Top 10 countries for Raising Children abroad in 2011

The Expat Explorer Survey 2011 is a survey in which 3385 expats participated from over a 100 countries of the world. I am most interested in the chapter on raising children abroad. In other words that is the chapter on raising third culture kids. I want to know which country parents think is the best to raise your kids.

The survey looked at 3 main factors on raising kids abroad. These are the 3 factors:
  1. Childcare (safety of children, standard of education, quality of childcare and overall cost of raising children)
  2. Health and wellbeing (spending time outdoors, spending time with parents, playing sports, playing video games, watching TV, children eat less junk food now)
  3. Integration (settled in quicker than parents, enjoyed their lives, are learning new languages, missing home and friends, social integration)
Scores from each factor are weighted to arrive at an overall Raising Children Abroad score and overall rank. The weighting applied is as follows: childcare - 33,3%, Health & wellbeing - 33,3% and Integration 33,3%.

Now here are the top 10 countries for raising children abroad according to this survey:
  1. France
  2. The Netherlands
  3. Australia
  4. Hong Kong
  5. China
  6. Singapore
  7. United Arab Emirates
  8. Mexico
  9. United States
  10. United Kingdom
France provides the best environment for raising children, with the Netherlands second best and Australia in third place. Children in these countries appear to lead a much healthier lifestyle: spending more time outdoors and more time playing sports. Of course I am a little proud that the Netherlands scores so well on raising children. I will share more specific results about the Netherlands in one of my next blog posts.

What are your experiences with raising kids abroad? Do they match the results of this survey? Do you have tips for other parents? Please share it with us. Thanks.

Good reads:
Bilingualism and growing up abroad
My 10 advantages of growing up abroad
Third culture kids: learning their mother tongue
Third culture kids going to university

Photo by KConners, MorgueFile