Top 10 Best Countries for Expat Families

countries for expat families

The world witnesses a steady rise of expat families seeking better opportunities, experiences, and lifestyles. When choosing countries for expat families, several factors come into play.

From the quality of education and healthcare to cultural experiences and job opportunities, every family prioritizes differently. This guide deepens into the top 10 countries for expat families, ensuring you make an informed decision.

If you want to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, you can email me ( or use these contact options.

1. Canada

Canada consistently ranks among the top countries for expat families, and the reasons are manifold. Situated in North America, Canada presents a tapestry of diverse geographies, from its glistening lakes and dense forests to its majestic mountains and expansive tundras.

This vast nation, the second-largest in the world, stretches its coastline across three oceans. Its cultural mosaic, influenced by global traditions, ensures that expats seamlessly integrate and feel at home.

Benefits to Countries for Expat Families

One of the primary attractions of Canada for expat families is its exceptional education system. Public education in Canada is free for permanent residents and work visa holders and is also of high quality.

Many of its public schools enjoy a reputable status, ensuring children receive a robust foundation for their future. The healthcare system in Canada is another feather in its cap.

With universal health insurance in place, residents have access to near-comprehensive healthcare coverage. This system, funded by taxpayers, ensures that medical care is accessible and affordable, providing peace of mind to families.

Canada’s economy, rich in natural resources, offers many job opportunities, especially in its energy sector. Cities like Toronto and Vancouver are bustling hubs where industries like financial services, real estate, and communications thrive.

This economic stability, combined with the country’s progressive stance on immigration, makes Canada one of the most inviting countries for expat families.

In fact, Canada boasts one of the highest per-capita immigration rates globally, a testament to its welcoming nature.

While reasonable compared to many global metropolises, the cost of living in Canada is accompanied by high tax rates. However, these taxes fund the country’s exemplary public services, further enhancing the quality of life for its residents.

One of the primary attractions of Canada for expat families is its exceptional education system.

However, potential expats should brace themselves for Canada’s fierce winters, especially if they consider moving to the interior provinces.

Cities like Calgary and Edmonton experience severe cold, with snow covering the ground for almost half the year. But, on the bright side, Canadian infrastructure is well-equipped to handle these temperatures.

Some cities even have heated underground pathways connecting malls, offices, and residential buildings.

Lastly, Canada is a treasure trove of activities for families that love the outdoors. From park and beach days to hiking and mountain biking, there’s always something to keep the family engaged and connected with nature.

2. Australia

With its vast landscapes and vibrant cities, Australia has become a magnet for expat families. Australia, a continent in itself, offers many experiences.

Its natural beauty ranges from the iconic Sydney Opera House to the Great Barrier Reef. Wildlife enthusiasts find solace in the unique fauna, including kangaroos and koalas.

Cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane pulsate with life, offering a mix of cultural events, world-class dining, and many recreational activities.

Benefits for expat families

Australia’s emphasis on an outdoor lifestyle ensures that families remain active, with numerous parks, beaches, and hiking trails.

The country’s education system, renowned for its high standards, ensures children receive a robust foundation for their future. Universities like the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne rank among the world’s best, attracting international students and researchers.

The Australian job market remains robust, with sectors like IT, healthcare, and engineering consistently growing. This provides expat families with diverse employment opportunities.

Moreover, the country’s friendly locals and multicultural society make newcomers feel at home quickly. With its myriad of benefits, it’s no surprise that Australia consistently ranks among the top countries for expat families.

While Australia offers a high standard of living, it’s essential to note that living costs, especially in major cities, can be high. However, the country compensates with high wages, especially in specialized sectors.

The Australian lifestyle emphasizes work-life balance, strongly focusing on family time, outdoor activities, and sports. This balance ensures that while expat families work hard, they also play hard, making the most of what Australia offers.

Australia boasts a world-class healthcare system. The public healthcare system, Medicare, provides free or subsidized treatment to residents.

Additionally, many expat families opt for private health insurance for more comprehensive coverage. Safety remains a priority, with Australia having lower crime rates than global standards. This ensures peace of mind for families, especially those with young children.

3. Germany

Germany, renowned for its rich history, stands out as a prime destination for expat families. Germany’s deep-rooted history and vibrant culture provide a one-of-a-kind living experience.

