This is the Best City in the World to Raise a Family

This city's family-friendly perks include generous paid parental leave, high-quality education and excellent healthcare.

Aerial view of Helsinki, FinlandPhoto: Shutterstock

According to the latest research, this is the best city to raise a family

Exactly what makes a city “family-friendly”? Although it’s hard to pin down exactly what gives a city that unmistakable “good vibe,” there are certain criteria that can be measured—criteria that make a city a stable, supportive and healthy place to raise a family.

According to new research by Berlin-based relocation company Movinga, that city is none other than Helsinki, Finland. The Nordic capital earned top billing as the best city to raise a family thanks to its generous paid parental leave, high-quality education and excellent healthcare. Helsinki also routinely rates high on lists of the world’s most liveable cities.

“In the last decades some cities have shown impressive initiative in developing family infrastructure and increasing their family-friendliness,” said Marta Blanco Amez, VP of Marketing at Movinga, in a press release. “Helsinki, for example, is known as a fun place to take children during the winter holiday period, however many may not be aware of the extensive government support systems available to local families.”

One-hundred-and-fifty countries were reviewed in Movinga’s study, which ranked them based on general affordability, housing, education, employment rates, paid parental leave and whether a city is inclusive for same-sex parents. Three Canadian cities were included in the top 10: Quebec City (#2), Calgary (#8) and Montreal (#9). (Check out how the results compare to Reader’s Digest’s own rankings of the best places in Canada to raise a family.) Oslo, Munich, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Reykjavik and Gothenburg rounded out Movinga’s top 10.

Although the following cities were shut out of the top 10, they did earn top marks on certain criteria:

  • Singapore received the highest “safety” score in Movinga’s study.
  • Honolulu, Portland and Colorado Springs received the highest scores in the study’s “air quality” category.
  • New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco received the highest scores in the study’s “kids’ activities” category.

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