Best Family-Friendly Expat Locations

When you’re arranging to move overseas as an individual there’s plenty to think about, a whole host of concerns to overcome. And when you’re moving abroad as a couple these concerns can double.

But when the happiness and wellbeing of your children is involved all the decisions regarding your expat experience can become far more difficult to make, so knowing how other expat parents feel can be invaluable.

In HSBC’s most recent Expat Explorer Survey they questioned over 5,000 expats from six continents on how they rated their experiences from an economic and personal perspective, looking particularly at employment opportunities, environmental factors and raising children abroad.

In the Raising Children Abroad section of the survey expats were asked questions covering areas including health and wellbeing, childcare, integration and education. Here we take a look at the results and see which expat locations were voted most family-friendly overall.

Of the expat parents questioned, the majority were united in their choice of which nation’s were the safest and would afford their children the best quality of life.

First we’ll give you the rankings, and then we’ll break down the results!

Overall Ranking

  1. 1. Canada
  2. 2. Netherlands
  3. 3. Hong Kong
  4. 4. Australia
  5. 5. United Arab Emirates
  6. 6. USA
  7. 7. Saudi Arabia
  8. 8. United Kingdom
  9. 9. Kuwait


  1. 1. Hong Kong
  2. 2. Canada
  3. 3. Netherlands
  4. 4. Kuwait
  5. 5. Saudi Arabia
  6. 6. United Arab Emirates
  7. 7. United Kingdom
  8. 8. Australia
  9. 9. USA

Health and Well Being

  1. 1. Netherlands
  2. 2. Australia
  3. 3. Hong Kong
  4. 4. Canada
  5. 5. Saudi Arabia
  6. 6. Kuwait
  7. 7. USA
  8. 8. United Arab Emirates
  9. 9. United Kingdom


  1. 1. Canada
  2. 2. Netherlands
  3. 3. Hong Kong
  4. 4. USA
  5. 5. Australia
  6. 6. United Kingdom
  7. 7. United Arab Emirates
  8. 8. Saudi Arabia
  9. 9. Kuwait

Canada came in at number 1 overall, highly rated by expats originating from nations like the USA and UAE. Over 20% of expat parents based in Canada asserted that if they had to relocate they would rather move to another part of Canada then emigrate to a new country or repatriate. Canada also ranked extremely highly in terms of the outdoor lifestyle it encourages.

Australia, although coming fourth on the overall table, had consistent results across the board with parents from the UK, Netherlands and Hong Kong all citing it as a location they would emigrate to in the future. Over half of expats also stated that their children were enjoying a more active, outdoor lifestyle since moving Down Under.

If you’re after peace of mind, Hong Kong might be the location for you. While it came in at number 3 in the overall rankings it was voted the safest location.  91% of the expats surveyed stated that the safety of their children had improved since moving to Hong Kong, far above the average figure of 60%. Nearly half of those surveyed indicated that they were able to spend more time with their children since moving and 39% said that their children were able to spend more time outdoors in Hong Kong than in their previous location.

Conversely, the UK came in bottom in terms of safety with over a quarter of those questioned stating that the safety of their children had worsened since moving to the UK.

The Expat Hub
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