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Relocating anywhere, particularly overseas, can be thrilling but at the same time terrifying for children.

They would have to part with familiar surroundings, friends, neighborhood, and a host of other things. But this amazing exposure to new cultures and standards of living means children benefit from migrating internationally. Moreover, children who live abroad and get exposed to new languages often develop skills that make them far more versatile and specially fit for leadership roles.

Here are the top 7 countries to raise a family based on the standard of living, quality of education, social benefits, safety and security, nature, social tolerance, health services, childcare services, and quality of life.

1. Sweden

Sweden has a strong social policy and is ranked first in childcare and overall wellbeing of children. It is considered the best country to raise children. Parents are granted 480 days of paid parental leave, 60 of which are reserved for the father. The government also makes available a monthly allowance to parents per child and gives adults the right to reduce their working hours until their children turn eight. Health care and college education are free, and citizens can boast of one of the longest life expectancies in the world.

2.  Denmark

The parental leave system in Denmark is rated as among the most generous and flexible in the European Union. Both mothers and fathers are granted 23 weeks of parental leave, and mothers are allowed four weeks of maternity leave before the expected due date. Denmark employs a universal health care system in which citizens receive mostly free medical care. Higher education is also free.

3.  Australia

Moving to Australia will get you to one of the countries considered among those best suited for raising children. This country pays great attention to health, integration, and overall quality of life. Australia offers financial support for up to 18 weeks to help eligible parents take time off work to care for a newborn or recently adopted child. Australia possesses a high rate of participation in sporting activities and boasts of a comparatively high life expectancy for both females and males. Australians remain particularly concerned about environmental issues, according to survey and government data.

4.  The Netherlands

In the Netherlands, children have a good environment for their growth. This is especially so in education and childcare quality, where the Netherlands is ranked 3rd or 4th. Every mother is strongly qualified to have a maternity nurse, known as a “Kraamzorg,” with part or all of the cost covered by insurance. The Netherlands boasts a tolerant society, with liberal approaches to many social issues.

5.  Austria

The Austrian social system ensures a lot of support for parents. Working parents can swap staying at home for a fully-paid two-year parental leave. Additionally, all families receive “kindergeld,” a monthly stipend for childcare expenses until the child turns 18. Kindergarten, like many private learning institutions, is subsidized by the government. The country’s many international schools, attended mainly by the children of diplomats, make it easier for expatriate children to adjust to a familiar, albeit diverse, community. Older children, attending accredited German, British, French, and American schools can transfer credits to universities abroad.

6.  New Zealand

Relocating to New Zealand means you’ll be going to one of the best places to raise children. The country’s focus on raising healthy children and an effective but not overly competitive education system is believed to give children a more well-rounded upbringing. Expats relocating for a short amount of time mostly opt for private schools, although public schools can be a good way for expatriates to get settled. Children going into the local public school tend to have local friends and the parents find it more convenient to meet local people. New Zealand is also ranked among the top countries in matters of health, integration, and overall quality of life.

7.  Canada

Migrating to Canada will be a fun experience for your entire family – especially the kids! When it comes to schooling and integrating into a new social environment, your child will most likely not be treated any differently than a local child. Canadians are ranked as among the most tolerant and polite people on the planet. Canada has a high standard of living. Employees who work at places covered by the Canada Labour Code are entitled to up to 17 weeks of maternity leave. Those who care for a newborn or newly adopted child are eligible for parental leave of up to 37 weeks.

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