England’s Best Regions to Raise Your Child Revealed

Raising a child is one of the most exciting, rewarding and admittedly daunting things you can do.  What can you do to ensure your baby has the best start in life?

With this in mind, we researched the best locations in England to raise a child.

We analysed indicators across six key areas including Ofsted ratings, crime rate, cost of childcare, average house price, amount of green space and air quality, to uncover England’s best city to raise your child.

The study revealed that the North East is the best overall area for raising a child. Read on to find out more.

Key Findings

  • The North East is the best place to raise your child
  • The South East ranks as worst on the list
  • London tops the Ofsted rankings
  • The North East has the lowest crime rate
  • The North East and East Midlands offer the cheapest childcare
  • The North East offers the most affordable housing
  • London has the most green space, with the North East in second place
  • The North West has the least pollution in the city centre
  • The South West has the highest recorded pollution levels

The North East is The Best Place to Raise Your Child

The North East was uncovered as the best place to raise a child, performing favourably in categories such as Ofsted school ratings, cost of childcare, crime rate, air pollution and average house price.

We found that the South East ranks as worst on the list, with low Ofsted ratings, high childcare costs, high house prices, limited access to green space and poor air quality.

London also performs poorly in many areas, with high crime rates, levels of air pollution, house prices and cost of childcare.

Read on for our full category-by-category breakdown of regions across the country.

Ofsted Ratings

Ranking

Place

Outstanding

Good

Requires 
Improvement

Inadequate

1st

London

31

62

6

2

2nd

South East

19

71

7

2

3rd

North West

21

67

9

3

4th

North East

20

67

10

4

5th

East of England

17

68

11

4

6th

West Midlands

17

66

12

5

7th

East Midlands

15

68

12

5

8th

South West

15

67

13

5

9th

Yorkshire and the Humber

16

66

13

5

 

London Tops The Ofsted Rankings

London came out on top with an excellent 31% of schools ranked as “outstanding” and 62% of schools ranked as “good”. The South East, North West and North East all perform comparably in Ofsted rankings, with the vast majority ranked as either “outstanding” or “good”.

Bottom of this list is Yorkshire and the Humber, with only 16% of schools ranked as “outstanding” and 13% of schools listed as “requires improvement”.

Crime Rate

Region:
Number of total recorded crimes (excluding fraud) during past 4 months:
North East
279,239
South West
379,481
East Midlands
401,338
North West
415,425
West Midlands
469,709
East of England
500,620
Yorkshire and the Humber
581,290
South East
731,732
London
912,487

 

The North East Has The Lowest Crime Rate

Government statistics on crime rates as reported in July of 2020 lists the North East as having by far the lowest number of recorded crimes out of any region, clearly leading in the category.

The region is known for having low crime rates and strong local communities, with a 2019 travel survey showing that visitors rated Newcastle the friendliest city in the UK and Government research showing that 84% of people in the North East chat to neighbours at least once a month. This region is clearly a winner in terms of community spirit and safety for your child.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, London is ranked as most crime-heavy according to Government records. The region displayed a clear lead in regards to the highest number of crimes committed, with 1 in 3 knife crimes in the UK occurring in the capital. Despite the high Ofsted ratings and opportunities of the capital, London has its drawbacks in regards to safety when choosing a location to raise your child.

 

Cost of Childcare

Child playing with playdough

 

Childminder
Average - £5.45
  1. London - £6.82
  2. South East - £6.50
  3. North West - £4.84
  4. South West - £4.51
  5. West Midlands - £4.31
  6. North East - £4.15
  7. East Midlands - £4.13
  8. Yorkshire and The Humber - £4.12
 
Babysitter
Average - £9.08
  1. London - £10.33
  2. South East - £8.99
  3. South West - £8.21
  4. North West - £7.98
  5. Yorkshire and The Humber - £7.89
  6. West Midlands - £7.85
  7. East Midlands - £7.55
  8. North East - £7.37
 
Nanny
Average - £10.43
  1. London - £11.11
  2. South East - £10.46
  3. North West - £9.68
  4. South West - £9.55
  5. West Midlands - £9.48
  6. Yorkshire and The Humber - £9.26
  7. East Midlands - £9.19
  8. North East - £8.85       
 
