Pregnancy Places

The World's Best Cities For Expectant Parents

Having a baby can be an exciting time, but it can also bring with it a whole new variety of stress, especially if you’re living abroad. From sorting out your expat health insurance to finding the right medical care, there is so much to think about.

No matter where in the world you live, there are some stresses that are unavoidable. However, some cities make things easier for new parents than others. So, where are the best cities for expecting expats?

The Best Cities For Expectant Parents

Top 10

The Best Cities for New Parents

Score /10

The Best City for Parental Leave

Helsinki, Finland

170 weeks

combined paid leave

Taking time off when there’s a new addition to the family is important, allowing new parents to bond with their children and enjoy some relaxing family time. When we look at maternity and paternity leave combined, there are some places that offer far more than others.

While Helsinki tops the list, Seoul in South Korea also deserves a mention with the longest available paid paternity leave for fathers at 52.6 weeks.

The Best City for Access to Early Childhood Education and Care Services

Reykjavík, Iceland

59.7%

of children participating in formal early childhood education and care services

Early childhood education and care services can be incredibly important for families, with good access to these services allowing parents to find the support they need with their new additions. Access to these services varies across the globe, but where is access best?

The Best City for Childcare Costs

Berlin, Germany

€110.35 / $131.73 / £94.61

for monthly childcare costs

Childcare can be expensive, with many parents having to decide whether it is worth them returning to work. However, some cities offer low childcare costs, making it far more accessible to new parents.

The Best City for Fertility Rates

Antalya, Turkey

1.88

children for every woman

The fertility rate gives an idea of how many children are born in each place. This number refers to the number of children per woman in each country.

The Best City for Safety

Kyoto, Japan

87.67

safety index score

When considering where to live as a young family, the safety of the area is often an important concern. Kyoto offers a safe place to live, with the highest safety index score.

The Best City for Pollution

Helsinki, Finland

13.34

pollution index score

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.

The Best City for Healthcare

Nice, France

87.85

health care index score

Prenatal health care is a big concern for many expecting parents, as well as the quality of care offered during childbirth and beyond. For residents of Nice, France, this is something they can be confident about, with the city having the highest health care index score, meaning that this city offers an excellent quality of care.

The World's Best Cities For Expectant Parents

Ranked

Key Length of Paid Maternity/Paternity Leave Available to Mothers & Fathers (Weeks) Total Paid Leave for Parents Children(0-2 year olds) Participating in Formal Early Childhood Education and Care Services (%) Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child Fertility Rates (Total children/women) Safety Index (higher is better) Pollution Index (Lower is better) Healthcare Index (higher is better) Score /10
Best Score per Category
Worst Score per Category

City/ Country

Methodology:

We analysed 50 global cities on the following seven factors, giving each city a normalised score out of ten for each factor, before taking an average across all seven factors.

Maternity and paternity leave: taken from OECD data specifying the number of weeks available of paid leave for each parent.

Children participating in formal early childhood education and care services: taken from OECD data specifying the percentage of children aged 0-2 in these services.

Preschool costs: taken from Numbeo and referring to the monthly costs for one child to be in private preschool or kindergarten for full days.

Fertility rate: taken from OECD data specifying the total number of children that would be born to each woman if she were to live to the end of her child-bearing years and give birth to children in alignment with the prevailing age-specific fertility rates.

Safety index score: taken from Numbeo, combining a range of safety factors as submitted by users in the specified city, including the level of crime and individuals’ worry levels regarding crime.

Pollution index score: taken from Numbeo, combining a range of factors as submitted by users in the specified city, including air quality and water quality.

Health care index score: taken from Numbeo, combining a range of factors as submitted by users in the specified city, including the competency of medical staff and waiting times.