Raising a family is one of the most fulfilling things a person can do, but it can also be tricky. Keeping your kids happy and healthy is no small task, and parents will often need all the help they can get to make their lives a little easier.
But what happens when the very location that you’re living in is making things difficult? Online price comparison site MoneySuperMarket have created the Family Living Index, which gives parents insight into how suitable the major cities in the UK are for raising a family.
The annual 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 – matching year-on-year data to analyse movements in the index.
So which cities excelled? Below are the top five family-friendly cities, and why.
Top five family-friendly cities
1. Bath – Bath jumped four places to grab the top spot, seeing improvement across almost all categories and a rise in the average salary at £34,686 – notably higher than the national average at £31,966.
2. Newcastle – Last year’s top spot, Newcastle dropped into second place despite posting strong results across almost all categories including an increase in disposable income at £19,190 on average. The demotion is in part due to the city seeing a reduction in job opportunities.
3. Wolverhampton – This year Wolverhampton scores highly on jobs and affordable housing, with an average house price of £141,458. However, it missed out on the top two spots due to a lack of local parks.
4. Manchester – Schools and income improvements, alongside a significant reduction in burglary rates, saw Manchester jump 12 places into the top five.
5. Swansea – The welsh city scraped into the top five thanks to the highest park score of all cities analysed per 100,000 capita. Additionally, Swansea also saw an increase in the average household disposable income to £15,604.
Whilst plenty of cities made strides towards becoming family friendly environments, there were a few that didn’t. Below are five least family friendly cities in the UK.
1. London – Sky high property prices sees the capital feature in the bottom of the list for the second year in a row, despite high income and the well performing schools.
2. Kingston upon Hull – 2017’s city of culture came second-from-last despite a 7 per cent drop in content theft claims. Hull scored particularly low on job opportunities, with a 20 per cent increase in available jobs year-on-year.
3. Bristol – This year Bristol saw a decline in job opportunities and outstanding schools – combined with being the fifth most expensive city to purchase a home.
4. Leicester – Leicester saw the biggest decline against all metrics from the cities analysed, including a 9 per cent increase in content theft rates.
5. Brighton and Hove – The picturesque seaside town saw a 7 per cent rise in property costs, with the average property at £361,075 compared to the national average at £191,590.
So how does your city match up? You can take a look at the entire Family Living Index here – https://www.moneysupermarket.com/life-insurance/best-family-cities/