Nursery
Average - £4.95
  1. London - £6.47
  2. North East - £5.15
  3. South East - £5.03
  4. Yorkshire - £4.88
  5. North West - £4.87
  6. West Midlands - £4.74
  7. South West - £4.58
  8. East Midlands - £4.46

    The North East and East Midlands Offer the Cheapest Childcare

    Choose the North East or East Midlands for low-cost childcare. Nannies and babysitters are both cheapest in the North East, with the cost of a childminder also being significantly cheaper in the region than in other parts of the country. Meanwhile, the East Midlands is the lowest-cost area for nurseries and ranks #2 in the other categories for lowest childcare costs.

    Once again, London performs poorly here, with the most expensive childcare in all four categories, whilst the South East also ranks as expensive for childcare.

     

    Average House Price

    Region (lowest price to highest)

    Average House Price (January 2020)

    Monthly % change since December 2019

    North East

    £126,592

    -2.6

    North West

    £164,769

    -1.5

    Yorkshire and the Humber

    £165,383

    -0.9

    East Midlands

    £195,707

    -0.4

    West Midlands

    £200,628

    0.4

    South West

    £254,320

    -1.8

    East of England

    £286,999

    -2.2

    South East

    £320,700

    -1.2

    London

    £476,588

    -1.1


    The North East Offers The Most Affordable Housing

    Once more, the North East ranks first in this category. Government statistics show that the North East is currently by far the cheapest region in the country for housing, with the average house costing almost £40,000 less than in the North West, the next cheapest region.

    Other lower-cost regions for housing include the North West and Yorkshire.

    London is again the clear worst performer in this category, with average house prices almost half a million pounds, or 3.8 times more expensive than the average house in the North East.

     

    Access to Green Space

    Park during the summer

     

    Region

    Population not within a ten-minute walk of a green space

    London

    12,108

    North East

    88,682

    Yorkshire and the Humber

    182,248

    North West

    199,455

    East Midlands

    233,624

    West Midlands

    266,387

    East England

    329,846

    South East

    402,049

    South West

    418,097


    London Has The Most Green Spaces Followed by The North East in Second Place

    London comes out on top for nearby access to public green spaces such as parks and nature reserves. Only 12,108 people in the area lack access to one of these locations, meaning the vast majority of the populace has somewhere to bring the kids for some time outdoors.

    The importance of playtime outside has been proven to help children to develop physically and mentally as well as benefiting motor skills and spatial awareness; however, studies are showing that children today may be spending only half the time playing outside than their parents did. A UK government study discovered that 10% of respondents have not been in a natural setting such as a park or trip to the beach/countryside in more than a year.

    The North East comes second for access to green space; only 88,682 of the population cannot get to a public green space within a 10-minute walk, placing the area significantly ahead of the rest of the country and giving it a distinct advantage over the South West, where a staggering 418,097 of the population cannot access a park or other green area within a 10-minute walk.

     

    Air Quality

    Region

    Highest Polluted Location

    Rate

    South West

    Chideock Hill, West Dorset

    97.7

    Yorkshire & Humber

    Station Taxi Rank, Sheffield

    91.7

    South East

    North Street Clock Tower, Brighton

    90.8

    London

    Strand, City of Westminster

    88

    West Midlands

    St Chads, Birmingham

    74

    North East

    Blackett Street, Old Eldon Sq, Newcastle

    71.3

    East of England

    Bell Vue, Epping, Epping Forest 

    67.0

    East Midlands

    M1 Lilbourne, Daventry

    62.6

    North West

    Oxford Road, Manchester

    62


    The North West Has The Lowest Pollution Levels

    The North West has the least pollution in the city centres according to the most recent Air Quality Annual Status Reports. Air quality is hugely important for children and babies, as their lungs are still growing which makes them particularly vulnerable to high pollution levels. Being exposed to air pollution as a child can trigger asthma and childhood cancer as well as infections like pneumonia.

    The South West has the highest recorded pollution levels, as 97.7 ug/m³ of Nitrogen Dioxide was recorded on Chideock Hill, the area’s most polluted location. Whilst choosing a location purely based on pollution levels in the city centre may not be practical or possible, it’s something to bear in mind when selecting a home for your children to grow up in.

     

     

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