The nation’s robust economy, known for its automotive and engineering sectors, ensures a stable environment for families aiming to establish their roots.

Benefits for expat families

Germany offers a comfortable lifestyle with well-developed infrastructure, healthcare, and education systems.

Cities like Munich consistently rank high in global livability indexes, emphasizing the quality of life expats can expect. Germany boasts a comprehensive public transport network. Whether it’s the punctual trains or the extensive bus routes, commuting remains hassle-free.

While German remains the primary language, many Germans speak English, especially in urban areas. This multilingualism aids expat children in adapting and ensures they receive a holistic education. Schools often offer bilingual programs, preparing students for a globalized world.

This emphasis on multilingual education further cements Germany’s position among the best countries for expat families.

4. Singapore

Singapore, a global hub, stands out among countries for expat families. This city-state, located at the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsula, has become a magnet for expatriates worldwide.

Benefits for expat families

Singapore’s stable economy has attracted many global businesses to establish their regional headquarters here. This has opened up numerous job opportunities for qualified expats in various sectors, including finance, IT, education, pharmaceuticals, and logistics.

Singapore is also renowned for its efficiency. The exemplary public transport system, advanced communications infrastructure, and top-tier healthcare facilities make life convenient and comfortable for residents.

The city-state’s commitment to promoting tolerance, harmony, and respect further enhances its appeal to expat families.

While Singapore offers a luxurious lifestyle, it comes with a high cost of living. However, many expats earn significantly more than in their home countries, making the expenses manageable.

Expats can effectively manage their monthly expenses by utilizing efficient public transport and opting for local produce.

Singapore’s stable economy has attracted many global businesses.

Singapore is an ideal place for raising a family. The city-state is known for its safety, cleanliness, and low crime rate. Parents can choose from various local and international schools that provide an impeccable standard of education.

Moreover, Singapore is not just a concrete jungle; it boasts lush botanical gardens, vibrant water parks, sun-soaked beaches, and a vast zoo.

These attractions, combined with numerous educational events, ensure that parents have plenty of options to entertain and educate their children.

5. New Zealand

New Zealand, a paradise on Earth, ranks high among countries for expat families. Also known as Aotearoa in Māori, it is an island nation in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.

Comprising two main landmasses, the North Island and the South Island, along with over 700 smaller islands, it’s renowned for its diverse topography and breathtaking landscapes.

Benefits for expat families

New Zealand’s diverse landscapes offer a plethora of adventure opportunities. From the majestic peaks of the Southern Alps to the serene beaches, expat families can indulge in activities like hiking, skiing, and water sports.

Such an environment ensures physical well-being and provides a perfect setting for family bonding.

One of the standout features of New Zealand is its warm and welcoming populace. The Kiwis, as the locals are affectionately known, are known for their hospitality.

Moreover, the blend of Māori and European cultures offers a rich tapestry of traditions and festivals, making it an enriching experience for expat families.

Healthcare is a primary concern for families considering relocation. New Zealand boasts a comprehensive healthcare system that caters to the medical needs of its residents.

The country’s healthcare infrastructure and policies ensure that expat families receive top-notch medical care whenever required.

For families with school-going children, New Zealand offers a robust education system. With a mix of public and private institutions, the country ensures high education standards, making it one of the preferred countries for expat families looking for quality schooling options.

New Zealand has a thriving economy driven by sectors like tourism, agriculture, and services. The country’s economic stability ensures ample job opportunities for expats in various fields.

Whether in the bustling city of Auckland or the scenic locales of Queenstown, expat professionals can find rewarding career opportunities in New Zealand.

6. Sweden

Sweden, the Nordic gem, shines brightly among countries for expat families. Formally known as the Kingdom of Sweden, it is located on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe.

It shares borders with Norway to the west and north, Finland to the east, and connects to Denmark in the southwest via a bridge–tunnel across the Öresund.

With an area of 447,425 square kilometers, Sweden is the largest Nordic country and the third-largest in the European Union. Its capital, Stockholm, is also its largest city.

The country boasts a rich history, its origins back to the early 12th century. Today, Sweden is recognized for its high standard of living, progressive policies, and commitment to sustainability, making it an attractive destination among countries for expat families.

