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I don't have kids but I'm from Australia (Perth to be precise), and our suburbs are like this too - generally far from the center and all the cafes, restaurants and nightlife that go with it, and very spread out. It's common for people here to get married young, have kids and move to the outer suburbs, falling out of contact with friends who aren't nearby.

I was always terrified of that so I got out, and discovered it doesn't need to be like that. In Berlin for example, Prenzlauer Berg (a very central suburb) is booming with young couples having kids, and from what I've seen and understood they keep very active social lives.

Friends just moved out of Amsterdam after having kids because they didn't want to raise kids in the neighbourhood where they lived. I couldn't think of a better neighbourhood to raise my kids than the one I live in. Tons of friends live nearby, lots of neighbours with children in the same age group. I wouldn't want to raise my kids in the dreary suburban town I grew up in.

But I live in a more expensive neighbourhood of Amsterdam than those friends. I can imagine if you can't afford that, suburbia become a lot more attractive.

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