Deciding on a city to live in is an important decision that requires consideration of several factors. These factors include job market, quality of life, cost of living, access to quality healthcare, and ease of public transportation, among others. When you’re looking for a city to raise a family in, however, there are several other different factors to consider.
Raising a family is one of the most challenging aspects of life. Parents want to raise children in the best possible environment, physically and emotionally. Raising children, however, comes with financial and professional sacrifice or even picking up and moving locations to better feed, protect, and educate their children. The location where children are raised can play a large role in all of this.
Is your city a good place to raise a family? When deciding where to raise a family, you should consider the quality of education, health and safety, affordability, and family activities. Sometimes the reason for moving is solely to start a family, and then these factors become of even higher importance.
To determine which cities are best for raising a family, WalletHub compared 180 U.S. cities based on 47 key metrics categorized by family fun, health & safety, education & child care, affordability, and socio-economic factors.
Family fun included metrics such as walkability, number of playgrounds, bike score, acreage of parkland, sport-fan-friendliness, and more. Health and safety included air quality, water quality, crime rates, pediatricians per capita, and homelessness, among others. The education and child care category included metrics such as school system quality, childcare quality, and high school graduation rate. Affordability included metrics of cost of living, housing affordability, and wallet wellness. The socio-economic factors included separation and divorce rate, unemployment rate, percentage of two-parent families, wealth gap, foreclosure rate, and debt per median earnings. All of these metrics listed are only some of what was weighted in WalletHub’s rankings.
Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with 100 having the most favorable conditions for raising a family.
The top ten cities for raising a family in the United States are:
- Overland Park, KS
- Fremont, CA
- Irvine, CA
- Plano, TX
- South Burlington, VT
- Bismarck, ND
- Gilbert, AZ
- Fargo, ND
- Scottsdale, AZ
- Boise, ID
According to WalletHub’s rankings, Overland Park, Kansas, is the best city to raise a family in. Overland Park ranks fourth for the lowest percentage of families living in poverty and third for the most affordable housing. Overland Park ranks first overall for affordability and fifth overall for socio-economics.
Fremont and Irvine California are the second- and third-best cities to raise a family. Fremont ranked first for health & safety and socio-economics and ranked second for education & childcare. Irvine ranked second for health & safety and fourth or education & childcare and socio-economics.
New York City has the highest number of playgrounds and family attractions. The cities with the highest median family salary (adjusted for cost of living) are Scottsdale, Arizona; Austin, Texas; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Raleigh, North Carolina; Plano, Texas; and Chandler, Arizona.
There are other factors potential parents may want to consider when choosing a city to raise children that are not included in this study. These include climate and weather and proximity to extended family (specifically grandparents). Choosing a city to raise a family requires careful consideration of all factors and weighing which ones are most important.