Spain top pick for expat kids’ health

The recent release of HSBC’s interactive Expat Explorer tool was good news for Spain, which expats gave top marks for children’s health.

The survey attributes this performance to a pleasant climate, which encourages kids to stay active by playing outside. 81% of expat kids in Spain spend more time playing outdoors than inside, the survey found, and a further 48% are spending less time playing video games than in their home country (compared to 21% overall).

This stands in sharp contrast to the worst performers: Qatar and the UK. The survey found only 10% of expat kids in UK play more sports than in their country of origin – in Qatar 39% of kids were playing more videogames. These trends, too, could well be connected to the weather. Excessively hot summers drive Gulf expats to seek the relative comfort of air conditioning, while the UK’s weather has a reputation for gloom (to say the least).

Still, it’s certainly not weather that has expat kids in Spain eating less junk food. HSBC’s data ranks Spain fourth in that category, the US dead last at 14th. Spain was also rated highly in terms of overall healthcare, coming in fifth.