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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Finland, Israel, and Czechia Top for Family Well-Being

When it comes to the Family Well-Being subcategory, families feel safest and most satisfied in Finland, Israel, and Czechia, while India, Kuwait, and Brazil fail to impress.‬ ‬‬‬‬‬
  • All expat parents in Finland rate children’s safety positively.
  • Spain ranks 4th, and Singapore comes 5th in the subcategory.
  • Just 30% of parents in Brazil rate their children’s safety positively.
  • Although Greece has risen 29 places in this subcategory, it only ranks 43rd in the Family Life Index.
  • The Netherlands, Japan, and the USA all feature as big losers in the subcategory.

Top Marks for Safety & Well-Being

In 1st place out of 50 countries for Family Well-Being is Finland, reflecting its leading positions in the overall Family Life Index. Not only do an impressive 96% of expat parents in Finland rate their children’s general well-being and health, respectively, positively, but 100% are also satisfied with their children’s safety compared to the global average of 81%.

Israel ranks second for this subcategory: 92% of parents are generally satisfied with the available leisure activities for children, perhaps unsurprising, given that Israel also ranks 9th out of 68 countries in the general Leisure Options subcategory of the Quality of Life Index. Israel also places first regarding locals’ attitude towards families with children, with 98% of parents rating this positively. Similarly, 94% agree that children’s health in Israel is good, compared to the survey average of 76%.

Czechia rounds out the top 3 in both the subcategory as well as the Family Life Index, with a striking 96% of expat parents rating their children’s health positively, while 100% agree they are happy with their children’s well-being.

Rounding Out the Top 5

Although Spain just misses out on a top 10 spot in the Family Life Index, it does rank 4th out of 50 countries for family well-being. Expats raising children in Spain are especially satisfied with their family life in general: in fact, just 2% rate this factor negatively. This result is perhaps unsurprising, given that a majority of 96% of parents in Spain rate the friendliness towards families with children positively, compared to the global average of 83%.

With 95% positive ratings, Spain performs equally as well when it comes to children’s health. Not one expat parent rates the general well-being of their children negatively, compared to the survey average of 9%. Similarly, close to nine in ten (89%) agree they are generally satisfied with the available leisure activities for children — a result in line with Spain’s first rank for leisure options in general.

Singapore is such an amazing family/ baby-friendly place!

Singapore has been in the top 10 for family well-being since 2014, and ranks fifth in 2018. It performs particularly well for children’s safety: every expat parent rates this positively, and over four-fifths (81%) even regard this factor as excellent. “It is such an amazing family/baby-friendly place!” a Colombian respondent shares. In total, 93% agree that their children’s well-being and their health, respectively, is generally good. Just 2% of expat parents in Singapore say that the local attitude towards families with children is bad.

The Bottom 5

The bottom 5 of the Family Well-Being subcategory — India (50th), Kuwait (49th), Brazil (48th), Saudi Arabia (47th), and Peru (46th) — all also rank in the bottom 5 for the overall Family Life Index. They also rank in the bottom 10 for all or nearly all factors relating to the Family Well- Being subcategory.

Brazil comes in last place for children’s safety, with just 30% of parents rating this positively compared to the survey average of 81%. However, it does slightly better regarding locals’ attitude towards families with children, coming in 38th out of 50 countries. Kuwait, on the other hand, has the worst results for this factor. Saudi Arabia has ranked in the bottom 5 of the subcategory since 2014.

Austria, Qatar, and Greece Climb Up the Rankings

Austria is not only in the top 3 of the Family Life Index, it is also among the biggest winners for the Family Well-Being subcategory, rising from 19th place in 2017 to 6th place in 2018. It has improved 17 places for family life in general — 14% of parents rated this factor negatively in 2017, compared to just 2% in 2018 — 14 for children’s well-being, and 10 for children’s health.

Qatar has also risen 13 places in the subcategory, moving up to 23rd place in 2018. Most noticeably, it has improved 19 places for children’s general well-being: 20 percentage points more parents regard this factor positively in 2018 (86% vs. 66% in 2017). The country has also gained 17 ranks for children’s safety and 11 for family life in general.

In Greece, children get to be children.

Greece is another big winner: it has risen 18 places when it comes to family life in general and an incredible 29 places when it comes to the local attitude towards families with children — 93% of parents rate this factor positively, compared to just four in five in 2017. “In Greece, children get to be children,” according to a British respondent. Despite these improvements, Greece only ranks 43rd out of 50 countries in the Family Life Index.

The Netherlands, Japan, and the USA Lose Out

Due, in large part, to its poor performance in the Family Well-Being subcategory, the Netherlands has dropped out of the top 10 in the general Family Life Index, where it ranks 15th out of 50 countries in 2018. The country has fallen a staggering 33 places regarding the local attitude towards families with children: while over three-fifths of parents (61%) regarded this factor as very good in 2017, less than half (48%) are still of the same opinion in 2018.

Japan has also dropped significantly for this subcategory, from 9th in 2017 to 24th in 2018. The biggest losses include 29 places in the local attitude towards families and 18 for leisure activities for children.

Last but not least, the USA is also a big loser when it comes to family well-being, dropping twelve places. Despite its losses in this subcategory, the US has fallen just four places in the Family Life Index overall, where it ranks 40th out of 50 countries in 2018.

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Further Reading