Australia is the third most expensive country in the world, but is still one of the best places to raise a family, according to new research.
The US was the most expensive country, followed by New Zealand in second with Australia just behind in third, according to the ‘Raising a Family Index’ published on Tuesday.
Australia had a cost index of -77.38 and an ‘F’ score, which was just behind NZ’s index of -71.73 and considerably far behind the US’s very poor result of -124.45.
The least expensive countries to raise children were dominated by Nordic countries with Sweden coming out on top, Norway in second, Iceland in third, Luxembourg in fourth and Denmark in fifth.
While Australians spent 36.64 per cent of of their income on child care, Swedes spent just 4.10 per cent.
Countries that were cheaper to raise children had higher levels of public spending on family benefits and lower levels of private spending on education.
Swedes spend just 0.18 per cent of their income on private education while Australians spend considerably more at two per cent.
While Australians spend a lot of money on child care and education, it was still ranked third best for education.
The nation had a high enrolment rate of 90 per cent for students aged 15 to 19 and a rate of 55.6 per cent for students aged 20 to 24.
Overall in education, Australia scored an A and an index of 472.33. It was only beaten out by Slovenia in first and Netherlands in second.
By comparison, Slovenia had an education index of 484.42 and an ‘A plus’ score. It also had higher enrolment rates and a better mathematics performance.
Australia’s high education score solidifies its place as a prime destination for international students to learn.
Australia came fifth place for health, with an ‘A minus’ rating and an index of -45.50.
Again, it was beaten out by northern European countries, with Finland in first, Iceland second, Norway third and Sweden fourth.
The study also ranked 35 of the world’s wealthy economies in the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development by their overall score for raising a family.
Overall, Australia came in the the 14th position, putting it in the top 40 per cent of the 35 countries.
Other than spending, it included five other factors such as safety, happiness, health, education and spare time to spend with family.
Australia had an ‘A’ for education, an ‘A minus’ for health, a ‘B plus’ for happiness, a ‘B’ for safety, a ‘C’ for spare time and an ‘F’ for cost.
In total, Australia was given a ‘B’ and a 727.45 for the raising a family index.
By comparison, the best overall country to raise a family was once again again a Nordic country, Iceland, which had an ‘A plus’ and a 1093.07 index.
The US was ranked 34 out of 35 in a comparison of the world’s biggest economies, scoring three ‘F’ grades for safety, cost of living and work-life balance, a ‘D minus’ for health, and a ‘C+’ for happiness and education.
Overall, it was given an ‘F’ grade for raising a family, with only Mexico coming out worse.
Britain, meanwhile, was given a ‘B minus’ rating, ranking it 23rd, with scores including a ‘D minus’ for work-life balance and an ‘F’ for cost of living.
It scored average for health (C) and education (C+) but better for happiness (A) and safety (B).