10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Missouri For 2018


We used science and data to determine which cities in Missouri 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 Missouri? We’ve got the answers here.

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

  1. Jackson (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Moberly (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Webster Groves (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Maryville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Washington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Carthage (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Marshall (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Mexico (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Neosho (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Kirkwood (Photos | Homes For Sale)

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

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

To give you the places in Missouri 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 Show Me 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 Missouri, 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 Missouri, that meant a total of 71 cities.

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

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1. Jackson

Jackson, MO

Source: Public domain

Population: 14,641
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 41
Closest Major City: St. Louis
Households with kids: 34.2%
More on Jackson: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Jackson is a city in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, United States. The population was 13,758 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Cape Girardeau County. It is a principal city of the Cape Girardeau?Jackson, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area.

2. Moberly

Moberly, MO

Population: 13,867
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 48
Closest Major City: St. Louis
Households with kids: 30.2%
More on Moberly: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Moberly is a city in Randolph County, Missouri, United States. The population was 13,974 at the 2010 census.

3. Webster Groves

Webster Groves, MO

Population: 23,111
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 34
Closest Major City: St. Louis
Households with kids: 33.3%
More on Webster Groves: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Webster Groves is an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis in St. Louis County, Missouri. The population was 22,995 at the 2010 census.

4. Maryville

Maryville, MO

Population: 11,957
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 49
Closest Major City: Omaha
Households with kids: 20.5%
More on Maryville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Maryville is a city and county seat of Nodaway County, Missouri, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 11,972. Maryville is home to Northwest Missouri State University, Northwest Technical School, and the Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing.

5. Washington

Washington, MO

Source: Public domain

Population: 14,012
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 51
Closest Major City: St. Louis
Households with kids: 34.4%
More on Washington: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Washington is a city on the Missouri River in Franklin County, Missouri, United States. The population was 13,892 from the 2010 census. It is the corncob pipe capital of the world, with Missouri Meerschaum located on the riverfront.

6. Carthage

Carthage, MO

Population: 14,247
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 61
Closest Major City: Tulsa
Households with kids: 40.7%
More on Carthage: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Carthage is a city in Jasper County, Missouri, United States. The population was 14,378 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Jasper County and is nicknamed ‘America’s Maple Leaf City.’

7. Marshall

Marshall, MO

Population: 12,984
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 63
Closest Major City: St. Louis
Households with kids: 34.9%
More on Marshall: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Marshall is a city in Saline County, Missouri, United States. The population was 13,065 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Saline County. The Marshall Micropolitan Statistical Area consists of Saline County. It is home to Missouri Valley College.

8. Mexico

Mexico, MO

Population: 11,622
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
Closest Major City: St. Louis
Households with kids: 30.9%
More on Mexico: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Mexico, formerly known as New Mexico, is a city in Audrain County, Missouri. The population was 11,543 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat, home to the Missouri Military Academy, and annually hosts the Miss Missouri Pageant. The micropolitan statistical area consists of Audrain County.

9. Neosho

Neosho, MO

Source: Public domain

Population: 12,144
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 63
Closest Major City: Tulsa
Households with kids: 36.0%
More on Neosho: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Neosho (/nioo/; originally Siouan pronunciation: [nioo] or Siouan pronunciation: [niou] is the most populous city in Newton County, Missouri, United States, which it serves as the county seat. With a population of 11,835 as of the 2010 census, the city is a part of the Joplin, Missouri Metropolitan Statistical Area, a region with an estimated 176,849 (2011) residents. Neosho lies on the western edge of the Ozarks.

10. Kirkwood

Kirkwood, MO

Population: 27,614
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 52
Closest Major City: St. Louis
Households with kids: 27.8%
More on Kirkwood: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Kirkwood is an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis located in St. Louis County, Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the city’s population was 27,540. Founded in 1853, the city is named after James P. Kirkwood, builder of the Pacific Railroad through that town. It was the first planned suburb located west of the Mississippi River.

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

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

  1. Branson
  2. Raytown
  3. Grandview

For more Missouri reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In Missouri

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Jackson 14,641 51
2 Moberly 13,867 61
3 Webster Groves 23,111 42
4 Maryville 11,957 62
5 Washington 14,012 46
6 Carthage 14,247 41
7 Marshall 12,984 46
8 Mexico 11,622 55
9 Neosho 12,144 64
10 Kirkwood 27,614 44
11 Union 10,813 54
12 O’fallon 84,018 49
13 Eureka 10,497 45
14 Ballwin 30,431 35
15 Cameron 10,150 54
16 Ozark 18,867 56
17 Florissant 52,218 37
18 Harrisonville 10,002 58
19 St. Peters 55,820 54
20 Wentzville 34,176 41
21 Manchester 18,183 36
22 Kirksville 17,592 48
23 Town And Country 11,001 53
24 Lee’s Summit 94,257 39
25 West Plains 12,259 55
26 Chesterfield 47,717 50
27 Warrensburg 19,932 55
28 Rolla 19,904 50
29 Hannibal 17,707 55
30 Nixa 20,520 31
31 Lake St. Louis 15,150 37
32 Sikeston 16,464 55
33 Sedalia 21,441 69
34 Liberty 30,239 41
35 Crestwood 11,941 46
36 Troy 11,374 38
37 Creve Coeur 18,072 51
38 Poplar Bluff 17,198 57
39 Maryland Heights 27,359 44
40 Festus 11,929 47
41 Grain Valley 13,273 46
42 Lebanon 14,652 62
43 Ferguson 21,035 33
44 Columbia 117,165 76
45 Hazelwood 25,604 38
46 Raymore 20,107 36
47 Republic 15,766 50
48 Fulton 12,886 47
49 Arnold 21,196 52
50 Clayton 16,034 48
51 Farmington 17,881 45
52 Bolivar 10,592 52
53 Excelsior Springs 11,480 50
54 Kennett 10,500 44
55 Blue Springs 53,641 32
56 St. Charles 68,341 44
57 Joplin 51,231 54
58 Cape Girardeau 39,200 42
59 Independence 117,217 82
60 St. Ann 12,931 31
61 Bellefontaine Neighbors 10,785 30
62 Overland 15,932 45
63 Belton 23,236 52
64 Springfield 165,138 83
65 St. Louis 316,030 49
66 St. Joseph 76,901 40
67 Bridgeton 11,698 31
68 Gladstone 26,562 34
69 Grandview 25,126 44
70 Raytown 29,366 34
71 Branson 11,158 57

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