Best places to raise a family revealed

Bad news for London

Newcastle upon Tyne is the UK’s best city to raise a family, according to Moneysupermarket’s new index.

The Family Living Index was created to guide parents – or soon to be parents – looking to futureproof their next move. As well as choosing where to raise their families, moving home is also a key life-stage decision, and is one of the most common moments for couples to take out life insurance to protect their family financially should anything unexpected happen.

The Index analysed 35 of the UK’s biggest cities against key factors that impact family life, including local school rankings, access to green space, likelihood of burglary, house prices, job opportunities and average salary.

Newcastle took the top spot due to the volume of ‘outstanding’ schools (28) and affordable housing in the area, with an average house price of £161,255 compared to the national average of £232,885. Crucially, it also has more green spaces than any other city examined – a fundamental consideration for families with young children.

Derby took second place, beating neighbouring Nottingham, thanks to the availability of affordable housing, career opportunities and a much higher rate of ‘outstanding’ schools. Wolverhampton, named fifth worst city in the world just eight years ago, was in third place, followed by Southampton and Bath.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, London comes bottom of the list for families due to a higher level of theft, huge competition for school places, and the nation’s highest average house prices at £483,803.

Top five family-friendly cities

1. Newcastle-Upon-Tyne - Newcastle had the most significant offering of ‘Outstanding’ schools (as rated by Ofsted), with 9.66 per every 100,000 capita, as well as affordable housing, at £161,255 on average for a house
2. Derby - Derby’s key selling point was one of the lowest average house prices on the list, at £148,437, but it also had a reasonable level of career opportunities (8.17 per 100,000 capita) and a low level of crime, at only 17.1 burglary claims for every 1,000 home insurance quotes
3. Wolverhampton - Wolverhampton scored highly on jobs and affordable housing, with an average house price of £135,108, but missed out on a place in the top two due to a limited number of local parks - only 7 in total or 2.77 per 100,000 capita - meaning children had fewer places to play
4. Southampton - Although Southampton was low on green space, with only 5.3 parks for every 100,000 residents, house prices were comparatively low at an average of £198,835, and crime was at the lower end of the scale at 13.6 burglary claims for every 1,000 home insurance quotes
5. Bath - Bath fared well when it came to crime, with only 9.6 burglary claims in every home insurance 1,000 quotes, but only made fifth position by having only 5.49 parks for every 100,000 residents, and a high average house price of £330,281

Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “Parents naturally want the best for their children, whether it’s a good school, a safe and leafy neighbourhood, or plenty of career opportunities when they grow up. Equally important is sorting out the family finances so they can make the most of their money – and that includes crucial purchases such as life insurance.

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