The Top 10 Best Countries For Raising Kids in 2021
Every year, US news publishes a ranking of the best countries to raise children. Unsurprisingly, all the countries at the top of the list are Westerner countries. But surprisingly, the US is nowhere near the top at 22nd. Perhaps more chocking is that the US is as close as China in the ranking as it is to Denmark at the top. Now, Americans know that, in contrast to European countries, a lower proportion of their taxes money go to social policies and welfare.
In Europe, some residents are ready to pay high tax rates in exchange for health care, education, and other necessities. Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, writes in his post “Why Danes Happily Pay High Rates of Taxes” that people in that country consider paying taxes as a quality-of-life investment. Wiking emphasizes the importance of their government’s ability to fulfil that commitment.
But as any US tax experts would tell you, tax on the rich in the US is one of the highest in the world. UHNWI is the US are taxed in a multitude of ways, whether it’s on their salary, capital gains, dividends or their estate. Taxes are even about to get higher with the new Biden plan. The rich in the US pay more tax than in most other Western countries, but get subpar government services such as healthcare, education and mainly security.
A wealthy American can go out of pocket on healthcare and education to get the very best, but security is perhaps something you can’t buy for your kids, unless you are ready to confine them to a secluded suburb. US murder rates in the main US cities are significantly higher than other Western countries. Boston, home to Harvard and MIT, has a homicide rate of 8.1, whereas Montreal, few hundred miles north in Canada, has a homicide rate of only 1 murder per 100,000 people. And many US cities are in the double digit like Chicago or Miami. Some areas of Miami have rate reaching murder rates of 100, comparable to the most violent cities in the world. The economic impact of COVID-19 was felt much more in poor communities, which live off retail jobs.
Place like San Francisco have seen huge increase in crime as the most vulnerable communities struggle to survive. This is why so many readers come to us with this specific question: I can manage my activities remotely, where is the best place for me to raise my kids if I want to be outside the US for a while? The answer that we used the US news ranking and added information on how you can relocate your family there.
The 2021 Best Countries for Raising Kids ranking is based on scores from a compilation of eight country attributes: caring about human rights, being considered family friendly, having a gender-equal environment, being seen as happy, having income equality, being safe, and having well-developed public education and well-developed health care. The top ten countries are listed below. Please do note that relocating often means becoming tax resident in a new country. Tax policies of countries can vary significantly. If you are a HNWI, it’s important to have professional tax advice before making the move.
The Kingdom of Denmark was founded in the 10th century and includes the Faroe Islands and Greenland, two North Atlantic Island kingdoms. It is part of Scandinavia, a cultural region in Northern Europe, which also includes Sweden and Norway.
The Copenhagen Stock Exchange, for example, is located in Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital. With the largest international airport in Scandinavia, an active port, a metro system, and the Oresund Bridge connecting the city to Malmo, Sweden, the capital also functions as a center connecting Northern Europe with the rest of the world.
Denmark has been governed by a constitutional monarchy since 1849. The current ceremonial head of state is Queen Margrethe II, and the prime minister is Lars Lokke Rasmussen. The Folketing is Denmark’s top legislative body, with members chosen by the people of Denmark. The Danish government is thought to be relatively steady and transparent.
Denmark has a universal health care system in which citizens receive mostly free medical treatment as a result of progressive taxation. Higher education is also available for free. Denmark’s very progressive government and socioeconomic system, unsurprisingly, promotes remarkable social mobility.
To relocate to Denmark as a business person, the best way would to apply for the Denmark Startup Visa. The program is open to entrepreneurs with an innovative business idea, which can contribute to growth and new employment in Denmark (Cannot be a restaurant, a retail shop, a small trade, import and export business or similar in Denmark).
Sweden, which is bordered on the west by Norway and on the east by the Baltic Sea, spans much of the Scandinavian Peninsula and is one of the largest countries in the European Union in terms of land mass. In the 16th century, the capital city of Stockholm was claimed, and border disputes throughout the Middle Ages produced the modern-day Sweden.
Sweden has remained neutral in times of war for centuries, despite its militaristic traditions. Instead, it has become a recognized leader in world affairs thanks to its devotion to human rights, public service, and sustainability.
Sweden follows a model similar to that of other Nordic countries: it is highly capitalist, with a significant portion of spending going to public services. Tax rates have fallen below the worldwide average, and an advanced infrastructure and transportation network aid in equitable income distribution. Health care and a college education are both free, and its citizens have one of the world’s longest life expectancies. Sweden is one of the best European countries to raise a family.
Swedes are among the world’s most giving people, providing roughly 1% of their annual gross domestic product to humanitarian aid projects. As a growing number of refugees, who now account for 10% of the population, are allowed into Swedish borders, the society continues to diversify.
To relocate your family to Sweden, you can apply as a self-employed. You can create a startup or run your own business or become a part owner of a company. You must show that the business’ services or goods are sold and/or produced in Sweden. After 2 years you can apply for permanent residence.
