It goes without saying that one of the most exciting stages in life is settling down with your significant other and deciding to start a family. But with the current cost of living in the UK being so high, this isn’t as simple a decision as it maybe once was.

From the cost of childcare, to finding a home big enough to support a growing family, there’s a lot to consider if you want to provide your children with the best quality of life, which is why it might be tempting to start looking for your new home abroad in the hope of more affordable property and greener pastures.

So, to find out if it really is cheaper to start a new life across the channel, or if it’s a case of the grass just appearing greener on the other side, the team at Reassured collected a variety of data on different European cities to see which has the most to offer families.

Whether you’re on the lookout for an area with plenty of children’s activities, open parks, or lower rent prices, our index should have all the information you need to make an informed decision about which city to move to so you can comfortably begin the next stage of your life.

The top 20 family-friendly cities are as followed:

RankCityCountry3 bed + home rentalMonthly costs of a familyCrime rateNumber of parksPollution levelsMonthly cost of childcare
1ViennaAustria£1,356.69£2,794.0028.34416.5£223.14
2PragueCzech Republic£1,651.77£2,682.0024.610633.4£787.43
3RomeItaly£1,784.35£2,677.7052.114860.9£407.36
4HelsinkiFinland£1,552.38£2,894.6024.63613.3£272.64
5SalzburgAustria£1,364.22£3,183.1011.942318.75£391.20
6NurembergGermany£1,128.07£2,753.60362125£360.51
7InnsbruckAustria£1,568.18£2,992.1020.512427.27£488.74
8BergenNorway£1,505.85£3,584.3025.22519.29£245.59
9GalwayIreland£1,903.20£2,619.8031.558£728.96
10TriesteItaly£771.84£2,703.7026.82247.6£493.12
11ParisFrance£2,434.56£3,184.8057.430663.8£694.84
12ReykjavikIceland£2,128.86£3,792.7024.12914.3£205.61
13MunichGermany£2,090.33£3,031.6020.83225£636.18
14StockholmSweden£1,697.50£2,902.1045.53018.4£100.47
15HamburgGermany£1,484.87£2,885.7041.85328.4£292.07
16OsloNorway£1,675.17£3,480.1032.92321.5£246.19
17CopenhagenDenmark£2,258.16£3,433.9026.45521.2£429.06
18ArhusDenmark£1,726.50£3,326.0018.482629.17£551.79
19DelftNetherlands£1,424.22£2,701.5021.79827.27£1,136.31
20HanoverGermany£1,139.65£2,839.7043.1726.39£328.03

The best cities in Europe to raise a family

To begin with, let’s look at our data as a whole to see which European cities are best suited for new families moving abroad - with an overall score of 4.58 out of 5, Vienna in Austria is our top pick.

And it’s not hard to see why. With the rental cost of a three-bed home being a respectable £1,356.69 per month, a low crime rate of 28.3, and incredibly low pollution levels of just 16.5 (which was the 7th lowest on our list), Vienna has a lot to offer families.

Plus, all these are before you consider the fact the average cost of childcare per month is just £223.14. In contrast, the average monthly cost of childcare in London is a mammoth £1,599.49!

After Vienna, we have Prague in the Czech Republic, which boasts an astonishing 277 kids’ activities around the city - the fourth highest in our rankings.

Combine this with a slightly higher, but still affordable average childcare cost of £787.43 per month and 106 local parks dotted around the city and your children will have plenty of open space to enjoy themselves.

In third, we have Rome, which despite being a capital city, offers surprisingly low monthly family costs of £2,677.70.

For comparison, London, which came 69th in our rankings, has a monthly family cost of £3,712.10. Rome also boasts an astonishing 148 parks, and a low childcare cost of £407.36, letting you easily immerse yourself in its rich, Italian culture.

Finally, in fourth and fifth place, we have Helsinki, Finland, and Salzburg, again in Austria.

Both cities have low rental costs and crime rates at £1,552.38 and £1,364.22 per month and 24.6 and 11.94 respectively, as well as exceedingly low pollution levels at 13.3 and 18.75 each.

As for childcare, you can expect to pay a low £272.64 and £391.20 per month respectively.

Which European cities are the safest to raise a family?

As any parent will attest to, the safety of their children and partner are paramount, making the local crime rate a big factor to consider when deciding where to move.

