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 some more reading about Michigan and the best places for families in the country:

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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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South Lyon, MI

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 11,672
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
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 north of Ann Arbor, 45 miles west of Detroit and 58 miles east of Lansing.

Rochester, MI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 12,969
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 40
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.

Birmingham, MI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 20,653
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
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.

New Baltimore, MI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 12,266
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 52
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.

Ionia, MI

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 11,396
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 33
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 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.

Clawson, MI

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 12,008
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 44
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.

Owosso, MI

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 14,738
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 65
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.

Berkley, MI

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 15,239
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 50
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.

Holland, MI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 33,581
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 59
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.

Troy, MI

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 82,982
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 37
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 Grow Up 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 38
2 Rochester 12,969 55
3 Birmingham 20,653 35
4 New Baltimore 12,266 35
5 Ionia 11,396 46
6 Clawson 12,008 36
7 Owosso 14,738 55
8 Berkley 15,239 58
9 Holland 33,581 60
10 Troy 82,982 64
11 Alpena 10,213 51
12 Novi 58,233 64
13 Allen Park 27,519 46
14 Midland 42,063 49
15 Beverly Hills 10,450 59
16 Livonia 94,849 70
17 Wixom 13,733 36
18 Big Rapids 10,495 53
19 Dearborn 95,520 44
20 Ann Arbor 118,087 100
21 Sturgis 10,921 35
22 Farmington Hills 81,154 66
23 Rochester Hills 72,987 53
24 Port Huron 29,388 76
25 Marquette 21,282 41
26 Jackson 33,165 49
27 Trenton 18,426 60
28 Grosse Pointe Park 11,276 34
29 Wyandotte 25,225 57
30 Fraser 14,620 57
31 Ypsilanti 20,577 54
32 Royal Oak 58,823 61
33 Oak Park 29,751 58
34 Grosse Pointe Woods 15,785 51
35 Cadillac 10,380 64
36 Dearborn Heights 56,329 39
37 Melvindale 10,437 34
38 East Lansing 48,395 68
39 Niles 11,379 43
40 Westland 82,218 69
41 Saginaw 49,892 50
42 Mount Pleasant 25,896 67
43 East Grand Rapids 11,297 40
44 Sterling Heights 131,674 34
45 Lansing 114,773 82
46 Warren 135,069 47
47 Grand Haven 10,853 52
48 Coldwater 10,834 53
49 Farmington 10,526 46
50 Riverview 12,208 60
51 Romulus 23,457 42
52 Harper Woods 13,895 38
53 Hamtramck 21,985 33
54 Muskegon 38,086 73
55 Eastpointe 32,648 56
56 Grand Rapids 193,887 99
57 Battle Creek 51,763 69
58 Auburn Hills 22,342 39
59 Escanaba 12,455 39
60 Wayne 17,143 47
61 Ferndale 20,167 54
62 St. Clair Shores 59,916 33
63 Flint 98,918 54
64 Madison Heights 30,168 49
65 Fenton 11,471 48
66 Hazel Park 16,587 48
67 Southfield 73,055 41
68 Pontiac 59,920 45
69 Kalamazoo 75,885 67
70 Woodhaven 12,590 53
71 Inkster 24,738 38
72 Southgate 29,355 34
73 Portage 47,854 44
74 Detroit 683,443 100
75 Wyoming 74,692 56
76 Lincoln Park 37,155 52
77 Taylor 61,716 46
78 Burton 28,995 51
79 Roseville 47,606 61
80 Walker 24,458 32
81 Kentwood 50,761 41
82 Norton Shores 24,091 47
83 Grandville 15,842 47
84 Highland Park 10,978 60
85 Muskegon Heights 10,792 50
86 Sault Ste. Marie 13,941 33

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