January 20, 2022
Reading Time: 4 min

Best cities for giving birth and raising children

William Russell, an international insurance company, has compared cities of the world by conditions for expectant parents.

50 cities are included in the list of the best ones for giving birth and raising children. Almost a half of the cities are located in European countries which offer a residence permit by investment.

Vladlena Baranova
Vladlena Baranova

Lawyer, AML Compliance officer, certified CAMS specialist

Residence permit by investment: the best cities and countries for giving birth and raising children

Best cities for giving birth and raising children

The rating was compiled based on a summary assessment of seven factors, including: the duration of maternity leave and childcare, the cost of preschool education, the level of safety and healthcare system in the country.

is-flag Reykjavik took the first place in the ranking with a score of 7.28 points out of 10. The city has a developed system of pre-school education: 59,7% of children are involved in it. The availability of kindergartens allows young parents to receive support in caring for their child and return to work.

Helsinki ranked first in terms of length of paid maternity and parental leave. Women get 161 weeks and men get 9 weeks.

Seoul leads the world in terms of parental leave for fathers which is reaching 53 weeks. 52 weeks are provided in the Japanese cities of Kyoto, Fukuoka, Chiba and Tokyo.

Major cities of Estonia, Norway and Denmark also made it into the top 10 of the ranking. A complete list of cities rated by William Russell is available on the company’s website.

Best cities to give birth and raise children in 2022

Ranking position



is-flag Reykjavik


jp-flag Kyoto


ee-flag Tallinn


fi-flag Helsinki


jp-flag Fukuoka


no-flag Oslo


dk-flag Kopenhagen


jp-flag Chiba


jp-flag Tokyo


kr-flag Seoul

How to move to the cities from the ranking

To move to a city where favorable conditions for the birth of children are created, a foreigner needs to obtain a residence permit in a new country.

Five countries from the William Russell rating offer foreigners to obtain a residence permit by investment in the economy. Governments of the countries provide several investment options, e.g. buying residential or commercial real estate, investing in a business, or placing a deposit in local banks.

Countries from the William Russell ranking offering a residence permit by investment

Ranking position





at-flag Austria



pt-flag Portugal



pt-flag Portugal



gb-flag UK



gr-flag Greece



ch-flag Switzerland



gr-flag Greece



gb-flag UK



gb-flag UK



gr-flag Greece

at-flag Vienna ranks 5th in terms of spending on preschool education and private kindergartens: costs there are lower than in most cities in the ranking. The average cost of visiting educational institutions is €256.

A residence permit in Austria can be obtained by financially independent foreigners. Residence permits are issued according to a quota: the number of available places is determined annually by the government. The cost of obtaining status is from €100,000.

pt-flag Lisbon and Porto are ranked 16th and 17th. Cities scored highly on the health care index.

A Portuguese residence permit by investment was issued to over 27,000 people from 2012 to 2021. Foreigners choose one of eight investment options. Most often they purchase real estate worth €350,000+ or shares of investment funds in the amount of €500,000.

gb-flag The British cities have high prices for early childhood education. The cost of a private kindergarten in London is £1,420 per month, in Birmingham it is £893 per month and in Glasgow — £657 per month. The UK educational system is called the best in the world in terms of the quality of curricula and prospects for students.

A residence permit in the UK is obtained by investment in shares of British companies in excess of £2 million. An investor visa allows its holder to move to the country, open a business and apply for citizenship after five years of residence in the country.

gr-flag The Greek cities have a high level of safety according to Numbeo users, whose data was used to compile the rating. The locals of Heraklion, Rhodes and Athens consider the crime rate to be low.

A residence permit in Greece is obtained when buying a property in the amount of €250,000. An investor can buy residential or commercial real estate, land or rent a hotel. The term for obtaining a residence permit card is six months.

ch-flag In Zurich, women are given a short maternity leave of only 14 weeks. Men do not receive parental leave at all.

The highest cost of preschool education is also in Zurich: a month in a private kindergarten costs €2,346.

But there are benefits as well. The authors of the rating note the high level of safety, healthcare development and low level of environmental pollution in the city.

A residence permit in Switzerland is issued to financially independent persons who do not plan to work in the country. The cost of obtaining and maintaining the status is from ₣450,000 per year.

The best cities and countries for having children: residence permit in Europe by investment

Wealthy foreigners can get a residence permit in Austria, but they will have to rent housing first. One can buy property in Vienna or another city only after three years of residence in the country

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent that helps to obtain a residence permit by investment in Europe. If you want to become a resident of a European country, please contact investment program experts for advice.