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03 June, 2022

The best countries to live with children in 2022 according to the UN

UNICEF — the United Nations Children's Fund — assessed the living conditions of children in 43 countries of the European Union and the Organization for Economic Co‑operation and Development, or OECD. The Places and Spaces study is being conducted for the 17th year in a row, the results are published on the foundation's website.

Rating of countries with the best environment for living with children
Photo: Adobe Stock

UNICEF analyzed the quality of housing and city dwellers, the level of education and the environmental situation in consumer countries and the OECD. Of these, four countries did not make it into the ranking: the weather, Mexico and Luxembourg were low, information about Colombia was not enough for research.

To compile the Places and Spaces rating, UNICEF experts evaluated the states according to various indicators in three categories — "The world for the child", "The world around the child" and "The world as a whole". Checked:

  • water and air quality;
  • condition of children's centers, green and pedestrian zones;
  • the quality of housing and public transport;
  • climate change;
  • conscious consumption of natural resources.

The scores were given on a scale from 1 to 39 for each category: the better the score, the lower the score. The countries with the lowest average score won. 

Top 10 safest countries to live with children

10 Sweden
9 Germany 
8 Slovenia 
7 Iceland
6 Italy
5 Finland
4 Cyprus
3 Portugal
2 Ireland
1 Spain 

Spain ranked first and received high scores of 8 to 13 in all categories. 99.5% of the country's tap water is safe to drink. The government also regulates noise pollution and car emissions.

Spain has the fifth largest economy in the EU and one of the cleanest air. The country ranks among the top ten countries with the best health care: more than 95% of children are in good health. This is the data provided by Eurostat.

Ireland came second in the ranking. There are more educated people living in the country: many children start school at the age of four. Education in the country is free and compulsory for children aged 6 to 16.

Portugal took third place. The country thinks about how technological progress affects the environment, and strives for carbon neutrality, for example, switching to electric transport.

Portugal is the fourth most secure country in the world and the first in terms of economic growth in the European Union. The Portuguese city of Funchal is recognized as the best for raising children in Europe in 2022. According to the educational platform Preply, Funchal has a low crime rate and quality education.

Cyprus was ranked fourth. The island has one of the warmest climates in Europe, with 320 days of sunshine a year. Most of Cyprus' beaches are ideal for children: the water is clear, the descent is gentle and there are toilets on site. The island has many amusement parks: aquariums, water parks and even a donkey farm.

How to get a residence permit or citizenship in the countries from the ranking

In five countries from the UNICEF rating, there are residence permit investment programs for investors and financially independent persons. The programs provide for one or more options: for example, buying real estate or bonds, investing in a business or the country's cultural heritage. 

Countries from the Places and Spaces ranking with investment programs

3 PortugalResidence permit for investmentFrom €250,000 
4 CyprusPermanent residence by investmentFrom €300,000 
19 AustriaResidence permit for financially independent personsFrom €100,000 
26 GreeceResidence permit for investmentFrom €250,000 
29 MaltaResidence permit for investment

Permanent residence by investment
From €30,000

From €150,000  

The EU residence permit allows one to stay, work and study in the country of residence and to travel visa-free through the Schengen area.

Malta also grants citizenship by naturalization on merit based on direct investment. The investor first receives a residence permit in Malta, passes a strict due diligence check. If his candidacy is approved, then 1 or 3 years after the residence permit, you can invest in a Maltese meeting from €690,000 and apply for citizenship.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent that helps investors to obtain a residence permit or citizenship in Europe for investment. If you want to become a resident of a European country, please contact program investment experts for advice.

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The best countries to live with children in 2022 according to the UN