We all want the very best for our children; a healthy diet, countless opportunities and an enriched life. However, we are bound to run into some limitations for this depending on the location and environment in which we raise our families.

So, where in the world should we be living in order to give our children the best possible chance in life? CIA Landlord Insurance have done a little research into the healthiest cities around the world. And when we talk about somewhere being healthy, we don’t mean how affordable their salads are or the number of gyms per square metre. We’re talking about a city’s complete physical, mental and social wellbeing. A healthy city is somewhere safe and sustainable and that offers fair opportunities for all.

The top 10 list

  1. Helsinki (Finland)
  2. Oslo (Norway)
  3. Bern (Switzerland)
  4. Wellington (New Zealand)
  5. Reykjavik (Iceland)
  6. Stockholm (Sweden)
  7. Ottawa (Canada)
  8. Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  9. Copenhagen (Denmark)
  10. Dublin (Ireland)

This list was put together by analysing the cost of rent, cost of childcare and bills, their crime rates, pollution levels, quality of life and the number of schools and attractions. It’s not surprising to see that Scandinavian cities dominate the top ten list, with Helsinki taking the top spot as the healthiest city to raise a family. 

The Scandinavian way of life

Helsinki has a high happiness index rating of 7.8 out of 10, alongside a low crime rate of 23 out of 100. Its childcare also ranks as one of the cheapest in the study at £202 per month. Scandinavian countries as a whole are renowned for having a happy and healthy quality of life, boasting free education and healthcare, low crime rates and a relatively homogeneous population. The Scandinavian concept of ‘Hygge’ has even become a widespread phenomenon, leading the way in wholesome and contented living, and their emphasis on family is evident. 

In fact, Scandinavian culture is so heavily focused around family life that many governments in Scandinavian countries offer up to 16 months of paid family leave after a baby’s birth or adoption. This allows parents to enjoy a life fulfilling their children instead of worrying about having to return to work at the first opportunity.

Another secret to the happiness of the Scandinavian population is their moderate approach to all things in life, from food to work. ‘Lagom’ is the idea of having ‘just the right amount’. Nothing is restricted, but nothing is consumed in excess. This is applied to all areas of life, providing a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle.

Whilst no British cities featured in the world’s top 10 healthiest cities to raise a family, they are all pretty close to home – with the exception of Wellington and Ottawa. There’s a lot to consider when deciding on the perfect place to raise a family, but choosing a healthy city will hopefully set your family up for a happy and prosperous future.