Best cities for families revealed

Best cities for families revealed

Good news for Sydneysiders, the harbour city has been named the best Australian city for families in a recent Homeday Index, coming in 13th in the world. 

Melbourne has taken out second place for Aussie cities, being ranked 15th worldwide. Brisbane also took out a spot in the top 20 worldwide, coming in at 18th 

According to the Homeday Index, the most liveable city for families is Copenhagen in Denmark. 

Top 20 cities: 

# Country Rating (out of 10)
1 Copenhagen, Denmark 8.43
2 Oslo, Norway 8.32
3 Zurich, Switzerland 8.20
4 Stockholm, Sweden 8.18
5 Hamburg, Germany 8.14
6 Vancouver, Canada 8.09
7 Basel, Switzerland 8.04
8 Toronto, Canada 8.01
9 Stuttgart, Germany 7.98
10 Munich, Germany 7.96
11 Lausanne, Switzerland 7.90
12 Vienna, Austria 7.76
13 Sydney, Australia 7.75
14 Helsinki, Finland 7.75
15 Melbourne, Australia 7.75
16 Bern, Switzerland 7.73
17 Montreal, Canada 7.72
18 Brisbane, Australia 7.68
19 Auckland, New Zealand 7.66
20 Frankfurt am Main, Germany 7.61

Source: Homeday Table 

These rankings were determined by an extensive study into the most important factors for raising a family in an urban landscape. 

The main categories for the study include:

  • City infrastructure
  • Maternity laws
  • Healthcare quality
  • Happiness levels
  • Activities for children
  • Expert perception 

The study also included micro factors, such as:

  • Education quality
  • Unemployment
  • Safety
  • Green spaces
  • Transportation
  • Affordability 

Homeday then analysed thousands of cities around the world based on these categories, as well asking 30,000 parenting experts and family journalists to rate their own city to determine the final list of 100 best cities for families to live in. 

Sydney vs Melbourne vs Brisbane 


This survey highlights a few of the subtle differences between these three capital cities to take into consideration when choosing where you should start a family. 

Sydney has the most kid friendly airport in the world, scoring a perfect 10 out of 10 for this category. It was also awarded high scores for ‘activities for kids’, ‘green spaces’ and from the surveyed experts’ perception of the city.  

Melbourne’s top performing category comes from the surveyed experts’ perceptions. Parenting experts and family journalists rated the city a 9.23, and a representative poll of parents rated the city a 9.02. Melbourne was also graded highly for its standout education system, gaining an 8.24 out of 10. 

Brisbane came in 6th in the world for the best cost of living, with a score of 9.45. When it comes to the category of housing affordability, Brisbane came out on top of the three Aussie cities, scoring an 8.09. 

Unsurprisingly, Sydney took out the lower of the three city’s scores, with a 4.87. The lowest performing category for all cities was for maternity/paternity law, with a disappointing 1.30.

Did you find this helpful? Why not share this news?



Money Health Newsletter

Subscribe for news, tips and expert opinions to help you make smarter financial decisions

By signing up, you agree to the Privacy & Cookies Policy and Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy


Learn more about home loans

What is the ratings scale?

The ratings are between 0 and 5, shown to one decimal point, with 5.0 as the best. The ratings should be used as an easy guide rather than the only thing you consider. For example, a product with a rating of 4.7 may or may not be better suited to your needs than one with a rating of 4.5, but both are probably much better than one with a rating of 1.2.

Mortgage Calculator, Loan Term

How long you wish to take to pay off your loan. 

How does a redraw facility work?

A redraw facility attached to your loan allows you to borrow back any additional repayments that you have already paid on your loan. This can be a beneficial feature because, by paying down the principal with additional repayments, you will be charged less interest. However you will still be able to access the extra money when needed.

Mortgage Calculator, Repayment Type

Will you pay off the amount you borrowed + interest or just the interest for a period?

Mortgage Calculator, Property Value

An estimate of how much your desired property is worth. 

How much information is required to get a rating?

You don’t need to input any information to see the default ratings. But the more you tell us, the more relevant the ratings will become to you. We take your personal privacy seriously. If you are concerned about inputting your information, please read our privacy policy.

What is the flexibility score?

Today’s home loans often try to lure borrowers with a range of flexible features, including offset accounts, redraw facilities, repayment frequency options, repayment holidays, split loan options and portability. Real Time Ratings™ weights each of these features based on popularity and gives loans a ‘flexibility score’ based on how much they cater to borrowers’ needs over time. The aim is to give a higher score to loans which give borrowers more features and options.

What is the average annual percentage rate?

Also known as the comparison rate, or sometimes the ‘true rate’ of a loan, the average annual percentage rate (AAPR) is used to indicate the overall cost of a loan after considering all the fees, charges and other factors, such as introductory offers and honeymoon rates.

The AAPR is calculated based on a standardised loan amount and loan term, and doesn’t include any extra non-standard charges.

Interest Rate

Your current home loan interest rate. To accurately calculate how much you could save, an accurate interest figure is required. If you are not certain, check your bank statement or log into your mortgage account.

Remaining loan term

The length of time it will take to pay off your current home loan, based on the currently-entered mortgage balance, monthly repayment and interest rate.

How common are low-deposit home loans?

Low-deposit home loans aren’t as common as they once were, because they’re regarded as relatively risky and the banking regulator (APRA) is trying to reduce risk from the mortgage market.

However, if you do your research, you’ll find there is still a fairly wide selection of banks, credit unions and non-bank lenders that offers low-deposit home loans.

How will Real Time Ratings help me find a new home loan?

The home loan market is complex. With almost 4,000 different loans on offer, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to work out which loans work for you.

That’s where Real Time RatingsTM can help. Our system automatically filters out loans that don’t fit your requirements and ranks the remaining loans based on your individual loan requirements and preferences.

Best of all, the ratings are calculated in real time so you know you’re getting the most current information.

What happens to your mortgage when you die?

There is no hard and fast answer to what will happen to your mortgage when you die as it is largely dependent on what you have set out in your mortgage agreement, your will (if you have one), other assets you may have and if you have insurance. If you have co-signed the mortgage with another person that person will become responsible for the remaining debt when you die.

If the mortgage is in your name only the house will be sold by the bank to cover the remaining debt and your nominated air will receive the remaining sum if there is a difference. If there is a turn in the market and the sale of your house won’t cover the remaining debt the case may go to court and the difference may have to be covered by the sale of other assets.  

If you have a life insurance policy your family may be able to use some of the lump sum payment from this to pay down the remaining mortgage debt. Alternatively, your lender may provide some form of mortgage protection that could assist your family in making repayments following your passing.

What is a redraw fee?

Redraw fees are charged by your lender when you want to take money you have already paid into your mortgage back out. Typically, banks will only allow you to take money out of your loan if you have a redraw facility attached to your loan, and the money you are taking out is part of any additional repayments you’ve made. The average redraw fee is around $19 however there are plenty of lenders who include a number of fee-free redraws a year. Tip: Negative-gearers beware – any money redrawn is often treated as new borrowing for tax purposes, so there may be limits on how you can use it if you want to maximise your tax deduction.