The annual HSBC Expat Explorer Survey has revealed the best and worst countries for raising children abroad. Looking at criteria such as access to better education, cost of childcare, and the opportunity to learn a new language, the survey found New Zealand is the best country for expats families in 2014. This result, based on responses from nearly 10,000 expatriates, knocks 2013 winner Germany down into third position with South Africa in second place.
Nearly nine in ten (87%) expat parents in New Zealand reported they felt their children were safer since moving, compared with a global average of 61%. Over three-quarters of expat parents in New Zealand (78%) also say their children’s health and wellbeing has improved.
New Zealand’s climate and landscape were highlighted as excellent reasons to move there, with 89% of expats reporting them as a positive point, compared with the global average of only 48%. Nearly three quarters of respondents (73%) rate the environment in New Zealand as better than in their home countries (compared with a global average of 33%). All of this is perfect for raising healthy, outdoor-loving, children,
South Africa came in second place for expat families, doing particularly well in the health and wellbeing category (3rd place). Parents also reported their children were more outgoing since moving to South Africa, with a wider circle of friends. The slightly negative side for parents in South Africa is the cost and quality of education options. In the cost category South Africa came 16th out of the 34 countries in the table, and 14th for education quality.
In third place this year is Germany, which came top in 2013. Germany is ranked as the number one country where children learn another language. It also ranks highly in terms of the cost and quality of education available. However, it ranks 31 out of 34 in the ‘children are more outgoing’ category, this is likely related to a language barrier and difficulties integrating into the German school system if you don’t speak the language.
Making up the top five countries for raising expat children are Japan in fourth place, and Singapore in fifth. In the middle of the table we have expat favourites Spain (11th) and France (13th), and Australia in 19th place.
Finally, towards the bottom amongst the poorest rated countries, the USA is 29th place, and the UK, Brazil, and Egypt are the bottom three countries respectively