Tuesday 16th March 2010

HSBC research report reveals Australia is the best place to raise kids

Offshore Offspring, the third of HSBC’s Expat Explorer reports was released last week and it reveals that expatriate children living in Australia fit in the easiest, with those in the United States and the UK struggling to make new friends and integrate.

Offshore Offspring

Offshore Offspring is the third and final report on the survey results of HSBC’s 2009 research. For this section of their analysis they have looked at expatriate’s experiences of raising children overseas and have compiled a league table that reveals which locations are the best for raising children abroad. The report marks the second year of HSBC’s research into expatriate life around the world, which has involved more than 3,100 expatriates.

The Research

The report is focused on only six countries; Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates, United States and the United Kingdom and presents a league table based on a survey of expatriates who were asked to rate the place their host country in terms of the health and wellbeing, childcare and integration opportunities on offer. In addition to this they also rated the relative ease with which they were able to perform the following activities:

  • Organize education/schooling
  • Make new friends
  • Experience new cultures
  • Create healthier lifestyles

The Results

The report placed Australia at the top of a league table of locations that were deemed to be the best places for expatriate children to live with the country scoring the highest scores for ease of integration and health and wellbeing and the third highest marks for childcare availability. It was in Australia that expatriates found organizing schooling for their children the easiest and 71% of them claimed that they had found it either “very” or “quite” easy to arrange appropriate education.

The second best place in the world to raise children as an expatriate was named as Singapore. 56% of the expatriate parents survey in the Asian city state said that there children were more socially integrated than they were in their home country and 65% said that their children had found it easy to make new friends.

It was bad news for the United Kingdom yet again, with the report disclosing that this was the worse place to raise your children. Britain scored low marks in categories such as playing sports, eating junk food, playing computer games and watching TV, and it was classed as both the unhealthiest and the most expensive place to raise children. Expatriates living here claimed that moving to the United Kingdom had had a negative impact on their family life, with 45% of them reporting a decline in quality since they had relocated.

The final league table stood as follows:

  1. Australia
  2. Singapore
  3. Hong Kong
  4. United Arab Emirates
  5. United States
  6. United Kingdom

Other findings

The report also revealed that expatriate parents feel that their children benefit from a move overseas, with an average of 48% of those surveyed claiming that their children adapt well to living abroad and 37% have experienced an increase in the quality of their live since relocating overseas.

Discussing the research, Lisa Wood, the Head of Marketing and Communications for HSBC International commented:

"It can be tough being a parent, and expat parents find it equally, if not more, difficult. Not only do they have to deal with their own integration and lifestyle issues when working and living abroad, but they also have to ensure that all aspects of their child's lives are addressed, including safety, making friends, social interaction and of course, education.

“The latest Offshore Offspring report has revealed that expat children have the opportunity to experience many new cultures and learn different languages with many expat families declaring that the decision to move abroad was the best they ever made. It is great to see that in some parts of the world expats are really making the most of their new lifestyles to offer the best possible opportunities for their children."

Expat Info Desk

For further information about relocating abroad with your children please see the free section of our expatriate manual, Moving with you children. It contains detailed insights into how you can prepare you children for a move and addresses methods of approaching the difficult task of helping them to fit in.

Read the full article: http://www.offshore.hsbc.com/1/PA_1_4_S5/content/international/2g_pdfs/expat/Offshore_Offspring_09.pdf

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