FREEDOM AND SAFETY
When moving abroad, especially when you have a family, there is a lot to consider when it comes to quality of life.
Expats have to think about everything from access to affordable and quality education, to available leisure activities and family well-being, on top of the more mundane issues such as moving costs.
A survey by InterNations, the world’s largest network for people who live and work abroad, rated 43 different aspects of life abroad on a scale of 1-7.
One of the sub-indexes is the Family Life Index, which consists of 45 countries.
Expats rated everything from childcare and education, to children’s health and safety. Each country had to have at least 31 respondents who are raising dependent children abroad, for the nation to be included in the index.
Business Insider took a look at the countries that made the top 19 spots:
19. South Korea — The improvement in the Quality of Education subcategory led to the country hitting the top of the charts. "47% of expat parents in South Korea rate the quality of education as excellent this year compared to just 22% last year," said the report.
18. Mexico — Expat parents said not only did they have a good work-life balance in this country, which gave them more time with their children, but Mexico also hit the 8th spot for the subindex Friendly Attitude Toward Families with Children.
17. Philippines —The country is one of the best in the world for quality of education, for family well-being, and being a place that has a friendly attitude towards children, according to expats.
16. Singapore —Expats rated the country as one of the highest for family well-being and children's safety, but one of the worst in the world in the Costs of Childcare & Education subindex.
15. South Africa — It is one of the best countries in the world for available leisure activities for kids, but it still lacks a decent score from expats for family well-being.
14. Luxembourg — It may get a mediocre score in the Availability of Childcare & Education subindex but was one of the best for Family Well-Being and Children's Safety.
13. Netherlands —The country scored solidly across the Availability of Childcare & Education and Quality of Education subindexes, helping it rise up the ranking this year.
12. Poland — The country did well mainly due to its score in the Costs of Childcare and Education as well as Quality of Education subcategories.
11. France — Being able to speak the local language is also a major factor for expat parents. The survey showed that overall 36% of expat kids speak the local language but in France 60% of parents say their children are excellent in French.
10. Germany — Germany offers freely available, high quality education but expats prefer to send their children to international schools, rather than "national schools," such as "Deutsche Schule," — only 7% of expat parents opt for this choice.
9. Belgium — The country regained its position from the 2014 ranking due to it showing "improvements across the board, but most notably in regard to the availability of childcare and education."
8. Taiwan — The Asian country scored well in the Children's Safety subindex as well as in the subcategory for Friendly Attitude Toward Families with Children.
7. Australia — Scored well across the board but it hit the number one spot for available leisure activities for children, which boosted it into the top 10.
6. Norway — The nation jumped from 6th to 17th this year due a huge improvement in expat parents rating childcare options.
5. Sweden — The country fell from 3rd to 5th this year as a result of a decrease in the Quality of Education subcategory. "This may be connected to the continued crisis that the Swedish school system has been facing in recent years," said the report.
4. Austria — The country fell from first place last year, to 4th place this year, due to a poor showing in the Family Well-Being and Quality of Education sub-indexes. "In addition, while Austria has never done well with regard to a friendly attitude towards families with children, it is now in the bottom three for this factor (43rd out of 45)," said the report.
3. Israel — The nation rose by one place from last year as "81% of expat parents are happy with the childcare options and they are similarly positive about the education options, with 84% expressing general satisfaction."
2. Czech Republic — The country shot up the rankings from 14th to 2nd as 74% agreed that education is easy to afford, although it did not reach the top spot due to the quality of that education.
1. Finland — The country came top because no expat parent had anything negative to say about their children’s health, children’s safety, or children’s well-being in Finland. 70% of expats said the quality of education there is excellent, this is compared to the global average of just 21%.