Israel the Fourth-Best Place to Raise a Family, Survey Finds

Israel has ranked the fourth-best place to raise a family, in a poll conducted by the InterNations expat networking service.

The Family Life Index ranks 41 countries according a variety of factors, including availability of childcare and education, costs of childcare and education, quality of education, family well-being, childcare and education options, and leisure activities for children.

To be included in the survey, each country needed more than 30 respondents raising families abroad who rated the above factors on a scale of one to seven.

It is part of the wider 2015 InterNations Survey, which includes some 14,400 expats from 170 different states living in 64 different countries.

Israel was topped in the overall Family Life ranking only by Austria, Finland and Sweden – who took first, second and third place respectively.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the favorable rankings, expats who moved to Israel were more likely than most to have done so in search of "greener pastures," the poll found.

Israel also did well in other sections of the survey.

Expats living in Israel ranked 11th in terms of personal happiness and 15th in overall "quality of life." 

Travel and transportation in Israel did not rank as highly, however, at 26th place. Expats in Israel also found it more difficult than many others to settle in initially, ranking 31st in the "Ease of Settling In" category, and with 40% saying they suffered from "culture shock" upon first arriving.

However, their children tended to integrate fastest. According to the survey: "Expat parents living in Israel (58%) are most likely to say their kids speak the local language very well."

The Jewish state did particularly well in the subcategory of "Family Well-Being," ranking third after Australia and Austria.

The results are all the more intriguing given that expats living in Israel work the 5th-longest work-week (47.9 hours), but rank among the worst in terms of personal finances (62nd place – above only Finland and Greece) and cost of living (61st place, above Brazil, Nigeria and Mozambique). 34% said their income had decreased since moving to the country.

But Israel's family-orientated and child-friendly culture trumped those considerations, apparently.

Romance may also be the answer: Israel ranked fourth place in the "Top Destinations for Romance" section, despite a large proportion being in a relationship with another expat, as opposed to a local resident.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/200080

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