Norway is the westernmost country on the Scandinavian peninsula, with a predominantly mountainous landscape. Nearly the whole population lives in the south, in the area surrounding Oslo, the capital. Thousands of miles of fjords, bays, and island coastlines make up Norway’s coastline.
Throughout the Viking Age, the Norwegians developed a maritime culture and established settlements in Iceland and Greenland. For a long time, Norway’s fate was intertwined with that of Denmark and Sweden. Norway declared independence from Sweden in a referendum in 1905. Despite being neutral during both World Wars, the country was occupied for five years by Nazi Germany.
Norway is a wealthy country with a thriving business sector and a strong social safety net. The discovery of oil and gas off the coast of Norway in the 1960s boosted the country’s economy, and it is now one of the world’s top petroleum exporters.
To relocate to Norway, you can apply for a resident permit as a self-employed. You must have plans to engage in long-term business activities in Norway. The work you will be doing in the business must require your qualifications as a skilled worker.
The history and culture of Nordic Finland, one of the world’s most northern countries, are defined by geography. Finland, with its huge tracts of highly forested open territory, operates as a northern gate between West and East, bordered by Norway, Sweden, Russia, the Baltic Sea, and the Gulf of Bothnia.
Finland is a multilingual country with two official languages: Finnish and Swedish.
From the late 12th through the early 20th century, Finland was controlled alternately by Sweden and Russia. Following the Russian Revolution, Finland declared independence, and in 2017, the country celebrated its 100th year of independence. The importance of Finnish culture in the formation of national identity cannot be overstated. The “Kalevala,” a 19th-century collection of poems based on folk melodies and ballads, is credited with helping to unite the Finnish people.
Finland, which operates as a parliamentary democracy today, is an international leader in education and ranks highly in civil liberties, press freedom, and overall quality of life. It was one of the first countries in the world to allow women the right to vote, as well as the first to legalese universal suffrage, or the right to vote and run for office.
To relocate to Finland, you can apply for a resident permit as a self-employed. You will need to demonstrate that your activity is able to support you and your family in Finland.
The Australian continent is occupied by the Commonwealth of Australia. The country also comprises a number of islands, the best famous of which being Tasmania. Before the earliest British settlements in the 18th century, the region had been populated by indigenous people for at least 40,000 years.
Australia, like the United Kingdom, has a parliamentary democracy government. Despite the fact that it divides its federal government into “three branches” – parliament, executive, and judiciary — the executive reports to the parliament. Although Queen Elizabeth II remains the ceremonial head of state, the country severed all constitutional connections with the United Kingdom in 1986.
Australia has been affected by British, Celtic, and American culture from the late 18th century. However, immigration from non-English-speaking countries, mainly from Asia, has changed the country’s demographic composition and influenced its popular culture in recent decades.
Australia is seen as a prosperous country with a market-based economy with a high gross domestic product and per capita income. Its economy is based on the service sector and commodity exports.
The country has a high rate of sporting involvement and a comparably long-life expectancy for both males and females. Its largest cities consistently rank high in livability assessments around the world. Voters overwhelmingly endorsed same-sex marriage legalization late in 2017, bringing the issue to federal politicians.
According to survey and government data, Australians are highly concerned about environmental issues. The Kyoto Protocol, a United Nations convention requiring countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been ratified by the country. Nonetheless, carbon dioxide emissions per capita vary greatly between countries.
The United Nations, the Group of 20, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation are among Australia’s significant international and regional organizations.
To relocate to Australia, you have numerous options. Australia offers many paths to business people such as the Australia Entrepreneur Visa and the Australia Investor Visa.
6) New Zealand
New Zealand, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean southeast of Australia, is influenced by both British and Polynesian cultures. With the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, early Maori settlers abandoned sovereignty to British invaders, and European settlers surged in.
70 percent of Kiwis, a nickname for New Zealanders named after a local flightless bird, are of European heritage today. As homeland grievances get more openly addressed, a sense of pride has risen among the Maori, the country’s initial immigrants who now make for around 14% of the population.
Since its independence in 1907, New Zealand has operated under an independent parliamentary democracy led by a prime minister, despite the fact that the British queen remains the country’s head of state. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern became the world’s youngest female leader after leading the progressive Labour Party to victory in 2017.
The north island is home to the majority of New Zealand’s inhabitants, with Auckland alone accounting for roughly a third of the country’s population. However, the country’s low population density and dispersed population allow for undisturbed exploration of the country’s spectacular mountains and gorgeous beaches made famous by the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy films.
In the decades following independence, New Zealand experienced remarkable growth and transformation. Beyond the United Kingdom, the export market for dairy, sheep, cattle, poultry, fruit, vegetables, and wine was opened, and manufacturing and tourism were expanded. Per capita income continues to be high, and education spending as a percentage of GDP is among the highest in the world.
