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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Healthy Countries for Happy Kids

Austria, Australia, and Singapore stand out as healthy destinations for happy expat children, while Saudi Arabia, India, and Brazil fall behind.

Expat parents must consider various factors when moving abroad with their children, from their children's general well-being to their health and safety to the available leisure activities. Satisfaction with all these aspects is an important prerequisite to establishing a successful family life abroad. Austria, which holds first place overall in the Family Life Index, also comes in first place for all three rankings in this section. Australia distinguishes itself with a top five ranking for all three factors.

Children's General Well-Being

Austria holds a global record in this year's survey for children's general well-being, with 55% of parents completely satisfied, compared to a global average of 26%. To add icing to the cake, every single participant is generally satisfied in this regard. Costa Rica also performs very well: half of all expat parents are fully satisfied with their children's overall well-being in the country and 94% say they're generally satisfied. Not a single respondent is completely dissatisfied.

Finland, which ranks third in this year's Family Life Index, also ranks third in this category, with 95% generally satisfied expat parents and almost half who couldn't be more pleased with their children's well-being (49%). Australia and Sweden are also top destinations where expats are happy about their children's lives in this regard.

As in last year's survey, Saudi Arabia again remains at the bottom of the Family Life Index. In terms of children's general well-being, this Middle Eastern country also comes in last: 16% of expat families are generally dissatisfied with this aspect and 2% are even completely unhappy with this factor. Brazil, Turkey, Malaysia, and Qatar also did quite poorly. In Turkey, for example, 7% of expat parents give their children's general well-being the lowest ranking.

Children's Health and Safety

Nearly every expat in Austria (98%) is generally satisfied with their children's health and safety, which gives it the highest ranking for this aspect as well. Despite Austria's first place, Singapore surpasses it for the percentage of parents who rate their kids' safety as very good (76%). In Austria, this number is 73% and the global average is only one-third. Singapore also has the top spot in the survey for expats' personal safety in general.

Australia, Finland, and Switzerland also perform very well in terms of children's health and safety, with absolutely no negative ratings. In Australia, 56% are completely satisfied in this regard and in Switzerland, this percentage even lies at 62%.

Expat parents in this year's survey rate India as the worst country for expat kids in terms of health and safety. Only half are generally satisfied and a dismal 5% say the conditions are very good. In Brazil, only 4% are completely happy with their children's health and safety, the lowest percentage in the survey. South Africa and Kenya are also among the worst destinations for children's health and safety, with up to 9% very dissatisfied in this regard. In China, over a quarter of expat parents (27%) are displeased with their children's health and safety. The fact that the country is ranked last for the quality of the environment could also be a consideration for expat parents.

Available Leisure Activities for Kids

Nearly two-thirds of expats in Austria (65%) say that the available leisure activities for their kids are very good, pushing it to first place for this factor as well. Globally, only 28% are very pleased. Australia follows close behind, with 97% of parents generally pleased and six in ten giving the available leisure options the best possible rating. Australia also ranks first among the general survey population for its available leisure activities with a similar percentage of respondents, 59%, being very satisfied.

Canada, Singapore, and New Zealand also perform well, with no expat parents rating the available leisure activities for their kids as very bad. Austria, Australia, and New Zealand are also in the top five for the available leisure options among all expats surveyed, irrespective of whether they have children or not.

India again comes in last place for this factor, with a global record of only 3% saying the available leisure activities for children are very good and only 42% giving them a positive rating. Uganda, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Turkey round out the five worst countries for this aspect. Saudi Arabia comes in second from the bottom for the available leisure options in general. No other country has a lower percentage of people who are very happy with these options (6%) or a higher number of those very displeased with them (21%).

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