Looking for the best cities to raise a family in the US? Look no further than our carefully curated list, based on factors like education, healthcare and quality of life.
Deciding where to raise your family can be tough, and when it comes time to start your family, your priorities may change. For example, when you’re single, you might want to live downtown, close to nightlife and the hustle and bustle of city life. But when you have kids, you start to prioritize other things like safety, outdoor spaces and cost of living.
We’ll help you narrow down your choices by showing you the 10 best cities to raise a family. The top 10 are listed in order, with each city scored for quality of life, healthcare, safety, leisure, finances, education and home atmosphere. One hundred and fifty-two cities were surveyed by Scholaroo, scoring points in subcategories for each group. Further details can be found below.
So whether you’re thinking of moving now or are just preparing for your future, we’ll tell you what 10 the best cities to raise a family in the US are.
The Best Cities to Raise a Family: Scoring Process
To find the top ten best cities to raise a family, one hundred and fifty-two cities were surveyed and scored on the following categories: quality of life, healthcare, safety, leisure, finances, education and home atmosphere. Within each category were different metrics, each of which was scored on a 100-point scale with different weights:
- Safety (20 points) — Regular weight was given to the number of police officers and firefighters, as well as property crimes. Half weight was given to the number of school shootings, violent crimes and sex offenders, as well as watch groups.
- Healthcare (14 points) — Regular weight was given to the number of hospitals and pediatricians. Half weight was given to the number of uninsured residents and inpatient beds.
- Finances (16 points) — Regular weight was given to the median home value, homeownership rate and median household income. Half weight was given to the cost of private education, rent cost and the cost of a nanny. The cost of living was given double weight.
- Education (18 points) — Regular weight was given to the number of public schools and classroom teachers, high school graduation rate, number of students/teachers ratio and educational expenditure.
- Leisure Activities (13 points) — Regular weight was given to the number of recreational areas. Half weight was given to the number of restaurants, museums and movie theaters.
- Quality of life (11 points) — Regular weight was given to noise pollution, and air and water quality.
- Home atmosphere (8 points) — Regular weight was given to rates of alcoholism. Half weight was given to divorce and marriage duration.
Read on to find out what the 10 best cities to raise a family in the US are.
1. Warwick, RI
Top of the list of best cities to raise a family is Warwick, in the smallest state of Rhode Island. As well as ranking first overall, it also ranked first place for safety, as it has the lowest number of violent crimes. Warwick also scored well for a home atmosphere and finances. The latter encompasses private education costs for the elementary level to high school, homeownership rate and housing value, as well as the cost of living and household income.
2. Charleston, WV
Next on the list is Charleston, West Virginia, which scored well in the healthcare category, as it has the second-highest number of hospitals. It also ranked well for safety; this includes the number of firefighters and police officers, as well as the number of school shootings, property crimes, watch groups and violent crimes. Check out the 10 best east coast national parks, which include New River Gorge National Park in West Virginia.
3. Fort Lauderdale, FL
In third place on the list of best cities to raise a family is Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which got first place in the education category, as it has the highest number of public schools. It also scored well in terms of leisure; this includes the number of museums, movie theaters, restaurants and recreational areas, which included sports courts, beaches and playgrounds. Read more about 6 secret east coast vacation spots, which include two in Florida.
4. Yonkers, NY
Yonkers in New York scored well for safety and healthcare. The latter includes the number of pediatricians, hospitals, inpatient beds and uninsured residents. It also scored well in the quality of life category, which includes air and water quality levels, as well as noise pollution. New York state has a lot to offer, so why not visit the 7 best state parks in New York for skiing, boating or picnics?
5. Burlington, VT
Halfway through the list of best cities to raise a family is Burlington, Vermont, which scored first place for healthcare. This is great news for residents who have access to a high number of hospital beds and hospitals, as well as doctors for children. It also means that most residents are insured. According to 2009 research, insured patients receive better quality care and higher survival rates than their uninsured counterparts. Check out the best hiking on the east coast, which includes a trail in Vermont.
6. Chicago, IL
The windy city ranks at number six of the best cities to raise a family in the US. It scored well in the healthcare category and had the third-highest number of hospitals. Chicago also did well in the education group, this includes high-school graduation rates, the number of students per teacher and how much the city invests in education per student. If you love outdoor activities, try the best hiking near Chicago: 9 top trails.
7. Charleston, SC
The next city on the list of best cities to raise a family is Charleston, South Carolina which scored well in the healthcare, safety and education groups. But scored lowest in the home atmosphere category, which covers divorce rates, marriage length and alcoholism.
8. Virginia Beach, VA
Virginia Beach, on the coast of Virginia scored well in the safety category and it is the city with the third lowest violent crime rate. It also scored well in the finances category — this interestingly includes the cost of a nanny, which may be important to many families. If you’re in need of a break try one of the 10 best wellness retreats in the US, which includes one in Virginia.
9. Casper, WY
A great city for leisure activities, Casper, Wyoming scored second place on the list of best places to raise a family, for its number of recreational areas, such as walking tracks, dog parks, skate parks, swimming pools, nature trails and basketball hoops, in the leisure category — these areas will appeal to all members of the family. Casper scored lowest for home atmosphere. Interestingly, Wyoming ranks well in the 10 best states for homesteading, and it has a low population and lots of land.
10. Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is located on the confluence of three rivers. So, it scored well in the leisure category as there are multiple outdoor activities to do there, including trails, river walks and cycle tracks. However, it scored lowest in the quality of life group, meaning that levels of pollution levels are not the lowest.
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