A new survey by MumAbroad.com has revealed that 49% of expat mothers living in Spain, France and Italy never plan to return to their home country to live, believing the quality of life on offer in their adopted nation is far better.

The questionnaire asked 650 mothers from the international expat community living in the four countries covered by the MumAbroad.com website. Most of them have children under 16-years-old.

Half of the respondents said that they had given birth in their adopted country, with 85% of them saying that the experience was a positive one. A lack of natural birth options and few midwives was cited as a negative, however. Over 30% of those surveyed also criticised the standard of education, children’s activities and children’s services in their adopted country.

“I’m happy I’m raising my daughter in Italy instead of the US,” Erica Firpo, who lives in Rome, told expat website, The Local. “In America, I feel there is ‘kids’ versus ‘adults’, where you’re treated like a child until aged 18, whereas here, I feel like kids are kids, there is no unnecessary infantilisation. Children, from birth, are encouraged to have their own personalities and to talk and have their voices heard.”

Carrie Frais, co-founder of MumAbroad.com, says: “We believe that we will see increasing numbers of ‘lifestyle migrants’ choosing to live in European countries which offer these benefits as travelling between different cities becomes easier and working remotely becomes more popular.”

Mum and daughter