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Map That Shows the Best Cities in the World to Have a Baby is Bad News for the USA

The US eventually shows up in spot 33.

William Russell

Having a baby is one the most meaningful moments in many people’s lives — but there can be a lot of stress with it, too, and a lot to juggle. Having the right people around and living in the right city, where access to care, help, and great, family-friendly policies can make a world of difference. And a new map highlights which cities across the world are the best to have a baby. Here’s what you need to know.

A new study by William Russell tabulated which cities across the globe offer the best for new parents. Metrics such as maternity and paternity leave, healthcare, pre-school costs, fertility rate, pollution index, percentage of kids in early childcare services, and safety were collected and tallied to reveal the best places to live while jumping into parenthood.

In total, there were seven factors the site took into consideration to rank the best cities to have a baby. “We analyzed 50 global cities on the following seven factors, giving each city a normalized score out of ten for each factor, before taking an average across all seven factors,” the site explained.

It’s probably not a surprise that there were no US-based cities that made the top ten list. The first US city to make the list landed in 33rd place which was Honolulu, with an average score of 5.12 out of a possible 10 points. The next US cities on the list landed in 37 – Orlando with a score of 4.8 – and 39 – Miami with a score of 4.72.

Having a Baby: Map of Best Cities

William Russell

The top ten cities that scored the highest average across the seven factors for pregnancy friendliness ranged in score from 6.71 to 7.28:

  1. Reykjavík, Iceland – score 7.28
  2. Kyoto, Japan – score 7.25
  3. Tallinn, Estonia – score 7.24
  4. Helsinki, Finland – score 7.32
  5. Fukuoka, Japan – score 7.1
  6. Oslo, Norway – score 7.07
  7. Copenhagen, Denmark – score 6.98
  8. Chiba, Japan – score 6.93
  9. Tokyo, Japan – score 6.76
  10. Seoul, South Korea – score 6.71

Landing in the top spot, Reykjavík, Iceland had such a high score thanks to its safety index, pollution index, and environmental index.

Second place, which Kyoto, Japan took home, had the score elevated thanks to its paid paternity leave which allows fathers to take a total of 52 weeks.

Third place, which belongs to Tallinn, Estonia, offers a total of 166 weeks of paid maternity leave which helped solidify its higher score.

For the full data, which includes all 50 cities included in the data and where they fall, check out William Russell.