Benefits for expat families

Sweden is renowned for its forward-thinking policies, especially in gender equality, education, and health. The nation’s commitment to ensuring a high quality of life for its residents is evident in its ranking as the seventh in the Human Development Index.

Such progressive policies create a nurturing environment for families, ensuring they have access to the best facilities and opportunities.

Sweden’s dedication to sustainable living is commendable. The country’s landscape, dominated by forests and lakes, is a testament to its commitment to preserving nature.

The emphasis on sustainable practices ensures a healthier environment and instills values of responsibility and care in the younger generation.

Among the many reasons why Sweden stands out among countries for expat families is its generous parental leave policies. The country ensures parents have ample time to bond with their children, fostering stronger family ties.

This focus on family well-being is a significant draw for expatriates. Sweden’s education system is one of the best globally, offering high-quality primary and tertiary education.

The Nordic social welfare system ensures universal health care for its citizens, ensuring families have access to top-notch medical facilities without exorbitant costs.

Sweden’s dedication to sustainable living is commendable.

7. Spain

Spain, known for its lively atmosphere and rich traditions, consistently ranks high among countries for expat families. Spain’s rich heritage, stemming from its historical significance and diverse regional cultures, offers a tapestry of experiences.

The country’s Mediterranean climate ensures pleasant temperatures, allowing for outdoor activities and beach visits almost all year round. Living in Spain doesn’t just mean residing in a country; it means immersing oneself in a daily fiesta of culture, history, and life.

Benefits for expat families

Spain offers a cost of living that is often lower than many Western European countries. Families often find that their money goes further here, from housing to groceries.

This affordability allows expat families to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle while also saving for future endeavors.

Spanish cuisine is a feast for the senses. Families relish the diverse and flavorful dishes, from the world-famous paella to the delightful tapas. The Mediterranean diet, rich in olive oil, fresh vegetables, and seafood, is delicious and renowned for its health benefits.

Spain boasts a robust education system. Numerous international schools cater to expat families, ensuring that children receive a quality education in a language they understand. Moreover, learning Spanish, the world’s second-most spoken language, gives children a significant advantage globally.

One of the standout features that make Spain one of the top countries for expat families is its vibrant festivals. From the running of the bulls in Pamplona to La Tomatina in Buñol, these events offer unique experiences. Families get to participate in and witness traditions celebrated for centuries.

Spain’s healthcare system ranks among the top in Europe. Expat families benefit from excellent medical services at a fraction of the cost compared to other countries. The emphasis on outdoor activities, from beach outings to mountain hikes, promotes a healthy lifestyle.

8. Japan

Japan, where tradition meets modernity, stands tall among countries for expat families. Often referred to as the Land of the Rising Sun, it presents a harmonious blend of ancient traditions and cutting-edge modernity.

From snow-capped mountains to bustling city streets and sushi conveyor belts, Japan offers a unique living experience that captivates many expats.

Benefits for expat families

Japan’s deep-rooted customs and traditions offer expat families a chance to immerse themselves in a unique cultural experience. One such custom is the proper use of chopsticks.

In Japan, the way you place your chopsticks on the table holds significance. For instance, placing them in a bowl of rice symbolizes death and is, therefore, avoided.

Japan is synonymous with convenience. From 7-Eleven to Lawson shops, you’ll find convenience stores at every corner, offering everything from basic groceries to electronics.

Moreover, Japan’s transportation system is expansive and efficient. The high-speed Shinkansen train, also known as the “bullet train”, connects various parts of the country at impressive speeds of up to 240-320 km/h.

Japanese cuisine is renowned worldwide for its deliciousness. Beyond sushi, the country offers many dishes, including seafood, rice and vegetable dishes, and delectable desserts. Noodle dishes like ramen and yakisoba are both popular and affordable.

Japan’s deep-rooted customs and traditions offer expat families a chance to immerse themselves in a unique cultural experience. One such custom is the proper use of chopsticks.

Shopping in Japan caters to all tastes, from major department stores to eclectic boutique shops. On the healthcare front, Japan boasts a universal system that ranks among the world’s best. Hospitals are equipped with advanced technology and highly trained medical staff.

