10 Best Places To Raise A Family In New York For 2018

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.

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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.


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 New York? We’ve got the answers here.

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

  1. Rye (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Port Washington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Geneva (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Glen Cove (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Peekskill (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Canandaigua (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Elmira (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Corning (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Poughkeepsie (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Cortland (Photos | Homes For Sale)

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

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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 49 cities.

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

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1. Rye

Rye, NY

Population: 15,949
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 42
Closest Major City: New York
Households with kids: 43.8%
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.

2. Port Washington

Port Washington, NY

Population: 15,925
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 35
Closest Major City: New York
Households with kids: 35.8%
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.

3. Geneva

Geneva, NY

Source: Public domain

Population: 13,136
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 53
Closest Major City: Rochester
Households with kids: 26.9%
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.

4. Glen Cove

Glen Cove, NY

Population: 27,246
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: New York
Households with kids: 31.0%
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.

5. Peekskill

Peekskill, NY

Population: 23,977
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 51
Closest Major City: Newark
Households with kids: 31.3%
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.

6. Canandaigua

Canandaigua, NY

Population: 10,460
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 42
Closest Major City: Rochester
Households with kids: 24.5%
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.

7. Elmira

Elmira, NY

Source: Public domain

Population: 28,583
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 74
Closest Major City: Rochester
Households with kids: 33.9%
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.

8. Corning

Corning, NY

Population: 10,978
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 49
Closest Major City: Rochester
Households with kids: 27.9%
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.

9. Poughkeepsie

Poughkeepsie, NY

Source: Public domain

Population: 30,511
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 65
Closest Major City: Newark
Households with kids: 28.1%
More on Poughkeepsie: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Poughkeepsie, officially the City of Poughkeepsie, is a city in the state of New York, United States, which is the county seat of Dutchess County. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 32,736. Poughkeepsie is in the Hudson Valley midway between New York City and Albany, and is part of the New York metropolitan area. The name derives from a word in the Wappinger language, roughly U-puku-ipi-sing, meaning “the reed-covered lodge by the little-water place,” referring to a spring or stream feeding into the Hudson River south of the present downtown area.

10. Cortland

Cortland, NY

Population: 19,018
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
Closest Major City: Rochester
Households with kids: 25.9%
More on Cortland: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Cortland is a city in Cortland County, New York, United States of America. Cortland is in New York’s Southern Tier region. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 19,204. It is the county seat of Cortland County.

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. Rome

For more New York reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In New York

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Rye 15,949 43
2 Port Washington 15,925 61
3 Geneva 13,136 45
4 Glen Cove 27,246 49
5 Peekskill 23,977 55
6 Canandaigua 10,460 53
7 Elmira 28,583 53
8 Corning 10,978 47
9 Poughkeepsie 30,511 73
10 Cortland 19,018 46
11 Beacon 14,289 53
12 Dunkirk 12,186 55
13 New Rochelle 79,299 47
14 Long Beach 33,670 54
15 Batavia 15,012 42
16 Ogdensburg 10,937 35
17 Yonkers 199,725 62
18 Middletown 27,601 53
19 Newburgh 28,406 62
20 Olean 13,991 49
21 Amsterdam 18,063 38
22 Tonawanda 57,844 57
23 Lockport 20,722 56
24 Ithaca 30,625 61
25 North Tonawanda 30,935 52
26 White Plains 57,925 45
27 Kingston 23,506 60
28 Auburn 27,101 54
29 Watervliet 10,207 57
30 Lackawanna 17,992 61
31 New York 8,461,961 100
32 Jamestown 30,345 63
33 Saratoga Springs 27,447 65
34 Glens Falls 14,422 61
35 Mount Vernon 68,217 45
36 Schenectady 65,554 60
37 Buffalo 258,989 105
38 Troy 49,881 43
39 Watertown 26,997 61
40 Syracuse 144,350 86
41 Rochester 210,291 69
42 Albany 98,425 85
43 Oneida 11,186 49
44 Cohoes 16,411 35
45 Utica 61,337 41
46 Gloversville 15,158 60
47 Rome 32,673 56
48 Niagara Falls 49,180 63
49 Binghamton 46,277 52

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