New Zealand also offers many path to business people looking to relocate to its shores. There are New Zealand Entrepreneur Visas and the New Zealand Investor Visa
Switzerland is a small country in Central Europe with 16,000 square miles of glacier-carved Alps, lakes, and valleys. It is officially known as the Swiss Confederation. It is one of the world’s wealthiest countries, and its neutrality has been well-known for ages.
In 1291, the Swiss Confederation was formed as a defensive alliance between cantons. The Confederation broke away from the Holy Roman Empire in 1499. A new constitution, ratified in 1848, transformed the Confederacy into a centralized federal government, bringing an end to a period of struggle. Since then, the country has experienced relative peace.
According to the CIA World Factbook, Switzerland has low unemployment, a skilled work force, and one of the greatest gross domestic products per capita in the world. Low corporate tax rates, a well-developed service sector driven by financial services, and a high-tech manufacturing industry all contribute to the country’s strong economy.
Relocating to Switzerland is not hard, but not easy either. To gain residency, you first need to get approval from one of the canton, before applying for a permit at the Federal level. There is the Rentier path (show stable income) and the self-employed path.
Canada is the world’s second-largest country after Russia, occupying roughly two-fifths of the North American continent. The country is thinly inhabited, with the majority of its inhabitants living within 125 miles of the US border. Canada’s vast northern wilderness, as well as the country’s reputation for accepting immigration, play important roles in Canadian identity.
European exploration surged in the 1500s, despite the Norse briefly settling in Canada around the 10th century. France and the United Kingdom competed for control of the region, with the British establishing their dominance in 1763. Until 1867, the country was a collection of British colonies before becoming a self-governing dominion.
Canadians take pleasure in encouraging all of their inhabitants to respect and celebrate their respective cultures. Canada enacted a national multiculturalism policy in 1971, which embraces the country’s variety. At the same time, Canada works to improve indigenous peoples’ conditions and those in Quebec, which is primarily French-speaking. While constitutional safeguards give the province broad cultural and linguistic autonomy, the Province of Quebec is often viewed as a separate entity.
There is a lengthy list of accomplished and diverse Canadian writers and artists. Canadians such as Joni Mitchell, Avril Lavigne, and Drake are just a handful of the artists who have made an impact on modern music.
Canada is very open to immigration and many Americans have moved there in the last few years. To relocate to Canada, you can apply to the Federal program or the Provincial Nominee Programs. For business people, there are many choices such as the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program, the Canada Federal Startup Visa and the many PNP Entrepreneur programs.
The Netherlands, located on the outskirts of Western Europe, is a coastal plain dotted with windmills, a sign of its growth around the sea. The Rhine, Meuse, and Schelde are three significant European rivers that flow through Germany and Belgium and into the country’s busy ports.
After years of Spanish and then French domination, the Kingdom of the Netherlands was established in 1815. The Dutch Antilles, a group of Caribbean Island territories, were disbanded in 2010, however Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten remain constituent countries within the Kingdom.
The people of the Netherlands, known as Dutch, have long been known for their tolerance, yet certain politicians are increasingly raising concerns about immigration. The country was the first to allow same-sex marriage in 2001, and it has liberal views on drugs, prostitution, euthanasia, and abortion. The country also has the world’s highest concentration of museums. Rembrandt and Van Gogh, as well as the microscope, telescope, and thermometer, were all born there.
The highly populated nation is connected by more than 1,000 bridges and 20,000 miles of bike paths, with the majority of residents concentrated in the Randstad, a collection of cities along the coast. Much of the country is submerged, and the 60 million passengers that pass through Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport each year arrive at a depth of more than a dozen feet below sea level.
To gain residency in Netherlands, you can apply to the Netherlands Startup Visa or Netherland self-employed program. The later has a facilitated process for Americans.
Austria is a high-income, culturally diverse parliamentary democracy that is home to a number of important international organizations. The contemporary Austrian state, which is located in the heart of Central Europe, was shaped by the two world wars of the twentieth century.
Austria’s current tiny size belies its history as a European power that lasted for centuries under the Habsburg dynasty’s dominance. Following the defeat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, that era came to an end. Austria became a republic, which lasted until 1938, when it was overrun by Nazi Germany. Following Germany’s defeat in World War II, Austria re-established itself as an independent republic, promising to remain neutral on the international stage in a Cold War-era treaty.
The country has a long history of serving as a cultural crossroads for the continent. Vienna, the country’s capital, became the epicenter of classical music innovation in Europe. Many famous composers were born in Vienna, including Franz Schubert and Johann Strauss, and Ludwig van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart spent much of their careers there.
To relocate to Austria you can apply under the Startup Visa or the No Work Allowed category which is only require you to demonstrate your ability to financially support yourself. You will not be able to find employment in Austria, but that doesn’t stop you from managing your assets.