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Revealed: The most family friendly UK cities – and the worst!

Written by: Christina Hoghton
Bath is 2018’s best UK city to raise a family, according to Moneysupermarket.

The price comparison site analysed 35 of the UK’s biggest cities against key factors that impact family life, such as local school rankings, access to green space, likelihood of burglary, house prices, job opportunities and average salary.

Bath came out as the place to be for young families, overtaking last year’s hot spot Newcastle.

The level of ‘outstanding’ schools and job opportunities in the area helped the city climb the charts, with the highest score out of all cities analysed at 13.76 jobs per 100 people.

Newcastle dropped to second place despite strong results, including an improved crime rate, an increase in quality schools in the area and a rise in disposable income. It was a reduction in job availability that saw the northern city knocked off the top spot.

Despite being named one of the worst places to live in 2016, Wolverhampton held onto its third place position thanks to its increased level of ‘outstanding’ schools.

In fourth place is Manchester – one of the biggest movers in the Index, shooting up 12 places from 16th place in 2017 due to its vastly reduced crime rates.

What about the worst places?

At the other end of the scale, London continues to rank bottom of the list for families due to a higher crime rate, huge competition for school places and the nation’s highest average house prices of £484,172.

Kingston upon Hull, 2017’s city of culture, came second-from-last despite a 7% drop in content theft claims. It scored particularly low on job opportunities, with a 20% increase in available jobs year-on-year.

Bristol was third, seeing a decline in job opportunities and outstanding schools – combined with being the fifth most expensive city to purchase a home.

Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at Moneysupermarket, said: “Buying a family house is an exciting milestone and there are plenty of things to think about beyond the property itself, such as local amenities and other factors which contribute to the quality of family life.

“For example, parents with young children will want to find the right sort of neighbourhood. Schools are a huge priority, and many people move specifically to be in a particular catchment area – and that can be long before the children are due to start.”

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