Raising a Family? Here's Where to Live (and Where to Avoid)

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Category: Neighborhoods
Raising a Family? Here's Where to Live (and Where to Avoid)

For families with kids, factors like neighborhood safety and school district ratings play a big role in where they choose to live. Moving can be extremely stressful on a family, so parents often look for cities where they can put down roots and settle in for a while as their children grow up.

That’s why research on a neighborhood, including its property values, job opportunities, economic growth and proximity to family amenities, is essential for parents and parents-to-be. To help families narrow down their choices, WalletHub recently compared more than 180 American cities to uncover the best places to raise a family.

The WalletHub study looked at the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state. The company consulted with experts in family studies, psychology and household finance to determine the best indicators of a “good” place to raise children. The top five metrics – family fun, health and safety, education and child care, affordability and socio-economics – were then assessed across each of WalletHub’s chosen cities.

After assigning an individual ranking to each city for these five metrics, an overall score was calculated to list the cities in order from best to worst.

The best places to raise a family in America

According to WalletHub, here are the top 10 U.S. cities in which to raise your family:

Rank City Best Indicator
1 Overland Park, Kansas Affordability (#1)
2 Fremont, California Health and Safety (#1) and Socio-economics (#1)
3 Irvine, California Health and Safety (#2)
4 Plano, Texas Socio-economics (#2)
5 South Burlington, Vermont Education and Child Care (#1)
6 Bismarck, North Dakota Affordability (#6)
7 Gilbert, Arizona Socio-economics (#11)
8 Fargo, North Dakota Education and Child Care (#10)
9 Scottsdale, Arizona Socio-economics (#10)
10 Boise, Idaho Affordability (#5)

The worst places to raise a family in America

Conversely, you may want to avoid the following 10 cities if you have children:

Rank City Worst Indicator
1 Detroit, Michigan Socio-economics (#182)
2 Newark, New Jersey Affordability (#179)
3 Cleveland, Ohio Socio-economics (#180)
4 Memphis, Tennessee Health and Safety (#182)
5 Shreveport, Louisiana Health and Safety (#180)
6 Wilmington, Delaware Socio-economics (#181)
7 San Bernardino, California Affordability (#178)
8 Hialeah, Florida Affordability (#181)
9 Baltimore, Maryland Socio-economics (#178)
10 Augusta, Georgia Education and Child Care (#174)

You can view the full ranking table on WalletHub.

How to choose the right neighborhood from your family

Based on WalletHub’s expert insights, here are a few key things to consider when choosing the right place to settle down with your family:

  • Your social support network in/near the area you plan to move.
  • Quality of life factors (access to fresh produce, youth employment opportunities, etc.)
  • Educational institutions through the university level
  • Diversity in residents/neighborhoods
  • Access to green spaces/parks

Want to know what properties in your neighborhood are worth? Plug any address into NeighborWho to find out owner details, current value and more.

Want to know more about your neighborhood? Plug an address into NeighborWho's property finder and see what you can find!

Disclaimer: The above is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.

About the author

Nicole Fallon

Nicole Fallon is a former journalist turned copywriter and content strategist. She is based in New Jersey and enjoys helping small businesses grow through great content marketing.