In celebration of International Children’s Day and its new partnership with charity Hope for Children, leading fixed fee estate agent eMoov.co.uk, has identified which county in England offers the best proposition for those looking to settle down and start a family.

To celebrate International Children’s Day eMoov and Hope for Children ranked each of England’s counties based on four criteria.

Points were awarded on the affordability of the average house price, what percentage of pupils achieved level 4 and level 5 in their Key Stage 2 assessments, the average life expectancy of each county and the level of victim based crime.

The research found that Cumbria offered the best balance, with a score of 18.10 points. The county’s mix of affordable property, high level of education at Key Stage 2 level, good life expectancy and relatively low crime rate make it an attractive proposition for those looking to climb the ladder with the aim of starting a family.

Cumbria was joined by Derbyshire (17.29), Tyne and Wear (16.56), Lincolnshire (15.68) and Cheshire (15.12) as the top five best counties in which to get a foot on the ladder and start having children.

Unfortunately for those in the South, the higher price of property was the most influential factor, seeing the bottom five comprise of counties from the Midlands below. Despite being the jewel in England’s property crown, London scored an abysmal -36.8 points, making it the worst place in England to get on the ladder and start a family. Although London offers a wealth of outstanding educational institutes, its vastly inflated house price and much higher crime rate makes it the least attractive proposition.

The capital is closely followed by Surrey (-10.18), the West Midlands (-7.55), Oxfordshire (-5.45) and Bedfordshire (-4.60) as the worst counties in which to secure a property and raise a child.

International Children’s Day is a great opportunity to stop and think about a whole range of issues affecting children. We know from our work here in the UK that a child’s upbringing can have a significant impact on their well-being and this research clearly demonstrates the importance of this when planning for the future

Murielle Maupoint

CEO, Hope for Children

To mark International Children’s Day and our partnership with Hope for Children, we’ve identified which English county offers the best mix of affordable property price, good education, low crime rates and long life expectancy.

Buying a property tends to coincide with a number of life’s mile markers and settling down to start a family is often one of them.

Moving home and having a child are two very expensive endeavours and so finding the right balance between an affordable property, a good level of education and a safe environment in which to raise your child can be a task in itself. Often those looking to buy before starting a family are doing so with the aim of remaining at that property for quite some years to come, so getting it right can be of huge importance in terms of the quality of life you can provide your child.

Based on our research, Cumbria is the best bet for those considering a property purchase in order to plan for the future with children in mind

Russell Quirk

Founder & CEO, eMoov.co.uk

  • House Price Score:01% of the average house price subtracted from the total score.
  • Educational Score: Points awarded on the percentage of pupils that have achieved level 4+ in their KS2 assessment (half a point for every percentage point). Another half a point was then added for every percent of pupils that achieved level 5.
  • Life Expectancy Score: 15 points awarded for areas where the life expectancy is in the higher average bracket.
  • Crime Rate Score: Crime rate per 100 people was multiplied by 5 and then this number was subtracted from the overall points score.
  • Total Score: The total score demonstrates the best area for affordable housing, a good level of education, higher life expectancy and lower crime rates.
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