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Sweden retains its crown as the best place for families abroad

Sweden retains its crown as the best place in the world to bring up a family, while the Czech Republic’s highly rated education system propels it into second place.

Quality all the way

Three quarters (75%) of expats in Sweden say their child’s quality of life has improved since moving and a high proportion agree that relocating has also had a positive impact on their health of their child (69% compared with a global average of 49%).

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75% of expats in Sweden say their child’s quality of life has improved

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic offers some of the best-value, highest-quality education. More than half (64%) of expat parents living there agree that the quality of education is better than at home and costs less. Over half of expat parents in the Czech Republic say they now spend less on their children’s education than they did at home (59% compared with the global average 20%).

Parental leave

One thing that Sweden and the Czech Republic have in common is exceptional parental leave. Parents in Sweden are entitled to take up to 480 days, and in the Czech Republic they are permitted to take as long as four years.

Both countries also perform well as far as childcare is concerned, with three quarters (75%) of expats in Sweden and 64% in the Czech Republic agreeing that the quality is better than at home (compared with the global average of 47%).

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64% of expats in Czech Republic say the quality of childcare is better than at home

Runners up

New Zealand, which came second in the Family league table last year, retains a high position at fourth place in 2016. This year it excels for one of the biggest challenges that expat children might encounter – making new friends. In New Zealand, two in five (44%) expat parents agree that their children find it easy to broaden their friendship groups compared with 31% worldwide.

Elsewhere, Canada jumps to fifth place in the family league table up from eighth place in 2015. It also remains one of the most welcoming countries for expats regardless of gender, race, faith or sexual orientation, with 69% of expats saying it’s more welcoming of diversity than their home country.

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69% of expats in Canada say it’s more welcoming of diversity than home

Bahrain is the highest-ranking Middle Eastern country at ninth place, thanks in part to the relative ease with which expats are able to make new friends. More than two in three (67%) expats there agree that they found it easy compared with the global average of 52%. This translates to the rest of the family, with four in 10 (42%) expat parents saying their children find it easy to make friends too compared with the global average of 31%.

The 2016 Expat Explorer survey is a global survey completed by 26,871 expats across the world. The research was conducted online by YouGov in March and April 2016. League tables are calculated using responses to 27 of the questions asked in the research. A minimum sample of 100 expat respondents including at least 30 expat parents is required for a country to be included in the league tables.

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Expat Explorer collects key findings from countries around the world.

Use the dropdown menus above to add or remove criteria and see which findings from 2016 are most relevant to you, or use our league table to see how countries compare.

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