When starting a family, there are a mind boggling number of factors to take into account. Financial implications, career breaks and local amenities are just a handful of things to consider when creating the ideal family environment.
The city you choose to raise your family in has a direct knock on effect on all of these factors. Soaring house prices are one of the top considerations driving families away. According to research from the Office for National Statistics, houses in London are a colossal 13 times higher than the average first time buyers salary. The result of which is many parents turning their attention to alternative, more affordable cities to raise their blossoming families within.
Parents are increasingly searching for ways to achieve a healthier work life balance, and the city you reside within is an instrumental component. Recent research conducted by YouGov found that a mere 6% of people in the UK work a 9-5 job, partially being put down to parents preferring to be increasingly flexible to fit work around their family lives. Along with working flexibly, in their downtime parents want to be in close proximity to outdoor areas and parks, for potential family socialising. Having both child-friendly amenities and ample job opportunities can be a tricky balance to achieve. According to an index created by Money Supermarket, a total of six different factors are taken into account when choosing the ideal family city. When combined, Bath made the top of the list, whilst Newcastle Upon Tyne came second and Wolverhampton third.
Within this feature, we would look to cover the following:
- House prices
• Work life balance
• Job opportunities
• Outstanding schools
The 3 best cities for blossoming families to relocate to
When it’s time to pack up and head out to build a life of your own, choosing the perfect location to put down roots can be at once exciting and a little daunting. Add a budding family into the mix, and the number of things you need to factor into your decision changes immeasurably. Naturally, you want your little clan to have access to the best opportunities and brightest possible future, so you’ll be looking at everything from job prospects and schools to access to green spaces, cost of living, quality of life, and healthcare as top priorities. With all this on your shoulders, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of variables in play and the sense of responsibility that comes with raising a family.
Where you choose to live can have a significant impact on achieving that balance, and Money Supermarket’s interactive index comes in pretty handy when you’re drawing up a shortlist. Every year, the index tots up the best places to raise a family in the UK, factoring in considerations like education, green spaces, average salaries, housing costs, career opportunities, and crime rates. Here the top three most family-friendly cities in the UK according to the list:
Graduating from second place to the top of the league tables this year, Bath is the place to be for families just starting out in the world. This beautiful, historic city saw marked improvements across almost every single factor, with average salaries coming in at around £4,000 higher than the national average to boot. It’s also worth noting that Bath has seen a boom in its local job market, recording an average of 14 jobs available per 100 capita—so you’ll be spoilt for choice in terms of job opportunities.
Housing prices in this UNESCO World Heritage site are generally higher than other cities on the index, but that’s something you’d expect from a place boasting such incredible architecture and high standard of living.
Packed with parks and surrounded by stunning National Trust sites, Bath is a nature-lover’s dream and offers countless options for families looking for the perfect day out.
The Toon is often hailed as the entertainment capital, but that doesn’t make Newcastle any less of a contender for young families looking to build a life up north. The city saw a significant increase in number of top-quality schools and average salaries on offer; this, on top of very affordable housing options in and around Newcastle, make Newcastle an incredibly attractive option financially.
If your idea of a great family day out involves exploring museums, watching a show, or hitting art exhibitions, you’re in luck: Newcastle boasts a whopping 10 theatres and 68 libraries per million inhabitants, and when it comes to music, you’re never far away from a live gig.
Newcastle is a major city, but it’s also bursting with lush parks that’ll offer respite from the hustle and bustle of day to day life. The city is home to more than 20 parks, including the idyllic Jesmond dene. Newcastle is also a short metro ride away from the breath-taking North Eastern coastline, making it easy for you to take your little ones to the seaside in the summer months.
As one of the friendliest places in the country, the city has seen some of biggest customer-facing companies in the world set up shop here. Virgin, Greggs, British Airways, HP, and Frank Recruitment Group are just some of the biggest employers in the city, so you’ll always have access to some fantastic sales and recruitment jobs, right here in Newcastle.
Wolverhampton is something of an up-and-comer on the list, with its fair share of regeneration projects making the city a great place for young families to get established before the rest of the UK catches on.
This city is ideal if job opportunities are number one on your list, especially if you’ve got that entrepreneurial spirit on your side. Wolverhampton has allocated over £3.7 billion to improvements all over the city, and that in itself has created loads of fresh roles in its already-robust job market. If you’re looking for a role in manufacturing, then you’ll be pleased to know that titans like Porsche, Jaguar, and Landrover have hubs here and regularly post job vacancies.
Cost of living is relatively low in Wolverhampton, with housing prices averaging somewhere in the region of £135,000. One of the biggest draws for young families has to be the city’s education offering, with over 85% of its schools consistently rated good or outstanding.