4 reasons why the Netherlands is the best place to live for expat families

Why is the Netherlands the best place to live for expat families?

According to the World Economic Forum, the Netherlands comes top for the best place to live for expat families in 2018. 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 bigging up the Netherlands now).

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. In fact, according to a UNICEF report, in 2013 Dutch children were ranked the happiest of all. It seems like even in 2018, the Dutch have some of the happiest children of all. Why? Because of all of those things I’m about to talk about. Not to mention the cheese, all the flowers, the biking and the great Dutch scenery.

#2 Education system

The Netherlands is now top 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 into these systems. This is especially so if your child speaks English. The quality of learning is also excellent – most children do well in Dutch schools. An awful lot of children then go on to go to university and are highly qualified.

best place to live for expat families
One of the best education systems!

#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 Easy to settle – best non-native speakers

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? Let us know your thoughts or personal experience in the comments! Also, don’t forget to join our Facebook group if you like what we post ๐Ÿ˜‰

Emma Brown
A familiar face at DutchRevew. Emma arrived in Holland in 2016 for a few weeks, fell in love with the place and never left. Here she rekindled her love of writing and travelling. Now you'll find her eating stroopwafels in the DutchReview office since 2017.


  1. Netherlands: very organized country, security in being paid a pension or no private pension or government pensions going bankrupt . Excellent health service as EVERYONE has health insurance.
    Social help and services are incredible organized , I have been living here for 18 months and still i am in awe of the way of life. No stress, money is important but not the main things in the people’s lives.

  2. The Netherlands is a stupendous country to live. Despite the winter weather, I was extremely happy and safe. And the people, museums and culture is wonderful. Now I understand why my grandfather and mother were so loving and wonderful. The Netherlands have wonderful people which makes a good and healthy country. I love you Netherlands!

  3. I think it’s a big benefit to have proportional representation elections. It stops you getting locked into a ‘first past the post’ two party system which effectively keeps smaller parties out and can lead to the sort of muddle currently just over the horizon from Scheveninghen – not a good basis for a happy life.

  4. I strongly disagree with this and I think that it’s becoming a toxic environment specially for very skilled and educated workers who come from other first World countries. Indeed here the country is rich compared to southern Europe, but it is becoming really harder and harder to convince a person to pack everything and relocate just to have the feeling of being rich for having more money, while the quality of life is very low and basic needs are considered a luxury. Let me make some examples:
    – Health care. Apparently people here are so greedy to think that being treated for a serious medical condition is a luxury. It’s all about money and in the end even while paying a very expensive health insurance you can’t get the same service that you would get in a much poorer country.
    – Housing. How is somebody supposed to work 8 hours and being productive on sleep deprivation? The housing situation is very bad, people have to throw away half of their salary to stay in a very tiny hole, often with noisy neighbours and noise coming from the streets. When asked to fix anything in the house to make it more liveable, the agency/owner (who is often a speculator) answers that houses in the Netherlands are just like that. Take it or leave. This is literally ultimate level greediness. Why would a mentally sane person work 8 hours on sleep deprivation to give half of their salary to a speculator who doesn’t even fix basic stuff.
    – Insane tourism. Again, this is caused by greediness. Apparently Dutch people don’t care about living in a liveable environment, but it is once again about money. Tourism means that a highly skilled immigrant will have to pay higher prices to stay in more dirty and noisy environments. See, for example if you want to have a car you can forget it because it is too expensive because the parkings are all taken by tourists, and most likely you will travel faster with public transportation.

    In the end the feeling is that you only seem to be more rich but your quality of life is much lower than what you would have in your original country. Let’s say a country like Italy: maybe I would have half of the salary but I would live better. Health care, sleeping 8 hours, eating decently and driving a car aren’t a luxury there. When you are greedy you get nothing.


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