Cumbria is the best place in England to start a family, a new survey suggests.
To mark International Children’s Day, the online estate agent eMoov and the charity Hope for Children ranked England’s counties based on four criteria.
Points were awarded on the affordability of house prices, what percentage of pupils achieved level four and level five in their primary school Sats tests, average life expectancy and the level of victim-based crime.
Cumbria scored 18.10 in the survey for its mix of affordable property, high level of performance in primary schools, long life expectancy and relatively low crime rate.
Also in the top five counties were Derbyshire, Tyne and Wear, Lincolnshire and Cheshire. The lowest scoring area was London, with minus 38, dragged down by inflated house prices and a high crime rate.
Founder of eMoov.co.uk, Russell Quirk, said: “Buying a property tends to coincide with a number of life’s mile markers and settling down to start a family is often one of them.
“Moving home and having a child are two very expensive endeavours and so finding the right balance between an affordable property, a good level of education and a safe environment in which to raise your child can be a task in itself.
“Often those looking to buy before starting a family are doing so with the aim of remaining at that property for quite some years to come, so getting it right can be of huge importance in terms of the quality of life you can provide your child.
“Based on our research, Cumbria is the best bet for those considering a property purchase in order to plan for the future with children in mind.”
Rob Johnston, chief executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, believes that the findings will help Cumbria to attract skilled workers.
He said: “Years ago everyone wanted to be here, to get away from the cities but now that’s changed a bit and cities have more to offer.
“So, it’s good to know that surveys like this still confirm what those of us who live here already know: That Cumbria is a fantastic place to work and play and bring up a family.”