The best place to live for expats families? It’s true! The Netherlands came out top for the honour, according to the 2018 HSBC Expat Explorer survey.
It’s really no surprise in a country with a great economy, great childcare, great healthcare, great education system, excellent English and a life revolving around biking. (Okay, okay, I’ll quit talking up the Netherlands now — just kidding).
No, but seriously, why exactly is the Netherlands the top of the best places to live for expat families?
1. Children’s wellbeing and health
The Netherlands is at the top of its game when it comes to children’s wellbeing and health, making the Netherlands an obvious choice for expats with kids. In fact, according to a 2020 UNICEF report, Dutch children were ranked the happiest of all.
2. Education system
The Netherlands is a top spot for expat families because of its education system. The Netherlands has an exceptional education system, which is made even easier for expat families due to the ease of integrating a child within.
This is especially so if your child speaks English. The quality of learning is also excellent and an awful lot of children then go on to go to university. In fact, 42% of Dutchies aged 25-64 hold a tertiary degree, well above the EU average of 37%, according to OECD research.
3. Affordability of childcare
Childcare in the Netherlands is seen as being very affordable. Especially in relation to other countries. Dutch child benefit and childhood allowance mean that people have affordable childcare, especially when working or studying within the Netherlands.
This also goes for expats too. So rest assured you can take your children to the Netherlands, still work and have some money left at the end of it (unlike some places)!
4. Generous maternity and paternity leave
Yep! Even if you don’t have a family yet, you’ll benefit from the minute your bun is taken out of the oven. Mothers in the Netherlands can take advantage of 16 weeks of paid maternity leave while being paid 100% of their regular earnings.
Meanwhile, new dads can take up to five weeks off at 70% of their regular paycheck.
5. It’s easy to settle with the best non-native speakers in the world
If you are native English or speak English, you’re in luck. The Dutch are the best non-native speakers of English. As modest as they are, it’s hard to struggle to settle in the Netherlands because the language barrier is very small in comparison to other countries for expats.
This then makes it easier to secure jobs, integrate children into school and in general throughout the start of your life in NL. It’s definitely a heck of a lot less stressful for this reason, so it’s an obvious choice to go.
Why do you think the Netherlands is the best place to live for expat families? Tell us in the comments below!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in September 2019, and was fully updated in June 2022 for your reading pleasure.