10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Massachusetts For 2018

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.

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If you’re like the rest of us, you’re looking for the perfect place for your family. But you have a strict criteria; the city has to be safe, affordable, and stimulating. Basically, the place you move – or even visit – has to be outright perfect.

Is that attainable? Perhaps not, but we’ll get you as close as we can.


According to the United States Census, the number of American families who move is trending downwards Why is that? Perhaps it has to do with the ‘safety net’ factor: We get comfortable where we live, and we’re afraid to try a new move. What if the schools are bad? What if it’s dangerous?

Well, we can pretty much guarantee that if you choose the cities we’re mentioning below, you won’t lose any sleep whatsoever.

So, where are the best cities for families in Massachusetts? We’ve got the answers here.

These are the best cities to raise a family in the Bay State:

  1. Wellesley (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Needham (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Milton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Winchester (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Longmeadow (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Swampscott (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Brookline (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Arlington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Lynnfield (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Newton (Photos | Homes For Sale)

If you’re thinking of making a move to Massachusetts, and want a family-friendly place, we’ve got you covered. And if you already have kids, we’re surprised you made it this far into the article and hope your little ones give you a couple of more minutes of free time.

Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Massachusetts and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in Massachusetts.

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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.

Read on to see why Wellesley is where all the families are headed, while Leominster is probably a place made for singles.

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1. Wellesley

Wellesley, MA

Population: 28,909
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 64
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 42.6%
More on Wellesley: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Wellesley /wlzli/ 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.

2. Needham

Needham, MA

Population: 30,167
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 51
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 41.5%
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.

3. Milton

Milton, MA

Population: 27,351
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 58
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 39.0%
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.

4. Winchester

Winchester, MA

Source: Public domain

Population: 22,491
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 40
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 43.4%
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.

5. Longmeadow

Longmeadow, MA

Population: 15,837
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 41
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 37.5%
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.

6. Swampscott

Swampscott, MA

Population: 14,250
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 63
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 32.2%
More on Swampscott: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Swampscott is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States located 15 miles (24 km) up the coast from Boston in an area known as the North Shore. The population was 13,787 as of 2010[update]. 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.

7. Brookline

Brookline, MA

Population: 59,180
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 49
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 24.6%
More on Brookline: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Brookline /brklan/ 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.

8. Arlington

Arlington, MA

Population: 44,408
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 64
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 30.2%
More on Arlington: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Arlington is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, six miles (10 km) northwest of Boston. The population was 42,844 at the 2010 census.

9. Lynnfield

Lynnfield, MA

Population: 12,489
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 33.7%
More on Lynnfield: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Lynnfield is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, in the United States. At the 2010 census, the town population was 11,596.

10. Newton

Newton, MA

Population: 88,317
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 71
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 35.6%
More on Newton: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Newton is a suburban city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. It is approximately 7 miles (11 km) 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.

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. Taunton

For more Massachusetts reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In Massachusetts

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Wellesley 28,909 46
2 Needham 30,167 59
3 Milton 27,351 60
4 Winchester 22,491 60
5 Longmeadow 15,837 40
6 Swampscott 14,250 61
7 Brookline 59,180 67
8 Arlington 44,408 61
9 Lynnfield 12,489 58
10 Newton 88,317 55
11 Reading 25,490 34
12 Belmont 25,555 33
13 Lexington 32,936 42
14 Maynard 10,526 63
15 Dedham 25,272 51
16 Beverly 40,967 39
17 Hull 10,437 35
18 Newburyport 17,837 43
19 Wakefield 26,399 45
20 Melrose 27,787 58
21 Marblehead 20,363 57
22 Gardner 20,334 38
23 Stoneham 21,831 54
24 Cambridge 108,757 100
25 Waltham 62,699 62
26 Wilmington 23,310 36
27 Abington 16,196 46
28 Burlington 25,698 35
29 Hudson 15,379 52
30 Danvers 27,558 36
31 Medford 57,180 42
32 Woburn 39,220 47
33 Norwood 29,018 53
34 Framingham 70,743 69
35 Gloucester 29,546 58
36 Everett 44,636 40
37 Saugus 27,773 55
38 Peabody 52,235 67
39 Salem 42,804 72
40 Springfield 153,991 69
41 Westfield 41,486 48
42 Lowell 109,871 59
43 Milford 25,701 34
44 Boston 658,279 100
45 Marlborough 39,545 48
46 North Adams 13,326 59
47 Webster 12,122 36
48 Somerset 18,279 48
49 Attleboro 44,121 54
50 Haverhill 62,340 41
51 Randolph 33,526 48
52 Quincy 93,349 47
53 Lynn 92,074 41
54 Fitchburg 40,441 52
55 Holyoke 40,280 66
56 Northampton 28,534 39
57 Somerville 79,507 52
58 New Bedford 94,988 55
59 Malden 60,732 55
60 Brockton 94,813 38
61 Fall River 88,902 70
62 Worcester 183,677 81
63 Lawrence 79,337 39
64 Chelsea 38,244 43
65 Chicopee 56,100 58
66 Pittsfield 43,632 75
67 Taunton 56,504 62
68 Revere 53,165 39
69 Leominster 41,304 59

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