Sweden’s knocks Australia down the list of the best countries for families

We’re young and free, but short of filling our homes with flat-pack furniture, Australia has a little way to go to become the best country to raise a family – that title goes the home of Scandi-style, Sweden.

The Nordic nation is the world’s best country to raise kids, according to the 16,000 respondents who filled out surveys for the 2016 Best Countries rankings. People believe Sweden has the best record with regards to gender equality, safety and human rights.

The rankings, conducted by brand strategists BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, aim to gauge global perceptions of the world’s biggest economies in terms of specific attributes associated with countries.

Three kid family three

Countries seen to be the best for raising kids, including Denmark, Canada, the Netherlands and Australia, scored highest in a compilation of eight attributes: cares about human rights, family-friendly, gender equality, happy, income equality, safe and well-developed public education and health systems.

Pakistan and Iran are the least ideal countries to raise kids.

When Swedish parents Anna and Anders Brattström talked about taking jobs abroad, they worried they wouldn’t have the same supports enjoyed at home.

“It’s quite a privilege to raise a family in Sweden,” Anna tells US News. “If we were to move abroad either my husband or I wouldn’t be able to make a career.”

The top 10 countries for raising children:

1 Sweden

2 Denmark

3 Canada

4 Netherlands

5 Australia

6 New Zealand

7 Austria

8 Ireland

9 United Kingdom

10 Luxembourg

When it comes to providing support to young families, Sweden offers 480 days of paid parental leave, 60 of which are reserved for the father. The government provides a monthly allowance to parents per child and gives adults the right to reduce their working hours until their children turn eight, according to Sweden’s official website.

In Denmark 23 weeks of parental leave is offered (mothers are entitled to four weeks of leave before the due date), in Canada up to 17 weeks of leave is offered to new parents and in the Netherlands a maternity nurse will visit a new mum and baby each day for a week providing care and instruction.

Australian workers with a new baby are entitled to 18 weeks of paid parental leave at the national minimum wage.

(via US News)

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