Updated: Mon, 01 Oct 2012 01:00:00 GMT | By lovemoney.com

The top 20 places for families to live

Wokingham has come out top in new research into the best location to bring up a family.


The top 20 places for families to live

The top 20 places for families to live

The second annual Family Friendly Hotspots Reportcompiled by Family Investments has suggested Wokingham in Berkshire is the best place to bring up a family in England and Wales.

The report also reveal 19 other hotspots regarded as ideal for family life.

So if you’re looking to move to a new area and raise a family, this research could help you make up your mind on where to settle down.

The report

The research provides a in-depth analysis of all 2,400 postcodes across England and Wales (Scotland and Northern Ireland have been left out as they do not collect or report data in the same way).

67 factors were used to identify the most harmonious locations for young families. These included Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4 results, school inspection reports, quality of childcare, local crime figures, property affordability, average salary and - new to the 2012 research - affordability of childcare.

Alongside these key areas, lifestyle factors were also considered, like availability of green spaces, leisure centres, zoos, farms, museums, theatres and the size of the existing family population.

Why Wokingham is best for families

The town has moved to the top of the list because of excellent Key Stage 2 school scores, childcare provision, low levels of crime and earning potential.

Wokingham, which has the postcode RG40, is a market town that is 33 miles west of central London. The town was famed for bull baiting in the 17th century, but nowadays it is perhaps better known for producing pop star Will Young and rising movie star Nicholas Hoult.

The town is well situated for commuters needing to travel to London for work. Trains to London Waterloo take no more than an hour and the town is also linked to the capital by the M4.

Other towns in Berkshire that made the top 20 include Woodley (second) and Twyford (seventeenth).

Other ideal locations

Devon also fared well in the report. Four postcodes from this area sit in the top 20.

For those looking for the ideal location in the north, Bromley Cross in Lancashire came seventh while Yorkshire towns featured twice.

Bingham in Nottinghamshire came eighth, but offers the most affordable housing on the list, with an average two-bedroom property costing nearly £136,000.

The most expensive house prices in the top 20 were found in Topsham, Devon but this is also where people seem to be earning the most money; in excess of £55,000 a year.

The top 20 family friendly places to live

Here are the top 20 hotspots for England and Wales. Seven key areas are summarised but in total 67 were used to compile the results. The overall score is out of a maximum of 30.

Rank

Place

Postcode

Average Key Stage 2 score

% Early Years care ranked as outstanding

Crime per capita

Average price for two-bed property

Average salary

% of salary spent on childcare

General fertility rate

Overall Score

1

Wokingham, Berkshire

RG41

29.16

36.8

0.05

£227,785

£33,544

20%

61.1

29.20

2

Woodley, Berkshire

RG5

26.79

20

0.06

£202,550

£26,341

20%

61.1

28.82

3

Chulmleigh, Devon

EX18

30.7

50

0.04

£185,971

£37,133

21%

59.1

27.76

4

Lightwater, Surrey

GU18

29.5

33.3

0.07

£244,127

£34,317

19%

64.5

27.46

5

Shebbear, Devon

EX21

28.1

12.5

0.04

£181,460

£53,084

21%

59.1

26.98

6

Oakham, Rutland

LE15

27.87

25

0.06

£156,366

£28,143

16%

56

26.85

7

Bromley Cross, Lancashire

BL7

29.45

30

0.07

£141,686

£31,918

18%

81.8

26.44

8

Bingham, Nottinghamshire

NG13

29.36

66.7

0.07

£135,175

£29,497

20%

58

26.43

9

Chinnor, Oxfordshire

OX39

28.6

0

0.04

£264,083

£33,205

18%

63.4

26.36

10

Yarm, Yorkshire

TS15

29.64

50

0.08

£166,893

£32,543

17%

58.1

26.28

11

Chandlers Ford, Hampshire

SO53

29.07

35

0.08

£188,784

£29,870

21%

63.8

26.27

12

Bloxham, Oxfordshire

OX15

28.16

23.5

0.04

£224,193

£34,072

18%

63.4

26.27

13

Malmesbury, Wiltshire

SN16

29.41

7.1

0.05

£191,933

£29,594

20%

68.5

26.24

14

Wendover, Buckinghamshire

HP22

28.94

21.1

0.06

£241,206

£34,992

19%

65.9

26.23

15

Bradninch, Devon

EX5

29.06

15

0.05

£182,990

£32,032

21%

59.1

26.20

16

Topsham, Devon

EX3

29.05

0

0.04

£269,135

£55,221

21%

59.1

26.17

17

Twyford, Berkshire

RG10

28.18

41.2

0.07

£253,917

£36,640

20%

61.1

26.16

18

Dunnington, Yorkshire

YO19

29.23

37.5

0.06

£176,741

£28,264

22%

58.1

26.14

19

Guildford, Surrey

GU4

29.15

30

0.08

£261,563

£34,920

19%

64.5

25.94

20

Llangammarch Wells, Powys

LD4

-*

-*

0.02

£165,000

£21,976

16%

60.8

25.92

Source: Family Investments research

* Due to the different data captured by government in Wales, it was not possible to provide an equivalent education score for Llangammarch

Find out about your area

If your area didn’t make the top 20 you can still check how it stacks up using the Family Friendly Hotspots 2012 online tool.

Compare the statistics from your postcode with the average for the country or use a variety of postcodes to compare locations in England and Wales.

Or if you want a summary that suits your lifestyle the information has also been used to form narrower categories.

Bristol is top of the best cities to live in, Bingham in Nottingham has been found to be the best commuter town, Sutton tops the Greater London category and Islington is the best option for Metropolitan London. For more see the full report here.

What do you think?

Do you agree with the research?

Where is the best place to live in the UK based on your experiences?

More stories on families:

Can you afford to have a child?

Five ways to cut the cost of childcare

Save as you spend with the new Frees Family Card

Foster parenting: a vocation or a way to make extra money?

Borrowing money from family and friends: how to do it right

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