- Copenhagen, Denmark was ranked the best city in the world for families, according to Homeday’s Best Cities for Families Index 2017.
- The Nordic capital boasts affordable housing, high levels of safety, and some of the happiest people on Earth.
- The first US city to make the list is Seattle, Washington, which came in 31st.
If you want the best life for your family and children, it might help to start learning Danish.
According to the Best Cities for Families Index of 2017, created by real estate company Homeday, Copenhagen, Denmark leads the world’s cities as the best for families.
Homeday took 16 factors into account to produce its rankings, including measures for education, housing, safety, unemployment, kid-friendliness, healthcare, and general happiness.
1. Copenhagen, Denmark
2. Oslo, Norway
3. Zurich, Switzerland
4. Stockholm, Sweden
5. Hamburg, Germany
6. Vancouver, Canada
7. Basel, Switzerland
8. Toronto, Canada
9. Stuttgart, Germany
10. Munich, Germany
11. Lausanne, Switzerland
12. Vienna, Austria
Consistency wins out, while the US gives a lukewarm showing
The fact that the top five includes three Nordic countries shouldn’t come as a surprise. Many of the factors in Homeday’s rankings reward aspects of social welfare that Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have sought to strengthen for decades. Each of the three capital cities routinely appears in other rankings of quality of life, education, and healthcare.
Homeday standardised each metric out of a score of 10, so the highest-performing city in each category became the benchmark. Oslo earned a 10 for happiness, and Stockholm earned a 10 for healthcare.
Copenhagen didn’t earn any first place rankings individually; however, it was the consistently high rankings that pushed it to the top. Less-family-friendly cities did poorly because their scores fluctuated from one ranking to the next. Stuttgart received a 10 in the green spaces category but placed 9th due partly to a 3.64 in transportation and 4.18 in kid-friendly airports.
American cities don’t appear on Homeday’s list inside the top 30. Seattle, Washington placed 31st; Houston, Texas came 35th; and Boston, Massachusetts came 36th. Since the US is only one of four countries without nationally mandated parental leave, all three cities earned a 1 in that category.