Best country in the world to raise a family, and why you should move there right now
Is life back in rainy old Blighty becoming tiresome? Feel like a new challenge? Want a break from the routine of work, home, work, home repeat?
Moving to a new country is the antidote to all of your problems. Although there are hurdles in the short term, especially when moving families, there are countries out there that have a better family environment.
Which country should you move your family to? Well, our friends at Internations have researched just that, asking a minimum of 31 expat families in 45 different countries how they rate various aspects of family life. After taking all of these into account the country that came out on top was was Finland.
Despite its cold weather and dark winters, the land of the midnight sun beat its Nordic rivals of Sweden and Norway. Ranking top in all categories related to education and very highly in others such as family well being.
So just why is Finish education so good? In Finland they offer a ‘less is more’ approach towards education. The school lasts just 5 to 6 hours and consists of 4 or 5 classes with a 15 minute break between them. There is a much bigger focus on preparing for lessons well and having fewer hours and higher quality. Classes tend to be made up of around 12 students and the focus is on learning as opposed to testing. Despite this seeming like a much more laid back style Finnish students actually have some of the best levels of maths, science, reading and writing.
A whopping 82% of people believe that the education in Finland is excellent, compared to just 32% worldwide demonstrating how highly expats rate the education system.
If you’re thinking about how to look after your kids then don’t worry. Every child in Finland under school age is entitled to municipal day care, which is organized in day care centres, in family day care and in playgroups. The family’s income level influences day care fees. There are also various private day care services available.
It is possible to stay at home and take care of your child until they are three years of age without fear of losing your job. Once your child has entered school, you can adjust your working hours to facilitate child care.
Women are entitled to maternity leave from 7 weeks before the due date of their child, and have a long period to look after them. It is possible to stay at home and take care of your child until they are three years of age without fear of losing your job. Once your child has entered school, you can adjust your working hours to facilitate child care.
Work life balance
Fins tend to work slightly less than the European average at around 35 hours per week. This is to ensure that they have enough time with their family. Fins understand that employees are people first and workers second, therefore they aim to satisfy human needs as part of working.
Furthermore equality is at the forefront of Finnish culture. 42 per cent Finland’s parliament is made up of women. Although thats not to say that there is no gender inequality, Finland has taken some very positive and progressive steps.
Attitude to the environment
For millennia the Finns have loved to be outdoors and appreciated their environment. Before they were influenced by Christians in the 12th century they used to worship the natural environment. Even almost a thousand years later this influence has persisted and Finns care for their natural environment, as well as enjoying being in nature at any opportunity.
Families love to embrace nature together. Many expats say how their family ties become closer as a result of spending time in the countryside that the nation has to offer.
All of these factors amount to Finland being known as one of the happiest countries in the world and, importantly, the best country in the world to raise a family.