10 Best Places To Raise A Family In New York For 2019


We used science and data to determine which cities in New York have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our second time ranking the best cities for families in New York.

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What do you remember most about childhood? Was it looking through your miniature telescope out your bedroom window to look at the stars? Was it summers spent at camps in the mountains or at your grandparents’ houses?

Did you look forward to renting the latest Disney movie and snuggling up next to your parents while watching it with a bowl of popcorn? What about walking with your siblings home from school in the snow, only to stop to have a snowball fight of epic proportions?

Was your first sight of New York City during Christmas one of your most magical memories? Do you remember the feeling of falling while learning to ice skate in Central Park over winter break?

If nothing that is described above sparks any memories in you, you probably did not grow up in New York state. In New York, childhood is filled with beautiful mountains, massive cities, and long, snowy winters.

In New York, you can even see one of the world’s greatest natural wonders: Niagara Falls. Walking across the bridge into Canada can be a favorite pastime if you grew up in New York State.

Seem like the perfect state to raise a family? We think so too. But where are the best cities for families in New York?

Luckily for you, we have done the research and found which cities are the best in family-friendliness.

We analyzed 47 cities and ranked them based on “family-friendliness” factors, like crime rates and quality of schools. If you are from New York, maybe you can guess which city made it to the top of the list.

That’s right, Rye, NY, ranks first. In Rye, you can be in Manhattan in as little as 40 minutes but still live outside of the main city. Sounds like a dream come true, right?

Many of the cities on our list are actually located close to New York City. You can take a quick train into the big city and be able to enjoy life in the fast lane without having to live in it.

So where will you raise your family? Near the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple or in the mountain towns in Upstate New York? Wherever you pick, you can be sure your children will have magical childhoods.

Interested to see where your favorite cities in New York rank? Read on to learn more about our methodology and to see why our top 10 are the best of the best for families in New York for 2019.

Or, check out some more reading about New York and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In New York For 2019

Rye, NY

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 16,004
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 42
Closest Major City: Yonkers
Households with kids: 40.6%
More on Rye: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Rye is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States. It is separate from the town of Rye, which has more land area than the city. Rye city, formerly the village of Rye, was part of the town until it received its charter as a city in 1942. The population was 15,720 at the 2010 census. Rye is the youngest city in New York state. No other city has been chartered anywhere in New York state since 1942.

Glen Cove, NY

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 27,376
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 54
Closest Major City: Yonkers
Households with kids: 29.1%
More on Glen Cove: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Glen Cove is a city in Nassau County, New York, United States, on the North Shore of Long Island. As of the United States 2010 Census, the city population was 26,964.

Peekskill, NY

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 24,111
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 61
Closest Major City: Yonkers
Households with kids: 28.4%
More on Peekskill: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Peekskill, officially the City of Peekskill, is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States, in the New York City metropolitan area. Peekskill is situated on a bay along the east side of the Hudson River, across from Jones Point. The population was 23,583 during the 2010 census.

Port Washington, NY

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 16,034
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 32
Closest Major City: Yonkers
Households with kids: 36.8%
More on Port Washington: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Port Washington is a hamlet and census-designated place in Nassau County, New York on the North Shore of Long Island. As of the United States 2010 Census, the community population was 15,846.

Elmira, NY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 28,302
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 60
Closest Major City: Rochester
Households with kids: 30.8%
More on Elmira: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Elmira is a city in Chemung County, New York, United States. It is the principal city of the Elmira, New York Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses Chemung County, New York. The population was 29,200 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Chemung County.

Review Of Elmira by HomeSnacks User

Elmira was a nice small city with lots of areas around it Pine City, Elmira Heights, Horseheads, Big Flats, Corning so it is quite a large area of people and places. The city has tried to come back after the flood which took a lot of the buildings. It is not bad here at all I am mad they put it on the list..

Geneva, NY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 13,048
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 50
Closest Major City: Rochester
Households with kids: 24.8%
More on Geneva: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Geneva is a city in Ontario and Seneca counties in the U.S. state of New York. It is located at the northern end of Seneca Lake; all land portions of the city are within Ontario County; the water portions are in Seneca County. The population was 13,261 at the 2010 census. The city is supposedly named after the city and canton of Geneva in Switzerland. The main settlement of the Seneca was spelled Zoneshio by early white settlers, and was described as being 2 miles north of Seneca Lake.

Canandaigua, NY

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 10,402
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 57
Closest Major City: Rochester
Households with kids: 22.4%
More on Canandaigua: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Canandaigua is a city in Ontario County, New York, United States. The population was 10,545 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Ontario County; some administrative offices are located at the county complex in the adjacent town of Hopewell.

Corning, NY

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 10,870
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 58
Closest Major City: Rochester
Households with kids: 25.1%
More on Corning: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Corning is a city in Steuben County, New York, United States, on the Chemung River. The population was 11,183 at the 2010 census. It is named for Erastus Corning, an Albany financier and railroad executive who was an investor in the company that developed the community. The city is best known as the headquarters of Fortune 500 company Corning Incorporated, formerly Corning Glass Works, a manufacturer of glass and ceramic products for industrial, scientific and technical uses.

Beacon, NY

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 14,279
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 56
Closest Major City: Yonkers
Households with kids: 25.9%
More on Beacon: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Beacon is a city located in Dutchess County, New York, United States. The 2010 census placed the city total population at 15,541. Beacon is part of the Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, New York Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the larger New York-Newark-Bridgeport, New York-New Jersey-Connecticut-Pennsylvania Combined Statistical Area. It was named to commemorate the historic beacon fires that blazed forth from the summit of the Fishkill Mountains to alert the Continental Army about British troop movements.

Dunkirk, NY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 12,064
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 55
Closest Major City: Buffalo
Households with kids: 27.2%
More on Dunkirk: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Dunkirk is a city in Chautauqua County, New York, in the United States. It was officially incorporated in 1880, though it was first settled around 1805. The population was 12,563 as of the 2010 census, with an estimated population of 12,328 in 2013. Dunkirk is bordered on the north by Lake Erie. It shares a border with the village of Fredonia to the south, and with the town of Dunkirk to the east and west. Dunkirk is the westernmost city in the state of New York.

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

To give you the places in New York 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 Empire 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 New York, 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 New York, that meant a total of 47 cities.

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

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

  1. Binghamton
  2. Niagara Falls
  3. Cohoes

For more New York reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In New York?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Rye, NY 16,004 39
2 Glen Cove, NY 27,376 50
3 Peekskill, NY 24,111 53
4 Port Washington, NY 16,034 44
5 Elmira, NY 28,302 55
6 Geneva, NY 13,048 38
7 Canandaigua, NY 10,402 61
8 Corning, NY 10,870 50
9 Beacon, NY 14,279 62
10 Dunkirk, NY 12,064 33

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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