The West

Good vibe: Libby and Jard Collett with Neo, 7, and Felix, 6.

Children benefit from living in affluent or "good" areas even if they do not grow up in a wealthy family and an expensive house, a study has revealed.

According to researchers from Curtin University's Centre for Labour Market Research, the old real estate catchcry of getting the worst house on the best street also applies to childhood development.

Lead researcher Michael Dockery said that while it was true children born into wealthier and better-educated families did slightly better on average, many children from low socioeconomic households had above-average outcomes.

"The main way children benefit from being of a higher socioeconomic background is through living in a better neighbourhood, rather than a bigger or nicer house," he said.

"Neighbourhood conditions like it being safe and good play spaces, as well as quality of schools in the area, especially contribute to better physical and learning outcomes."

Jard and Libby Collett, who have two young sons, moved into their Mosman Park unit a few months ago.

"We downgraded from a bigger, better house to live in a smaller unit in a good neighbourhood," Mr Collett said.

"We were drawn to the area because of the low crime rate, the nice surrounds and the good public schools - those things are important to us."

The West Australian

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