Packing up and heading to another city or country to start again is a major life change, especially when the whole family is involved. While you may be filled with worries and doubt, the fact remains that some places offer a better quality of life than others. With that in mind, a new study has revealed the best places to move to with your family in 2020.

Family on a balcony
The study looked at 150 cities around the world © Mariana Alija

Conducted by Movinga, the Cities of Opportunity study looked at the different needs of both parents and children when it comes to starting in a new city, analysing the best destinations for various opportunities such as education, employment, romance and starting a new business. In total, it considered 16 different factors, and studied 150 international cities against them. They included family-friendliness, neighbourhood safety, mobility, living costs by income, healthcare and paid parental leave days.

It included opinions of families who experience the cities themselves, with two additional surveys of parents in each location being commissioned as part of it. The first asked parents how they felt about their children’s safety in the community, and the second if they believed that their city was a good place for families. Finally, the study looked at the attractiveness of a city’s family-oriented leisure activities. 

Top-down view of streets, multi-colored rooftops and inner courtyards of old residential buildings in downtown Helsinki
Helsinki came out on top in the study © Miemo Penttinen -

The Scandinavian countries dominated the list. Topping the study was Helsinki in Finland, which earned big points for the number of paid parental leave days, education and safety. In second place was Québec, Canada, followed by Oslo in Norway, Munich in Germany, Copenhagen in Denmark, Stockholm in Sweden, Reykjavík in Iceland, Calgary and Montreal in Canada and Gothenburg in Sweden.

Questions in the parent survey on neighbourhood safety focused on the degree to which local parents in each city find their community to be a safe place to raise children. Ten-thousand parents with children between the ages of seven and nine across all cities were asked how comfortable they would be with letting their kids go to the corner shop alone. 

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