Research from price comparison experts Money Guru has uncovered the top 10 best countries to be a parent. You’ll be glad to hear that the UK came in at position 6.
By analysing essential criteria Money Guru have calculated a score per country based on their performance in each area. The results have revealed the best places to be a parent and raise a child. Money Guru’s data was compiled from a number of sources to create a score per country. They allocated points to each country, anywhere from 0 – 193 (the total number of countries), based on their performance for each criteria point. The higher the score, the better the overall total.
- Maternity & Paternity time off
- Gender pay gap
- Job protection through maternity
- Unemployment rate
- Quality of education
- Benefits available for childcare & school costs
- Financial assistance for low income families (2 pre-school aged children)
- Average annual income (household)
- Percentage of annual wage spent on food (Family of 4)
- Parental leave for child’s everyday health needs
- Average number of children per woman (2015) (no score given as this skewed the data massively and can be attributed in large part to cultural difference.)
The two top spots were claimed by Scandinavian countries renowned for their consistently high quality of life, Iceland and Norway.
Both offer a good level of maternity leave (26 – 51.9 weeks) as well as over 14 weeks of paternity leave.
These countries offer benefits that continue throughout a child’s development, with paid leave available for both parents to take care of everyday health requirements.
Relatively low levels of unemployment mean that there’s a good level of financial stability too.
The UK was pipped to a spot in the top 5 by Switzerland, who scored well on having a low unemployment level and a good education system as well as an average annual income of over £60,000. The UK picked up points for providing unpaid leave for both parents and the opportunity for fathers to take up 14 weeks paternity leave. And despite recent uproar over the gender pay gap in Britain, they’re still better than most, coming in at number 15 out of 193 countries.
UK vs. USA
The UK is leading the way in affairs concerning maternity and paternity. In fact they mirror Norway, the top country on Money Guru’s list of the best places to be a parent. The US however, still has a long way to go. They offer no paid leave for new mothers or fathers and with no paid maternal leave, that means no job protection for women either.
Of course, there are many more factors to consider when choosing where to raise a family, but it’s interesting to see what your desired place offers in comparison with other countries. It’s clear however, that when both children and parents have more opportunities, they’re likely to have a happier and more content life.