World’s 5 Best and Worst Countries for Expat Families!

Prague Post reported that based on the Family Life Index 2015 made by InterNations, the leading social networking and information site for those who are living and working abroad, expat families have a preference for Austria. This is followed by Finland, then by Sweden which has impressive costs related to childcare and education. The 4th on the list is Israel and then New Zealand which both ranks high in general wellbeing.

According to the Family Life Index, Austria went to top place from its fourth rank in 2014. This partly attributed to wide availability of education and childcare. Expat families in the country are happy about the cost as well as the quality of education which had respective ratings of 82% and 92%. The health and safety of the kids, leisure activities for children and general quality of family life also ranked well. Austria received 95% or higher positive feedback from respondents. However, Austria truly shines through as far as the children’s wellbeing of children is concerned and everyone gave it a positive rating.

Finland was second place for the quality of their education coming in with a 92% positive rating. Sweden comes in third, taking the top spot for childcare and education and bags the second place for childcare availability and education. Unfortunately, the Scandinavian country went to 21st in educational quality and 10th from 3rd place in family wellbeing. The fourth and fifth place is Israel and New Zealand which had high marks for childcare availability and education and overall family wellbeing but it was on the losing end for educational cost and quality.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia was the worst country for expat families with kids as 16% were unsatisfied with their children’s general wellbeing while 2% were totally unhappy about this. Other countries that round up the Family Life Index 2015’s bottom five are Brazil, Oman, Qatar and Turkey.


Cost Vs. Educational Quality

For Childcare and Education, its seems impossible for one country to have both. Take Denmark, it ranks on the top 5 countries in the world for educational costs but it is 9th for educational quality and childcare. But, it is in line with Oman, Turkey and Thailand at 35th of 41 countries for educational quality.

Switzerland is also part of top 5 for educational quality but it ranks35th and 36th for childcare availability and education. Almost 75% of expat parents in Switzerland are unsatisfied with childcare availability while 23% are totally unsatisfied. Moreover, only 7% of the parents in the country have a positive view of childcare costs versus the 42% global average.


International Vs. Local Schools

More expat parents place more emphasis on the kind of education received by their children. International schools had a preferential rate of 34%. These schools are most popular in countries where expats find the language barrier challenging including Uganda (66 %), Saudi Arabia and Kenya (65%) and China (64%). In English speaking countries, however, less than 10% of expat parents choose international schools.

From a general point of view, 30% of parents preferred local state schools and 20% went for local private schools. There are also expat parents who prefer national schools such as the “Lycée Français” or the “Deutsche Schule”. Homeschooling children are quite rare at 4%.


More on the 2015 Family Life Index

Family Life Index is a ranking system for countries based on the following categories: childcare availability and education, quality of education, childcare costs and education, education options and childcare, and family well-being

.For the 2015 index, children’s leisure activities and Family well-being was given a separate category. The index ranks 41 countries. A country is included if there are more than 30 respondents for the survey. Respondents should be expats who raise children abroad and they should rate various subcategories from 1 to 7.