Is New Zealand the best place to raise a child? Expats think so

by Ray Clancy on October 23, 2014

New Zealand has emerged as the best place to raise a child, with an expat survey scoring the country high for wellbeing and child safety.

The country tops the Raising Children Abroad league table compiled by the annual HSBC Expat Explorer Survey, followed by South Africa, Germany and Japan.


87% of parents surveyed said they feel their children are safer in NZ than in their home country

New Zealand performs particularly well in terms of health and also comes in the top five countries in terms of education and experience.

In the survey, 87% of expat parents in New Zealand note the improved safety of their children since moving, as well as their improved health and wellbeing.

The scenery, diverse landscape and good weather are also factors noted by expats in New Zealand. The vast majority of expat parents highlight the pleasant climate and scenery as a benefit of living there.

Some 73% rated the environment as better than their home country compared to a 33% global average, which all make it an ideal destination to raise active, outdoorsy, and healthy children, the survey says.

Expat parents also point out some distinct benefits of raising children in New Zealand, with 87% saying that their children enjoy a better quality of life compared with the global average of 56%. 58% say that that their children are more well-rounded as a result of moving there compared with the global average of 40%.

Canada and the United States are also mentioned as offering expats an easy setup and great quality of life for families, and they also attract a lot of expat for family reasons. Some 44% of expats in the United States and 30% in Canada cited following a partner or family member as their main motivation for moving.

With expats in the United States and Canada most likely to originate from English speaking countries like the United Kingdom, 73% in the United States and 76% in Canada commented on the ease with which they integrated into the local community, weighing in above the global average of 65%.

A higher proportion also remarked on the strong bond they feel with their new home. Some 88% of expats in Canada said that they feel a strong connection to their host country, with 70% thinking likewise in the US.

The state of play for expats in the United States and Canada is a positive one, especially where families are concerned. Canada in particular emerges as a great spot for parents and children alike, as 75% said that they feel their children are safer than they were in their home country.

It’s not just safety either. Canada also scores well when it comes to the general health and wellbeing of expat kids, with 68% saying that is a lot better than it was previously.

Canada also gets a gold star from expat parents when it comes to arranging schooling for their children, with 61% saying that this is simple to do, compared with 35% in the United States and 41% globally. Furthermore, 24% agreed that the country is a cost effective place to raise a family compared to other countries, deeming it less expensive than home.

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