The best countries in the world to raise a child, ranked

The US came in at 18th on this year's list, the UK at number 11

Chelsea Ritschel
Wednesday 15 January 2020 17:59 GMT
Survey finds best countries in the world to raise a child (Stock)
Survey finds best countries in the world to raise a child (Stock)

Expectant parents may want to consider moving to Scandinavia, as a new report has revealed Denmark, Sweden and Norway top the list of best countries in the world for raising a child.

The findings are according to the annual Best Countries Report, conducted by US News & World Report and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, which point to the Scandinavian countries’ “generous paternal and maternal leave” and free preschool.

“These countries tend to have generous paternal leave and maternal leave, offer free preschool, and have good overall public education systems,” Deidre McPhillips, senior data editor at US News & World report, told CNN.

Rounding out the top five countries on this year's list are Canada and the Netherlands, in fourth and fifth place respectively, while Finland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia and Austria were also named in the top 10.

The UK came in at number 11, with high marks for public education and healthcare, but a 2.5 rating when it came to income equality and 7.1 family-friendly rating.

Brexit also impacted the country’s overall score, with the report explaining: “The year 2017 ushered in anxiety about the country’s role on the global stage, due to the public voting in the summer of 2016 to leave the European Union."

The US, which was named first in education in this year’s report, was ranked 18th when it comes to raising children.

According to the analysts, the low score is largely attributed to the country’s “safety metric”.

“In that attribute, the US actually ranks 32, pretty far down the list,” McPhillips said. “So that really impacts its ratings for raising kids, of course.”

To rank the best countries in the world for raising children, the report drew from a “global perceptions-based survey” and ranked countries based on eight attributes including: caring about human rights, being considered family-friendly, its environment for gender equality, being seen as happy, having income equality, being safe, and having well-developed public education and well-developed health care systems.

For the overall report, which has been released every year since 2016, 73 nations across 65 different metrics were evaluated through a survey of more than 20,000 people in the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

To get an accurate representation, survey respondents were split into different groups which included leaders in business, university-educated people who consider themselves middle-class or higher and read the news four days a week, and the general public, aged over 18.

The overall report named Switzerland the best country in the world, for the fourth year in a row, followed by Canada, Japan, Germany and Australia.

For the report, which lists the UK in sixth place and the US in seventh, it looked at factors such as “economic influence and military to education and quality of life”.

In addition to the best place to raise a child, this year’s report has also been broken down into sub-rankings of the best countries in regards to adventure, cultural influence, power, and quality of life.

The 20 best countries for raising a child are below:

1. Denmark

2. Sweden

3. Norway

4. Canada

5. Netherlands

6. Finland

7. Switzerland

8. New Zealand

9. Australia

10. Austria

11. United Kingdom

12. Luxembourg

13. Germany

14. France

15. Spain

16. Italy

17. Portugal

18. United States

19. Japan

20. Poland

You can see the full list here.

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