You might be passionate about living a healthy, balanced and enriched lifestyle, but this could be difficult if you live in a city without the same values. As humans, we are incredibly susceptible to our environment. With this in mind, it can be difficult to lead the life you want you and your family to lead if the city that you are living in does not reflect this.
What is a healthy city?
When we talk about health in relation to a city or country, we are not talking about the price of a salad or the number of gyms per square mile. Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being. A healthy city is prosperous, safe, sustainable and offers fair opportunities for all, and somewhere that is continually creating and improving its physical and social environments. It’s somewhere that prioritizes expanding community resources that allow people to support each other and develop to their maximum potential.
For this reason, choosing a healthy city to live in is important when raising a family. You want your children to feel as safe as possible, with a bright future ahead of them.
Where are the healthiest cities around the world to live and raise a family?
CIA Landlord Insurance recently carried out a study on cities around the world, taking into account the cost of rent, cost of childcare and bills, their crime rates, pollution, levels, quality of life and the number of schools and attractions.
The top 10 list
- Helsinki (Finland)
- Oslo (Norway)
- Bern (Switzerland)
- Wellington (New Zealand)
- Reykjavik (Iceland)
- Stockholm (Sweden)
- Ottawa (Canada)
- Amsterdam (Netherlands)
- Copenhagen (Denmark)
- Dublin (Ireland)
And here’s the top ten, unsurprisingly dominated by Scandinavian cities. Helsinki ranked first as the healthiest city to raise a family when combining metrics on happiness, quality of life, crime rate, pollution and the cost of childcare per month. Helsinki has a high happiness index rating of 7.8 out of 10, alongside a low crime rate index of 23 out of 100 and 15 out of 100 for the pollution index. Its cost of childcare also ranks as one of the cheapest in the study at £202 per month. It is also considered one of the best cities in Europe to visit in June.
Scandinavian countries are renowned for having a happy and healthy quality of life, boasting free education and healthcare, low crime rates and a relatively homogeneous population. The Scandinavian concept of ‘Hygge’ has even become a widespread phenomenon, leading the way in wholesome, cosy and contented living.
Why are Scandinavians so healthy?
The health of Scandinavian cities and the healthy lifestyle that comes with the culture go hand-in-hand. For starters, the Scandi diet is focused around healthy proteins and organic vegetables, whilst still being hearty and sustaining. They consume much less junk food than countries such as the UK and USA and their alcohol intake is on the lower scale when compared to most other European countries, and their culture puts a real emphasis on homemade food and cooking, getting children involved in preparing food from a young age.
And one secret to the happiness of the Scandinavian population is their moderate approach to all things in life, from food to work. This way of living is referred to as ‘lagom’. It is the idea of ‘just the right amount’, meaning that nothing is restricted, but nothing is consumed in excess. This is applied to all areas of life, providing a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle.
Scandinavian culture is also heavily focused around family life. In fact, many governments in Scandinavian countries offer up to 16 months of paid family leave after a baby’s birth of adoption, meaning that parents can enjoy life fulfilling their children instead of worrying about having to return to work at the first opportunity.
So, there you have it – the top 10 healthiest cities to raise a family. There’s a lot to consider when deciding on the perfect backdrop to raise your family, but a healthy city will offer the opportunities and lifestyle that will set your children up for a happy and prosperous future.