9. Switzerland

Switzerland, the heart of Europe, remains a top choice among countries for expat families. It is a landlocked country situated at the intersection of Western, Central, and Southern Europe.

It shares its borders with Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. The country is geographically divided into the Swiss Plateau, the Alps, and the Jura.

While the Alps cover a significant portion of the territory, most of Switzerland’s 8.7 million population resides on the plateau, where major cities like Zürich, Geneva, and Basel are located. Switzerland’s rich history traces back to the Old Swiss Confederacy established in the Late Middle Ages.

Today, Switzerland symbolizes peace and neutrality, making it one of the preferred countries for expat families.

Benefits for expat families

Switzerland boasts one of the world’s most developed economies. With a high nominal wealth per adult and a remarkable GDP per capita, the nation ensures a stable and prosperous environment.

This economic stability translates into high salaries, allowing expat families to maintain a comfortable lifestyle.

The Swiss education system is renowned globally, preparing children to face global challenges. With a focus on multilingualism and diverse cultural experiences, it offers a holistic approach to learning.

This makes Switzerland one of the top countries for expat families prioritizing quality education for their children.

Switzerland’s healthcare system is among the best in the world. With advanced medical facilities and a focus on preventive care, the country ensures that families remain healthy.

This efficient healthcare system further cements Switzerland’s position as one of the most sought-after countries for expat families.

Switzerland has four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. This multilingual nature promises diverse experiences for expat families, allowing them to immerse themselves in a blend of cultures.

The shared values of federalism and direct democracy foster a cohesive national identity that transcends language and ethnicity.

Switzerland’s long-standing policy of neutrality, recognized since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, ensures a peaceful living environment.

The country’s active involvement in global peace-building processes and its home to various international institutions, including the Red Cross and the United Nations, highlight its commitment to global harmony.

10. United Arab Emirates

The UAE, a blend of tradition and luxury, is a prominent destination for expat families. Known for its rapid development and luxurious lifestyle, it offers a unique blend of modernity with deep-rooted traditions.

Located in the heart of the Middle East, the UAE has transformed into a global hub for business, tourism, and cultural exchange.

Benefits for expat families

One of the most significant benefits of living in the UAE for expat families is the tax-free income. This financial advantage allows families to save more, providing a cushion for future endeavors or investments.

The cost of living can be high, especially in cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but many expats find that their increased earnings and tax savings balance out these costs.

The UAE is home to a vast and diverse expat community. This diversity ensures global interactions and provides a support system for newcomers.

Families can connect with people from their home countries, share experiences, and learn about various cultures, making the transition smoother.

From state-of-the-art healthcare facilities to internationally recognized educational institutions, the UAE offers world-class amenities.

The country’s healthcare system is equipped to handle any medical emergency, with private and government hospitals providing high-quality care. Additionally, the UAE boasts numerous international schools, ensuring that expat children receive a top-tier education.

The UAE, while modern, holds its traditions in high regard. Expats get to experience a range of cultural festivities and public holidays rooted in Islam.

From Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, to Eid celebrations, expat families can immerse themselves in the rich Emirati culture. However, it’s essential to be respectful during these times, such as avoiding eating in front of fasting Muslim colleagues during Ramadan.

Safety remains paramount in the UAE. The country’s strict laws ensure a low crime rate, making it a secure family environment. However, expats must familiarize themselves with local laws and customs.

For instance, public displays of affection are limited, and there are specific rules about alcohol consumption.

The UAE offers efficient transportation options, from expansive road networks to public transit systems like the Dubai Metro.

One of the most significant benefits of living in the UAE for expat families is the tax-free income.

Driving in the UAE might seem daunting initially due to the fast-paced nature, but one can navigate the roads safely with caution and awareness. The country’s strategic location also makes it a gateway to other destinations, with world-class airports facilitating global travel.

While the UAE offers numerous luxuries, knowing the living costs is essential. Cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi are known for their high living expenses, especially regarding housing. However, many employers provide housing allowances, which can significantly offset these costs.

Pained by financial indecision? Want to invest with Adam?

Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 669.2 million answer views on, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

Add a comment

*Please complete all fields correctly

Related Blogs

Starlord - Moving to Siem Reap


Gain free access to Adam’s two expat books.

Get more strategies every week on how to be more productive with your finances.