Top Countries for Raising Children Abroad in 2012

The Expat Explorer 2012 survey results are out. This year 5399 expats were questioned from 97 countries of the world. You can download the full report here.

To discover which country is the best to raise your child in the survey looked at these 3 main 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, enjoying 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 countries for raising children abroad according to this survey: 
  1. Canada
  2. The Netherlands
  3. Hong Kong
  4. Australia
  5. United Arab Emirates
  6. USA
  7. Saudia Arabia
  8. United Kingdom
  9. Kuwait
Apparently Hong Kong is the safest place to raise a child. 91% Of the expat parents in Hong Kong said that the safety of their children had improved after relocation.

Australia and Canada are on the top of the list for active expat families. Not only were the children more active in sports in these 2 countries but even some of the parents became more active in sports.

The Middle East provides a more challenging climate for expat families. Social integration is one of the areas were expat parents reported that their children had most difficulty. The expat children in the Middle East spent more time watching TV and playing video games. 

If you want to compare the results with last years outcome, check my post on The Top 10 Countries for Raising Children Abroad in 2011. Of course I am proud that the Netherlands is still at the top of the list on second place. I am a little surprised that France was in first place last year but that it does not feature in the top 9 countries this year. I wonder why.

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.

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