So, if safety is your primary concern in your new home, then your first city of choice should be Salzburg in Austria.

Already taking our fifth spot overall, the historic city of Salzburg has an incredibly low crime rate of just 11.94 out of 100, with safety and local policing clearly being a major focus of the local government.

This is in stark contrast to other UK cities on our list, like Leeds and Liverpool, which have crime rates as high as 43.3 and 48.1 respectively. London has an overall crime rate of 54.1.

Of course, if Austria isn’t appealing to you, then you could always look at Zug in Switzerland or Leiden in the Netherlands, which also have very low crime rates of just 12.92 and 12.98 each.

In fact, Switzerland is home to some of the safest cities on the continent, with the areas of Lugano and Lucerne coming in fourth and fifth with continually low crime rates of 13.94 and 14.35.

Naturally, we also wouldn’t be able to talk about low crime rates in Europe without one of the Nordic countries making the cut.

Arhus, Denmark, has the lowest crime rate of all four Scandinavian countries, coming in at 13.94 out of 100, placing it sixth overall on our list for crime rates.

And last, but not least, we remain in central Europe for the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth cities on our list in terms of crime rate, with Bern (18.48), Switzerland, Innsbruck (19), Austria, Munich (20.51), Germany, and Zurich (20.8), again in Switzerland, filling up this final spots.

Which cities have the most child-friendly activities?

While safety and security are certainly important when raising a family, so too is making sure that there are enough activities in the local area to ensure your children have plenty to do once they’re finished at school. And that means finding a city with plenty of child-friendly activities.

Rome offers a quite frankly incredible 687 kids’ activities throughout the city. A number that dwarfs most other cities on our list.

Though not London it would seem, which came in second with an impressive 651 children’s activity options for you to choose from.

As for third, we have another new city, Paris, which offers its youth 464 different entertainment opportunities, followed up by Prague in fourth, which as we already mentioned, has an activity total of 277.

In fifth, we have Amsterdam, which boasts 221 activities for young and older children alike, which, like all five cities we’ve just mentioned, is to be expected of a country’s capital.

Which are the greenest European cities?

Finally, with safety and children’s entertainment out of the way, let’s wrap up our index by looking at the greenest locations in all of Europe. And if you want the city with the biggest number of parks, then look no further than Paris. Home to a staggering 306 parks throughout the city Paris has plenty of green space to offer new families.

In fact, the number of parks located in Paris is substantially higher than any other city on our index, with London coming in second place with 187, followed closely by Rome in third with 148.

Prague also makes an appearance again in this area, in fourth, thanks to its 106 parks, and in fifth we have Dublin, which is home to 84 green spaces.

However, what if you’re more concerned with pollution levels rather than the number of parks and wooded spaces a city has to offer? Well, in that case, you’re better off looking into cities like Galway, Ireland, which has a pollution rating of just 8 out of 100.

Alternatively, you could look at Zug and Bern, both cities in Switzerland which offer pollution rates as low as 8.33 and 10.71 respectively.

Or you might be interested in Helsinki, Finland or Enschede in the Netherlands, both of which have low ratings of 13.3 and 13.64 each.

Summary

So, with our index rounded up, you should now have a much better idea of which cities to consider if you’re planning to move abroad to raise your family.

However, there is more to consider besides childcare and rental costs. You also might want to think about life insurance to help protect your loved one’s financial future.

From family life insurance to over 50 plans, here at Reassured, we’re experts in helping you find suitable cover protection.

Please note, Reassured can only sell policies to UK residents and if you purchase a policy through Reassured it may not be valid if you move overseas.

Get in touch with our team today to see how we can help give you peace of mind where it matters most.

Methodology:

Reassured analyzed eight key factors most people consider when they’re choosing a place to start their family to reveal the most family-friendly cities in 2023 using weighted metrics for the average monthly cost of a three-bed home, average monthly costs, crime rate, number of parks, pollution levels, cost of childcare, and the number of kid’s activities.

Sources:

  • Three bed + home rental - https://www.numbeo.com/
  • Monthly costs for a family - https://www.numbeo.com/
  • Number of parks - https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/
  • Pollution levels - https://www.numbeo.com/
  • Cost of childcare - https://www.numbeo.com/
  • The number of child-friendly activities - https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/

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