By November 15, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

Canada tops list of expat favorites for raising kids

As parents we all have one thing in common: we worry about our kids. As expats we have the added concern that a move may be too stressful or a country’s culture or language too difficult for our kids to manage. And while sometimes children do have trouble adjusting, most of the time they do just fine if we’re there to love and support them. With that being said, there are survey’s and studies available to help determine whether a country is the right choice for your family.

HSBC questioned more than 5,000 expats this year about everything from finances, to quality of life and what it’s like to raise children abroad for its Expat Explorer Survey. The results were interesting. Canada was a favorite location for expat parents with 20 % saying that they’d choose to move within Canada rather than relocate to another country or return to their homeland.  Australia also scored well with 17 % of expat parents saying the same thing.

Those looking for a child-friendly safe haven may want to consider Hong Kong, where  91% of expats say the safety of their children had improved since relocating there. The results are the highest of any country making Hong Kong the safest place to raise children, according to this survey. Safety isn’t the only thing expat parents like about the island nation though. Thirty-nine percent reported that their children spent more time outdoors since living there and nearly half (48%) say they have more time to spend with their children since the relocation.

Australia and Canada ranked the highest for active lifestyles with more than half of expat parents in Australia and 40% in Canada claiming their kids spend more time outside since relocating. Additionally, 45 % of expat parents report that their children play more sports in Canada and 40 % report the same in Australia.  This more active lifestyle rubbed off on parents with almost one third of expats in Australia saying that they were more active in sports since relocating, and 25 % reporting the same about their life in Canada.

In contrast, the UK is the lowest ranked country in terms of safety, with 26 % of expat parents indicating that their HSBC survey site.

The study also revealed that the Middle East provides a more challenging environment in which to raise children, with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE ranking in the bottom half of the list. Social integration is one of the areas where expat parents in the Middle East reported their children had most difficulty. Six out of ten expat parents in Saudi Arabia say that the social integration of their children had become worse since relocating, as did those in Kuwait (40%) and the UAE (34%). With the lack of social integration, parents reported their children spent more time playing video games and watching TV. In Saudi Arabia and the UAE parents say nearly half of children spend more time playing video games than they did in their home country. Parents also reported they watch much more television than before. The cost involved in raising children is higher in the Middle East, which was also a concern to parents.

For more information, visit the HSBC survey site.

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