10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Massachusetts For 2019


We used science and data to determine which cities in Massachusetts have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our second time ranking the best cities for families in Massachusetts.

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Remember playing in the multi-colored leaf piles as a kid in Fall? Did you ride your bike through a massive leaf mountain to create an epic explosion of color? Did you come inside afterward to drink hot chocolate and watch the latest Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM)?

And let’s be real here, Zenon was one of the best.

What about your summers? Did you spend them walking along the rocky coasts, eating lobster with melted butter, or walking around Boston with your family?

If some of your favorite childhood memories are triggered by these statements, then perhaps you grew up in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts is a small New England state with a big heart for families. The education system in Massachusetts is one of the best in the U.S. and the state is filled with places for young history buffs to visit.

While the state is blanketed in snow for a good bit of the winter, there are some amazing summers in this northern state. Unlike in the South, spending the summer in Massachusetts won’t leave you wishing the sun would turn it’s back to you.

Massachusetts is perfect for any family: great cities, top schools, amazing job potential, and spectacular health insurance options. What else could you want?

Now that this Bay State is on your mind for your family, which cities in Massachusetts are the best of the best for raising your kids? Luckily for you, we have figured out the answer to that question.

We analyzed a total of 69 places in Massachusetts and ranked them based on family-friendliness. We took into account factors that matter when deciding upon where to raise your kids, like crime rates and quality of schools.

From this data, we saw one clear winner: Wellesley, MA. Located just outside of Boston, you can take your kids to musicals and see the big city life on the weekends, while having a quieter atmosphere for studying during the week.

Speaking of Boston, did you notice a trend in our ranking? That’s right, the top 10 cities are located near Boston. Suburbs outside of large cities make excellent places to raise a family. You have access to better jobs in the city, but the atmosphere of a smaller town for the kids.

Interested to see how your favorite city in Massachusetts ranked? Read on to learn more about our methodology and to see why each city is the best for kids.

Or, check out some more reading about Massachusetts and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Massachusetts For 2019

Wellesley, MA

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 29,004
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 47
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 41.8%
More on Wellesley: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Wellesley is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. Wellesley is part of Greater Boston. The population was 27,982 at the time of the 2010 census. Wellesley has the 3rd highest median household and family incomes in all of Massachusetts. It is best known as the home of Wellesley College, Babson College, and a campus of Massachusetts Bay Community College.

Milton, MA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 27,527
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 64
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 39.4%
More on Milton: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Milton is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States and a suburb of Boston. The population was 27,003 at the 2010 census. Milton is the birthplace of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush and architect Buckminster Fuller. In 2007, 2009, and 2011, Money Magazine listed Milton 7th, 5th, and 2nd, respectively, on its annual list of the “Best Places to Live” in the United States.

Needham, MA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 30,429
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 59
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 39.3%
More on Needham: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Needham is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. A suburb of Boston, its population was 28,886 at the 2010 census. It is home to the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, an engineering school.

Winchester, MA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 22,579
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 35
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 41.8%
More on Winchester: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Winchester is a small suburban town located 8.2 miles north of downtown Boston, Massachusetts, United States. It is the 7th wealthiest municipality in Massachusetts and functions largely as a bedroom community for professionals who work in the greater Boston area. The population was 21,374 at the 2010 United States Census.

Longmeadow, MA

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 15,876
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 37
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 35.5%
More on Longmeadow: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Longmeadow is a town in Hampden County, Massachusetts, in the United States. The population was 15,784 at the 2010 census.

Arlington, MA

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 44,992
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 56
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 29.5%
More on Arlington: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Arlington is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, six miles northwest of Boston. The population was 42,844 at the 2010 census.

Swampscott, MA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 14,563
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 63
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 29.5%
More on Swampscott: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Swampscott is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States located 15 miles up the coast from Boston in an area known as the North Shore. The population was 13,787 as of 2010. A former summer resort on Massachusetts Bay, Swampscott is today a fairly affluent residential community and includes the village of Beach Bluff, as well as part of the neighborhood of Clifton. It is known for its quiet suburban character and lovely beaches. The town was home to the scenic ocean front college, Marian Court College until 2015.

Brookline, MA

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 59,246
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 77
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 24.7%
More on Brookline: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Brookline is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, in the United States, and is a part of Greater Boston. Brookline borders six of Boston’s neighborhoods: Brighton, Allston, Fenway-Kenmore, Mission Hill, Jamaica Plain, and West Roxbury. The city of Newton lies to the west of Brookline.

Newton, MA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 88,479
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 44
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 34.9%
More on Newton: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Newton is a suburban city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. It is approximately 7 miles west of downtown Boston and is bordered by Boston’s Brighton and West Roxbury neighborhoods to the east and south, respectively, and by the suburb of Brookline to the east, the suburbs of Watertown and Waltham to the north, and Wellesley and Needham to the west. Rather than having a single city center, Newton resembles a patchwork of thirteen villages. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Newton was 85,146, making it the eleventh largest city in the state.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 25,769
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 52
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 33.4%
More on Reading: Homes For Sale | Data

Reading RED-ing) is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, 16 miles north of central Boston. The population was 24,747 at the 2010 census.

How do you determine which place is best for families in Massachusetts anyways?

To give you the places in Massachusetts which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what’s family-friendly and what isn’t.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Bay State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of Massachusetts, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 10,000 people. For Massachusetts, that meant a total of 69 cities.

There You Have It – The Best Places To Raise A Family In Massachusetts

If you’re looking for a breakdown of cities in Massachusetts ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here’s a look at the best cities for singles Massachusetts according to the data:

  1. Leominster
  2. Revere
  3. Pittsfield

For more Massachusetts reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Massachusetts?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Wellesley, MA 29,004 70
2 Milton, MA 27,527 53
3 Needham, MA 30,429 48
4 Winchester, MA 22,579 51
5 Longmeadow, MA 15,876 38
6 Arlington, MA 44,992 52
7 Swampscott, MA 14,563 43
8 Brookline, MA 59,246 56
9 Newton, MA 88,479 51
10 Reading, MA 25,769 41

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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