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: 62
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.

2. Rochester

Rochester, MI

Population: 12,969
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 44
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: 39
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: 42
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 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: 48
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: 38
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: 49
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: 72
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.

10. Troy

Troy, MI

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

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