10 of the Best Cities for Starting a Family: South Korea, Norway, and More
- Reykjavík, IcelandReykjavík, Iceland
- Kyoto, JapanKyoto, Japan
- Tallinn, EstoniaTallinn, Estonia
- Helsinki, FinlandHelsinki, Finland
- Fukuoka, JapanFukuoka, Japan
- Oslo, NorwayOslo, Norway
- Copenhagen, DenmarkCopenhagen, Denmark
- Chiba, JapanChiba, Japan
- Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
- Seoul, South KoreaSeoul, South Korea
The stresses of starting a family can be endless, yet these cities might make it easier for you, as a recent study suggests
There are many reasons why new parents should consider the place where their kids would grow up. While having a baby can be exciting, it can also bring a new variety of stress like looking for the best health insurance, medical care, affordable housing, and whatnot.
Worries are inevitable but there are cities that make things easier for new parents. A study conducted by expat insurance agency William Russell ranked and analysed 50 global cities for a number of factors including maternity and paternity leave, pre-school costs, healthcare, and safety.
Here are the agency's top 10:
Reykjavik in Iceland ranked first with a pregnancy-friendly score of 7.28 in William Russel's study. Besides having a beautiful environment, the city also offers easy access to early childhood education and care services that allow new parents to find the support they need for their newborns.
In second place is Kyoto, Japan with a score of 7.25, it’s one of two Japanese cities to make the top five. There are a couple of factors where Kyoto proves itself, such as the length of paid paternity leave available for fathers, an impressive total of 52 weeks.
Tallinn in Estonia has taken third place with a score of 7.24. With a total of 166 weeks of paid maternity leave available to mothers, Estonia’s capital, Tallinn stands head and shoulders above the rest of the cities in terms of maternity leave.
High pollution levels can be detrimental to health, so for many new and expecting parents, this is a top concern when deciding where to call home. Finland’s capital of Helsinki offers a great place to live with the lowest pollution index score.
With a score of 7.23, Helsinki in Finland took fourth place.
Fukuoka in Japan scored 7.10. According to the expat insurance agency, this place ranked fourth in the safest cities around the globe. The first is Kyoto with the highest safety index score of 87.67.
More from Tatler: Architectural Marvels: 7 Places To Visit In Japan
The picturesque city of Oslo, Norway is not the only reason why the city ranked sixth in the study. It offers 91 weeks of maternity leaves and 10 weeks of paternity leaves, giving both parents a total of 101 paid leaves.
Oslo scored 7.07 in William Russell's analysis.
Copenhagen in Denmark scored 6.98; the city offers a scenic environment, 50 weeks of maternity leaves, and two weeks of paternity leaves. All in all, new parents in this area get 52 total paid leaves.
Read more: Giving Birth During The COVID-19 Pandemic
Chiba, Japan ranked eighth with a score of 6.93. The city offers up to 58 weeks of maternity leaves and 52 paternity leaves leaving both parents a total of 110 total paid leaves.
With a score of 6.76, Tokyo in Japan ranked second to the last. The place offers 58 weeks of leaves for mothers, while fathers get 52. All in all, both partners get 110 weeks of paid leaves.
Seoul, South Korea
South Korea is one of the few places in the world where culture is very much alive. Its capital, Seoul, ranked 10th with a score of 6.71. The city offers 64.9 weeks of leaves for mothers while fathers get 52.6 weeks. Together, the couple gets 117.5 weeks of paid leaves.