• Manila Makes It to List of 100 Best Cities in the World to Raise a Family

    The city comes behind Cape Town, Istanbul, Johannesburg, and Jakarta.
    by Jillianne E. Castillo .
Manila Makes It to List of 100 Best Cities in the World to Raise a Family
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Despite carmageddons, poor transportation systems, and not so spectacular parental benefits, Manila is a good place to settle down, according to a report that listed 100 best cities to raise a family, with the Philippine capital occupying the 100th spot. 

    In its report, Homeday, an online real estate resource for home-buyers, first asked hundreds of parents what makes a city great for raising a family. Using the answers, a total of 15 factors were taken into account including affordability of housing, safety, education system, healthcare, the happiness of its residents, the presence of kid-friendly spaces and green spaces. After analyzing thousands of cities around the world for data relating to these factors, Homeday then determined the final list of 100 best cities suitable for young families to both live in and visit. Sources for data included the U.N. World Happiness Report, the World Bank, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (There are 512 cities worlwide if you talk about sizeable populations or at least 1 million residents, according to the United Nations.)

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    Manila made it at 100th place with a total score of 2.77 out of 10. The city comes behind Cape Town (South Africa), Istanbul (Turkey), Johannesburg (South Africa), and Jakarta (Indonesia).  Fellow Southeast Asian nations, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Jakarta, made it to the list as well as Tokyo,Osaka, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, and Seoul.  



    Copenhagen, Denmark is the best city for families, as one of the safest, happiest cities in the world, with affordable housing excellent maternity/paternity laws. Thirteen out of the top 20 best cities for families are in Europe, with three Canadian cities, three Australian and one from New Zealand making up the remainder. 


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    Manila scored highest 5.82 out of 10 with Professionals, which is taken from a representative poll of over 30,000 experts and family journalists who were asked to rate the suitability of their city for raising a family. Manila also scored high on Kid Friendly Airports (4.73) and Unemployment (4.55) – the lower the unemployment, the higher the score. 

    You won't be surprised where we scored the lowest: Healthcare (1.36), 1.18 on Education System, and 1.00 on Safety. Out of the 15, these received the lowest marks.



    Let’s compare Manila to the benchmark cities. Stockholm ranked a 10.00 for Healthcare. The bulk of medical costs in Sweden are covered using a tax-based health care system similar to that in Finland and the U.K. Patients only shoulder a small percentage of the costs. According to The Guardian, children only pay if they go to emergency rooms.  

    For education, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Osaka came out on top. These cities produce the highest achieving students in international education rankings as well, reported the BBC

    In a feature on The Atlantic, a peek at Japan’s education system reveals that the country provides equal educational opportunities to both rich and poor students. A child’s income level or place of residence (whether in the city or the province) doesn’t matter – all students get good teachers.  

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    Lausanne in Switzerland, on the other hand, is the benchmark city for Safety with a score of 10. The country consistently ranks as one of the safest places in the world to live with its persistently low crime rates. “Children are often seen walking alone, riding bikes or taking the bus with friends,” said Jennifer Weaver-Dziekan, an American mom who is now living in the wealthy nation, on Expat Arrivals. Majority of Swiss people (78%) also feel safe walking alone at night. 



    Cities in Europe take up top spots maternity and paternal benefits. In Finland, its capital city of Helsinki takes up second spot for this factor; moms here can start maternity leave seven weeks before their due date. After delivery, the government covers 16 weeks of paid maternity leave and eight weeks of paid paternity leave. 

    In the Philippines, mothers are allowed 60 days of paid leave and fathers are given only 7 days. A bill is underway to increase maternity leave to 120 days and paternity leave to 30 days. American cities included in the list all scored a 1 since that country does not have nationally mandated parental leave benefits. 

    Cities that were most affordable were Riyadh (scoring a 10) and Houston (9.91) in the U.S. Consider Paris (10) and Germany (9.91) for your next grand family vacation as they scored highest for Activities for Kids.

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    Manila (1.36) is notorious for its terrible traffic. Transportation scored highest for Bern (10) and Lausanne (9.91), which are both cities in Switzerland. The benchmark city for Happiness was Oslo (10) in Norway and Copenhagen (9.91) in Denmark came in second place.

    “For those families trying to decide where to put down roots, they need data-led research more than ever to help them make an informed decision. We hope that this study will make the all-important choice of where to raise a family that bit easier for young movers,” says Steffen Wicker, Managing Director at Homeday, in a press release. 

    Read more on the report here and see the table above in full here.

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