Best Places To Raise A Family In Missouri For 2020


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.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best cities for families in Missouri.

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Did you know that Missouri is home to the world's largest arch in St. Louis, the University of Missouri Tigers in Columbia, and some pretty cool family friendly places to call home.

That's right, the Show Me State knows how to keep families safe, educated, happy, healthy, and entertained. And lucky for you, HomeSnacks has found all of those qualities and rolled them into the top ten best places for families in Missouri for 2020. How did we determine Missouri's most family friendly places? We consulted the US Census on places in this Midwest state with more than 10,000 residents. We looked at several factors: crime, education, family friendly activities, and the percent of households that currently have children. We ended up with 66 family friendly Missouri places that any family would be lucky to call home.

Missouri currently has 2.1 million families, and that number is expected to increase over the next ten years; and that folks, is because the state has a ton of awesome "Missouri" stuff to do. Like, biking the world class trails in Springfield, visiting one of the state's 240 farmers' markets, or spending the day at Branson's Silver Dollar City. And parents, Missouri has 90 Blue Ribbon schools, and local colleges like Truman State University in Kirksville are showing up on U.S. News' 'Best College' lists year after year.

So, if you're looking for safe, family friendly cities and neighborhoods, amazing schools, large green spaces, and just overall good family friendly fun, keep reading.

Missouri has a ton of family friendly places for every budget. There are places like Kirkwood for the outdoorsy family, and places like Jackson for families just starting out. But, the number one most family friendly place in Missouri is, Marshall.

To learn more about our methodology and to see why Missouri's top ten best places to raise a family are truly the best of the best, take a look below. And if you don't see your favorite there, head to the bottom.

Check out some more reading about Missouri and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Missouri For 2020

Marshall, MO

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 13,001
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 44
Closest Major City: Kansas City
Households with kids: 33.6%
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.

Harrisonville, MO

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 10,023
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 57
Closest Major City: Kansas City
Households with kids: 35.9%
More on Harrisonville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Harrisonville is a city in Cass County, Missouri, United States. The population was 10,019 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Cass County.

Webster Groves, MO

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 23,029
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 42
Closest Major City: St. Louis
Households with kids: 32.9%
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.

Maryville, MO

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,771
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 68
Closest Major City: Omaha
Households with kids: 20.7%
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.

Jackson, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 14,826
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 66
Closest Major City: St. Louis
Households with kids: 32.7%
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.

Kirkwood, MO

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 27,693
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 58
Closest Major City: St. Louis
Households with kids: 29.5%
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.

Neosho, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 12,009
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 36
Closest Major City: Tulsa
Households with kids: 38.8%
More on Neosho: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Neosho residents. Neosho lies on the western edge of the Ozarks.

Bolivar, MO

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,760
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 55
Closest Major City: Kansas City
Households with kids: 33.9%
More on Bolivar: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Bolivar is a city and county seat of Polk County, Missouri, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 10,325.

Mexico, MO

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 11,544
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 67
Closest Major City: St. Louis
Households with kids: 31.0%
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.

Union, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,274
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 44
Closest Major City: St. Louis
Households with kids: 37.8%
More on Union: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Union is a city in and the county seat of Franklin County, Missouri, United States. It is located on the Bourbeuse River 50 miles southwest of St. Louis. The population was 10,204 at the 2010 census, with the city showing the highest growth rate in Franklin County the last decade.

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 66 cities. You can download the data here.

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. St. Louis

For more missouri reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Missouri?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Marshall, MO 13,001 58
2 Harrisonville, MO 10,023 66
3 Webster Groves, MO 23,029 49
4 Maryville, MO 11,771 59
5 Jackson, MO 14,826 44
6 Kirkwood, MO 27,693 51
7 Neosho, MO 12,009 59
8 Bolivar, MO 10,760 56
9 Mexico, MO 11,544 65
10 Union, MO 11,274 59

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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