10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Michigan For 2018


We used science and data to determine which cities in Michigan 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.

Promise.

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 Michigan? We’ve got the answers here.

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

  1. South Lyon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Rochester (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Birmingham (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. New Baltimore (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Ionia (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Clawson (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Owosso (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Berkley (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Holland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Troy (Photos | Homes For Sale)

If you’re thinking of making a move to Michigan, 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 Michigan and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in Michigan.

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

To give you the places in Michigan 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 Wolverine 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 Michigan, 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 Michigan, that meant a total of 86 cities.

Read on to see why South Lyon is where all the families are headed, while Sault Ste. Marie is probably a place made for singles.

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1. South Lyon

South Lyon, MI

Population: 11,672
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 46
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 31.6%
More on South Lyon: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

South Lyon is a city in Southwestern Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan, in Metro Detroit. The population was 11,327 at the 2010 census. The city is part of the South Lyon-Howell-Brighton Urban Area, which had a population of 106,139 according to the 2000 census. South Lyon is located in Oakland County’s Lyon Township, near the Livingston County and Washtenaw County lines. The city is 19 miles (31 km) north of Ann Arbor, 45 miles (72 km) west of Detroit and 58 miles (93 km) east of Lansing.

2. Rochester

Rochester, MI

Population: 12,969
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 45
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 30.3%
More on Rochester: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Rochester is a city on the north side of the Detroit Metropolitan Area, in Oakland County, in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 12,711 at the 2010 census.

3. Birmingham

Birmingham, MI

Population: 20,653
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 40
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 30.1%
More on Birmingham: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Birmingham is a city on the north side of Metro Detroit in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 20,103.

4. New Baltimore

New Baltimore, MI

Source: Public domain

Population: 12,266
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 50
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 37.3%
More on New Baltimore: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

New Baltimore is a city and a historic, coastal resort community in Macomb County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 12,084 at the 2010 census. New Baltimore is in Metropolitan Detroit.

5. Ionia

Ionia, MI

Population: 11,396
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 53
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 35.7%
More on Ionia: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Ionia is the largest city in, and the county seat of, Ionia County, Michigan, United States. The population was 11,394 at the 2010 census. Every late July (ending on the last Saturday of July and beginning 10 days previous) it hosts what is said to be the world’s largest free-admission fair. The city is mostly within Ionia Township, with small portion extending into Easton Township and Berlin Township, but is politically autonomous of the townships.

6. Clawson

Clawson, MI

Population: 12,008
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 40
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 22.2%
More on Clawson: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Clawson is a city in Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is part of the Detroit metropolitan area. At the 2010 census, its population was 11,825.

7. Owosso

Owosso, MI

Population: 14,738
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 67
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 31.5%
More on Owosso: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Owosso is a city in Shiawassee County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 15,194 at the 2010 census. The city is located on the eastern side of Owosso Township, but is politically independent. The city was named after Chief Wasso, an Ojibwa leader of the Shiawassee area.

8. Berkley

Berkley, MI

Population: 15,239
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 46
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 29.6%
More on Berkley: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Berkley is a suburb of Detroit located along the Woodward Corridor in southeastern Oakland County, Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the total population was 14,970.

9. Holland

Holland, MI

Population: 33,581
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 47
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 34.2%
More on Holland: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Holland is a city in the western region of the Lower Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is situated near the eastern shore of Lake Michigan on Lake Macatawa, which is fed by the Macatawa River (formerly known locally as the Black River).

10. Troy

Troy, MI

Population: 82,982
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 33.9%
More on Troy: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Troy is a city located in Metropolitan Detroit’s northern suburbs in Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 80,980 at the 2010 census, making it the 11th-largest city in Michigan by population, and the largest city in Oakland County. Troy has become a business and shopping destination in the Metro Detroit area, with numerous office centers and the upscale Somerset Collection mall.

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

If you’re looking for a breakdown of cities in Michigan 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 Michigan according to the data:

  1. Sault Ste. Marie
  2. Muskegon Heights
  3. Highland Park

For more Michigan reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In Michigan

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 South Lyon 11,672 36
2 Rochester 12,969 46
3 Birmingham 20,653 45
4 New Baltimore 12,266 54
5 Ionia 11,396 61
6 Clawson 12,008 43
7 Owosso 14,738 63
8 Berkley 15,239 50
9 Holland 33,581 52
10 Troy 82,982 40
11 Alpena 10,213 62
12 Novi 58,233 40
13 Allen Park 27,519 43
14 Midland 42,063 58
15 Beverly Hills 10,450 42
16 Livonia 94,849 68
17 Wixom 13,733 62
18 Big Rapids 10,495 57
19 Dearborn 95,520 66
20 Ann Arbor 118,087 83
21 Sturgis 10,921 46
22 Farmington Hills 81,154 38
23 Rochester Hills 72,987 62
24 Port Huron 29,388 56
25 Marquette 21,282 57
26 Jackson 33,165 76
27 Trenton 18,426 61
28 Grosse Pointe Park 11,276 55
29 Wyandotte 25,225 46
30 Fraser 14,620 54
31 Ypsilanti 20,577 58
32 Royal Oak 58,823 50
33 Oak Park 29,751 59
34 Grosse Pointe Woods 15,785 34
35 Cadillac 10,380 47
36 Dearborn Heights 56,329 40
37 Melvindale 10,437 35
38 East Lansing 48,395 53
39 Niles 11,379 56
40 Westland 82,218 64
41 Saginaw 49,892 58
42 Mount Pleasant 25,896 60
43 East Grand Rapids 11,297 43
44 Sterling Heights 131,674 52
45 Lansing 114,773 87
46 Warren 135,069 62
47 Grand Haven 10,853 42
48 Coldwater 10,834 41
49 Farmington 10,526 42
50 Riverview 12,208 36
51 Romulus 23,457 44
52 Harper Woods 13,895 43
53 Hamtramck 21,985 37
54 Muskegon 38,086 72
55 Eastpointe 32,648 58
56 Grand Rapids 193,887 88
57 Battle Creek 51,763 75
58 Auburn Hills 22,342 61
59 Escanaba 12,455 42
60 Wayne 17,143 32
61 Ferndale 20,167 42
62 St. Clair Shores 59,916 50
63 Flint 98,918 58
64 Madison Heights 30,168 40
65 Fenton 11,471 48
66 Hazel Park 16,587 32
67 Southfield 73,055 58
68 Pontiac 59,920 59
69 Kalamazoo 75,885 80
70 Woodhaven 12,590 54
71 Inkster 24,738 49
72 Southgate 29,355 52
73 Portage 47,854 54
74 Detroit 683,443 100
75 Wyoming 74,692 53
76 Lincoln Park 37,155 40
77 Taylor 61,716 45
78 Burton 28,995 48
79 Roseville 47,606 38
80 Walker 24,458 38
81 Kentwood 50,761 51
82 Norton Shores 24,091 55
83 Grandville 15,842 42
84 Highland Park 10,978 43
85 Muskegon Heights 10,792 59
86 Sault Ste. Marie 13,941 35

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