Best Places To Raise A Family In Massachusetts For 2020


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 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best cities for families in Massachusetts.

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Do we think there's a direct correlation between good schools, educated residents, jobs, competitive salaries, and people flocking to the best places for families to live in Massachusetts? Absolutely.

And here at HomeSnacks, we wanted to know just how family friendly is Massachusetts? More importantly, where, exactly, are the best places for families in The Bay State? So, we consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 66 cities with over 10,000 residents. We looked at important factors like family friendly amenities and percentage of households that currently have kids for every place from Pittsfield to Boston.

Whether you're hanging out on a beach in Nantucket, spending the weekend at the Coco Beach Water Park in Danvers, or visiting the Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts knows good, wholesome, family fun. When you choose to live in one of Massachusetts' best places for families, you are choosing to live where you can keep your family safe, happy, and healthy: you are choosing to live where your Massachusetts' salary will go the furthest for your family. More importantly, you are choosing to live where your kids have a better chance at being accepted to some of the most competitive colleges. And that, Bay Staters, makes perfect sense.

Have we piqued your interest? Want to know where these amazing, family friendly places in Massachusetts are located? Read on.

The competition for Massachusetts' best place for families was fierce to say the least. Unfortunately, there can only be one number on place in The Baked Bean State for 2020; and that, folks, would be Wellesley. It's not surprising considering Wellesley scored off the highest family friendly HomeSnacks' snackability score with an emphasis on education and amenities.

Check out the rest of our family friendly, very safe Massachusetts' places to see how your city ranked. There are definitely some surprises. And if you don't find your favorite there, head to the bottom.

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 2020

Wellesley, MA

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 29,201
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 41
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 43.8%
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: 27,568
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 47
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 40.5%
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: 30,735
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 61
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 42.1%
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
/10

Population: 22,677
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 47
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 42.1%
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.

Swampscott, MA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 14,755
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 45
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 33.7%
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.

Arlington, MA

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 45,147
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 67
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 31.2%
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.

Lynnfield, MA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 12,847
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 40
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 36.4%
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.

Longmeadow, MA

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 15,830
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 34.7%
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.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 25,100
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 45
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 36.0%
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.

Newton, MA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 88,660
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 42
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 36.2%
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.

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 66 cities. You can download the data here.

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. Pittsfield
  3. Revere

For more massachusetts reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Massachusetts?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Wellesley, MA 29,201 69
2 Milton, MA 27,568 40
3 Needham, MA 30,735 57
4 Winchester, MA 22,677 53
5 Swampscott, MA 14,755 38
6 Arlington, MA 45,147 43
7 Lynnfield, MA 12,847 49
8 Longmeadow, MA 15,830 65
9 Reading, MA 25,100 38
10 Newton, MA 88,660 62

How Is The Area In ?

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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