Best cities for families in 2020 revealed and it's Helsinki that's top

Best cities for families in 2020 revealed: Helsinki ranks No1 out of 150, London a lowly 55th and Los Angeles is best for kids’ activities

  • Finnish capital handed the accolade after researchers analysed 150 cities 
  • They looked at 16 factors including paid parental leave and general affordability
  • Naples has the highest unemployment rate, Honolulu the best air quality 

Helsinki has been named the No1 city in the world for families in 2020, according to a new study.

The Finnish capital was handed the accolade after researchers analysed 150 cities and 16 factors including paid parental leave, high-quality education, healthcare, employment rates and general affordability. And parents living in each location were polled on what they think about where they live.

Quebec in Canada comes second in the ranking, Oslo third, and London a lowly 55th, while Los Angeles ranks top for kids’ activities.

Helsinki has been named the No1 city in the world for families in 2020, according to a new study 

Quebec in Canada comes second in the ranking. Pictured is the traditional slide descent by Chateau Frontenac

The rest of the overall top 10 comprises Munich (4th), Copenhagen (5th), Stockholm (6th), Reykjavik (7th), Calgary (8th), Montreal (9th) and Gothenburg in Sweden (10th).

The rest of the top 10 kids’ activities ranking comprises New York (2nd), San Francisco (3rd), London (4th), Istanbul (5th), Prague (6th), Moscow (7th), San Diego (8th), Athens (9th) and Chicago (10th).

The study, by relocation firm Movinga, also ranks cities for the number of days’ parental leave they offer.

Oslo ranks third for family living in comparison with 150 cities globally. The Norwegian capital was deemed to have the best healthcare in the world


1. Helsinki, Finland

2. Quebec, Canada

3. Oslo, Norway

4. Munich, Germany

5. Copenhagen, Denmark

6. Stockholm, Sweden

7. Reykjavik, Iceland

8. Calgary, Canada

9. Montreal, Canada

10. Gothenburg, Sweden

Source: Movinga 

Helsinki sits at the top of this table, too, with 1,190 days. It’s followed by Tallinn in Estonia (2nd, 1,176), Bratislava in the Slovak Republic (3rd, 1,148), Budapest in Hungary (4th, 1,127), Bucharest in Romania (5th, 887), Sofia in Bulgaria (6th, 790), Tokyo (7th, 770), Osaka (8th, 770), Prague (9th, 770) and Oslo (10th, 707).

London ranks 61 out of 150 in this list, with all U.S cities joint bottom – because they offer zero days of paid parental leave.

In the education ranking, it’s Singapore that takes the top spot on the podium, followed by Calgary (2nd), Vancouver (3rd), Quebec (4th), Montreal (5th), Tokyo (6th), Osaka (7th), Tallinn (8th), Toronto (9th) and Ottawa (10th).

London ranks 24th in this table.

Other findings include Essen in Germany having the most affordable housing, with Kuwait the least; Munich having the highest living cost, with Istanbul the lowest; Naples having the highest unemployment rate, with Doha in Qatar the lowest; Honolulu having the best air quality and Doha the worst, and Oslo the best healthcare and Buenos Aires the worst.

Marta Blanco Amez, VP of Marketing at Movinga, said: ‘In this globally-connected world, many people find themselves moving for study or work opportunities.

Los Angeles was voted best for children’s activities. Pictured is the beach in Santa Monica

London comes 55th overall, but comes a more respectable 4th in the kids’ activities ranking 


10 best cities for education   

1. Singapore, Singapore

2. Calgary, Canada

3. Vancouver, Canada

4. Quebec, Canada

5. Montreal, Canada

6. Tokyo, Japan

7. Osaka, Japan

8. Tallinn, Estonia

9. Toronto, Canada

10. Ottawa, Canada

10 best cities for kids’ activities  

1. Los Angeles, US

2. New York, US

3. San Francisco, US

4. London, UK

5. Istanbul, Turkey

6. Prague, Czechia

7. Moscow, Russia

8. San Diego, US

9. Athens, Greece

10. Chicago, US  

The 10 best cities for parental leave

1. Helsinki, Finland

2. Tallinn, Estonia

3. Bratislava, Slovak Republic

4. Budapest, Hungary

5. Bucharest, Romania

6. Sofia, Bulgaria

7. Tokyo, Japan

8. Osaka, Japan

9. Prague, Czechia

10. Oslo, Norway

The 10 worst cities for parental leave  

100. All US Cities*

99. Dubai, UAE

98. Doha, Qatar

97. Manama, Bahrain

96. Taipei, Taiwan

95. Kuwait City, Kuwait

94. Mexico City, Mexico

93. Buenos Aires, Argentina

92. Seoul, South Korea

91. Zurich, Switzerland 

Source: Movinga 


‘However, for those who already have or are thinking of starting a family, there are myriad factors to consider. From basic needs like finding the right doctors and schools, to more specific ones like childcare affordability and kids’ activities, moving a family requires a much greater deal of preparation.

‘Whether for a short-term change or seeking a more permanent situation, we hope that this index can be used as a benchmark for families looking to make their next move.’

For the survey parents were asked to indicate how they felt about their children’s safety in the community and if their city was a good place for families in general.


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