expensive and children living in the UK tend to spend more time indoors, watching TV or playing video games.
If you are not moving abroad specifically for a better career or for a higher income and you have a family, France, Australia, the Netherlands can provide a great expat experience for you and your family. While salaries might not be the highest in France or the Netherlands, these countries can still provide a good quality of life, a variety of lifestyle choices and a great environment for raising your kids.