Wokingham Revealed as the Best Location to Bring Up a Family

Posted in: Research Last updated: 01 Oct 2012

  • Wokingham (RG41), a market town situated 33 miles west of central London, with a population of over 30,000 has moved to the top of this year’s list as a result of excellent Key Stage 2 school scores, childcare provision and earnings prospects
  • RG41 is one of three postcodes in Berkshire’s M4 corridor which feature in the top 20
  • Devon also features prominently, with four of the top twenty postcodes located in the largely rural county
  • New online tool allows parents to search for their ideal postcode location

The best postcode for young families

New Family Investments report identifies the best postcode for young families based on an analysis of sixty seven different factors.

Today, award winning children’s savings provider Family Investments publishes its second annual Family Friendly Hotspots Report. This unprecedented picture of all 2,400 postcodes across England and Wales has been achieved by analysing 67 different data sets covering crucial factors likely to impact a family’s decision-making process when they consider moving to a new area. Based on this analysis, the unique study identifies the top 20 postcodes offering the best range of essential and desirable factors for family living.

The study investigated factors that cover the essentials of family living, including:

  • Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4 results
  • School inspection outcomes
  • Quantity and quality of Early Years care
  • Affordability of childcare (new to the 2012 edition)
  • Local crime figures
  • Property affordability (based on average house prices and local salaries)

Alongside these critical elements, lifestyle factors were also considered, which combine together to create the perfect backdrop for a happy family life, these included:

  • Existing population of parents with young children
  • Parks and green spaces
  • Leisure centres
  • Zoos and farms
  • Museums and theatres

Wokingham: top spot for families

Wokingham is a market town and civil parish in Berkshire situated 33 miles west of central London, with a population of over 30,000. It is a historic town and records show that it held its first market in 1219 while by the 17th century it was famed for its bull baiting. Nowadays, it is well-equipped with various facilities from a range of private and state schools to several churches and an art gallery. What is more, transport to London Waterloo takes little over an hour, making it an ideal home for commuters. The town also sits in the M4 corridor where there are a cluster of major technology companies. These factors may explain the relative affluence of the area as the average salary is £33,544. The postcode scores well as a result of its excellent schools and childcare provision, and low level of crime. Consequently, it is a very popular area for young families.

Inside the report

For those people who prefer an urban location our Hotspots report also identifies the top 20 cities in England and Wales to bring up a family. And for people that look for a less crowded location that’s close to an urban area we have established the highest scoring postcodes within 15 miles of major city centres. The top rated postcodes in both central and greater London have been also been identified.

Online tool

An online tool has been designed to show families how their postcode performs in each of the key areas measured. It also enables them to identify their ideal location based on individual preferences such as house price range and the importance of good local schools.

Family Friendly Rankings - the full table

Hotspots 2012 Top 10

Kate Moore, Head of Savings and Investments at Family Investments said: “Wokingham’s place at the top of our table reflects its combination of excellent school results, relative affordability for young families and low crime levels. Everybody has different ideas about what makes a great location to start a family and bring up a child and we have tried to be as comprehensive as possible in gathering information on the factors parents have told us are most important.  We hope families find our report interesting and we have tried to make it as inclusive as possible by designing an online tool that allows parents to adjust the weightings of each factor to generate postcodes that might suit their own particular needs.

"We know that family finances are under pressure and have attempted to provide parents with as much information as possible on the affordability of key financial considerations such as house prices, and a new addition for this year’s report, childcare affordability. Of course we do recognise there are some factors that can’t be measured, such as the valuable support provided by family and friends that live close by.”

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Notes to editors

For more information on the Family Investments Family Friendly Hotspots Report, visit www.family.co.uk/hotspots to download a full PDF copy of the report

About Calnea Analytics

Calnea Analytics is a leading provider of property market analysis and data to all sectors of the UK economy – including government institutions, mortgage lenders, surveyors, estate agents and the general public. They offer an intellectual pedigree, through their application of technology, and research into improved statistical methodology. Calnea Analytics is the official statistical consultant to Land Registry. Calnea is a subsidiary of Landmark Information Group.

References and acknowledgements

All education data was supplied by Ofsted:




Childcare cost data was sourced from individual local authorities SQW as part of our Childcare Affordability Report:


Population data provided by the Office of National Statistics:


Crime data was obtained from the local crime and policing information service for England and Wales:


Property price data and average salary data was provided by Land Registry analysts Calnea Analytics. Local property information is available from their consumer website:


Green Flag award-winning parks data provided by Green Flag Award: