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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Where Expat Families Thrive

Sweden and Denmark rank high for education and family life in general. France is a popular destination for expat families enjoying the joie de vivre.


Our Family Life Index takes a closer look at education and childcare, as well as expat family life in general. It rates more than 30 countries, according to different factors such as availability, quality, and cost of childcare and education, and the quality of family life in a broader sense.

The latter includes attitudes towards families with children, children’s health and safety, their well-being, and the participants’ personal satisfaction with their family life.

To be featured in this ranking, every country required a sample size of 30 expats who were asked to evaluate these factors on a scale from one to seven.

Family Life Index

Family Life Index
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Sweden: Number One in Childcare and Education

Regarding availability and affordability of childcare and education, Sweden is the clear winner. Our participants were particularly satisfied with the various childcare options in the country.

While 78% consider childcare to be numerous and widely available, 87% appreciate it for being easy to afford. Furthermore, over 80% are satisfied with the availability of education options, and 91% appreciate them for their affordability.

Still, Sweden loses somewhat when it comes to quality of education. Although 77% give the quality of education a positive rating and 25% even consider it very good, the country is only number 14 on the list. Switzerland occupies the highest ranking – with 89% of positive ratings – followed by Singapore and Belgium.

Things are again looking up for the Scandinavian country when we take a closer look at the overall satisfaction with general family life. Indeed, 90% of the participants appreciate Sweden for its friendliness towards families with children. The majority (53%) even deem it "very friendly".

Children’s health and safety also receives a positive rating (88%), as does children’s general well-being with 97%. Moreover, most participants in Sweden (86%) are happy with their family life there.

Denmark: A Happy Place for Families

Denmark, the tiny country north of Germany, receives the highest rating for family well-being in general. A whopping 94% are satisfied with the health and safety of their children (63% even rate this factor "very good"). All in all, the country boasts a friendly attitude towards families with children – 90% of our participants give Denmark a positive rating.

Thus, it does not come as a surprise that 97% of expats in Denmark rate their children’s overall well-being high, and 91% give a positive answer when asked for their personal satisfaction with family life abroad.

Denmark does not disappoint in other aspects, either. All in all, 72% appreciate the country for the easy availability of childcare, while 66% are satisfied with the availability of education, lifting the country to fourth place in the overall ranking of this category.

The low cost of education (87% positive ratings) and childcare (79% positive ratings) is just another factor that makes Denmark an attractive family location.

In terms of its quality of education, it falls behind Switzerland, Singapore, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands. With 79% of positive ratings and the top-runner Sweden several ranks below, this is, however, not a result to be ashamed of.

Joie de Vivre in France

France is famous for its excellent food and its joie de vivre. Thus, it is not surprising that the personal satisfaction with family life is rather high (84%). The same is true for children’s general well-being, which is considered good by the vast majority (93%) and even very good by 29% of our participants.

The fact that France makes it only to 16th place in the Family Well-Being sub-index might come as somewhat of a surprise. Unfortunately, the overall attitude towards families with children is less friendly than one would expect. Only 77% give it a positive rating while 8% find France a rather unfriendly place for families with children.

The results look better when taking a look at the cost of childcare and education in France. The country is among the top three, after Sweden and Denmark. All in all, 76% appreciate the low education costs, while 61% rate childcare costs in France positively.

More than 60% appreciate the fact that childcare and education options are numerous and widely available. Moreover, France ranks ninth in the Quality of Education sub-index, with 82% rating it positively.