These Are The 10 Best Cities To Raise A Family In America For 2018


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

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Are you thinking about moving? If so, you’ve come to the right place. There’s a lot to consider when you’re looking for a great place to live, especially if you have a family.

When you’re thinking about the best place to take your family, you probably want to keep in mind a number of factors.

According to the United States Census, Americans are moving towards more major cities, and away from the country. Why is that? Are we ever going to see a dividing line between the suburbs and downtowns?

And will we see ‘the best’ places to live remain suburbs, or will the best places to live get pushed out to the country one day?

So, where are the best cities for families in America? You may be surprised by the results. And, odds are, you won’t be able to afford to move there, either.

You’re probably thinking, ‘California must be pretty amazing.’ Well, the authors of this blog are from California, and while there is a good quality of life in many parts, the traffic and crime might overwhelm you.

As long as you stay in your little nook, you’ll be okay. Meaning, stay in your city, and you’ll love your little Cali bubble.

Keep on reading for a detailed methodology or check out:

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

To determine which American cities are the best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. We’d all likely agree that safety, good schools, low crime and good jobs all play a factor. We included those, as well as a number of other factors.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the United States

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data, we looked at every single city in the U.S. 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 100,000 people. That meant a total of 190 cities.

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1. Santa Clara

Santa Clara, Ca

Population: 122,725
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 41
Closest Major City:
Households with kids: 34.0%

Hey now, lookin’ good Santa Clara. Home to some of the wealthiest and most successful residents, this is a great place to live if you can afford it. The schools are great, the crime is low, and you can smell the money. If you can afford to live here, it’s pretty much peaches and rainbows.

2. Torrance

Torrance, Ca

Source: Public domain

Population: 147,307
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 44
Closest Major City:
Households with kids: 31.7%

Torrance is another awesome place to live – but also a crowded place. It ranks 28th lowest in the U.S. for crimes within city limits, and ranks high in libraries per capita. Plus, it’s pretty close to a major city, so you get the perks of living near a lot of people, but the benefits of small town amenities.

3. Naperville

Naperville, Il

Population: 145,789
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 39
Closest Major City:
Households with kids: 40.4%

Naperville is the third least violent city in America, which means family life is far less stressful. Worrying about the kids being safe can make living in a place a real pit, right?

Other reasons Naperville is great for families: it’s close to a major city, and there are plenty of libraries and colleges nearby.

4. Pasadena

Pasadena, Ca

Source: Public domain

Population: 140,268
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 69
Closest Major City:
Households with kids: 25.2%

There’s probably a reason 40% of the families in Pasadena have kids. It’s a great place for people to settle down. There are plenty of colleges here, and crime is far below average. The only thing you might have to deal with is traffic woes and high home prices.

5. San Mateo

San Mateo, Ca

Source: Public domain

Population: 102,224
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 72
Closest Major City:
Households with kids: 30.7%

San Mateo has a lower than average crime rate (especially for highly congested areas), and it ranks 8th in the nation for number of libraries per capita. Not too bad – but good luck finding a home for sale. Rumor has it there are all-cash bids where homes go in under 24 hours. Yikes.

6. Vancouver

Vancouver, Wa

Population: 169,982
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 90
Closest Major City:
Households with kids: 30.9%

Vancouver comes in as the 6th best place in America to raise kids. A short distance from a major city helps, as does ranking 17th in America for educational opportunities and in the top half for safety. There’s a reason people who live in Vancouver try and keep it a secret; no one wants the place to get run over by perfection-seeking families.

7. Santa Ana

Santa Ana, Ca

Population: 333,605
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 99
Closest Major City:
Households with kids: 52.5%

There aren’t too many other places in America where households have kids at a higher percentage than Santa Ana. Is that because it’s an awesome place to raise kids, or because of overpopulation? Either way, there’s a lot to be envious of: Santa Ana boasts the 30th lowest property crime rate, as well as the 20th highest incomes in America.

8. Fullerton

Fullerton, Ca

Population: 139,491
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 53
Closest Major City:
Households with kids: 34.0%

While there aren’t too many libraries, there sure are a lot of colleges close by in Fullerton. That is if you can stand the traffic to get to campus.

Other family-friendly factors: Great opportunities for jobs, modest housing prices (compared to the rest of the region) and great public schools.

9. Overland Park

Overland Park, Ks

Population: 183,775
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 65
Closest Major City:
Households with kids: 31.5%

You may or may not be surprised by Overland Park’s ranking. Despite the fact that it’s an under-the-radar place, you’d be hard pressed to find a better place to raise kids within a long drive. It’s relatively safe, families are comfortable, and there’s actually quite a bit to do within a short drive. Which means the kiddos won’t be bored every weekend.

10. Green Bay

Green Bay, Wi

Population: 104,951
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 85
Closest Major City:
Households with kids: 31.3%

We round out the list with our 10th-best place to raise kids in America with Green Bay. Of course, you may not agree with the weather, and you may never imagine ever living here yourself, but it’s hard to deny the family-friendly factors that exist in Green Bay.

Simply put, don’t knock it till you try it.

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

If you’re looking for a breakdown of American cities 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 cities in America that are probably great if you are single according to the data:

  1. Waco
  2. Chesapeake
  3. Sterling Heights

For more reading, check out:

Best Cities To Raise A Family In America For 2018

City Rank Population Amenities Score
Santa Clara, CA 1 122,725 47
Torrance, CA 2 147,307 49
Naperville, IL 3 145,789 57
Pasadena, CA 4 140,268 58
San Mateo, CA 5 102,224 71
Vancouver, WA 6 169,982 86
Santa Ana, CA 7 333,605 76
Fullerton, CA 8 139,491 64
Overland Park, KS 9 183,775 65
Green Bay, WI 10 104,951 70
Ann Arbor, MI 11 118,087 95
Erie, PA 12 100,157 63
Fremont, CA 13 227,934 68
Frisco, TX 14 145,646 36
Tampa, FL 15 361,477 100
Joliet, IL 16 147,515 65
Boulder, CO 17 105,420 80
Paterson, NJ 18 146,894 52
Thousand Oaks, CA 19 128,623 56
Mckinney, TX 20 156,821 53
Fort Wayne, IN 21 260,954 102
Cary, NC 22 155,822 59
Sunnyvale, CA 23 149,596 37
Hayward, CA 24 154,507 65
Stamford, CT 25 127,410 57
Boston, MA 26 658,279 100
Yonkers, NY 27 199,725 58
Jurupa Valley, CA 28 100,737 68
Downey, CA 29 113,223 38
Richardson, TX 30 108,350 38
Virginia Beach, VA 31 449,733 65
Chandler, AZ 32 242,131 59
Santa Maria, CA 33 103,642 60
Irvine, CA 34 246,992 48
Berkeley, CA 35 118,585 72
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 36 173,309 35
Corona, CA 37 161,614 33
El Cajon, CA 38 102,894 49
Clearwater, FL 39 111,747 70
Olathe, KS 40 132,787 66
Thornton, CO 41 130,511 38
Broken Arrow, OK 42 104,869 36
Laredo, TX 43 251,671 57
Grand Rapids, MI 44 193,887 100
Peoria, AZ 45 158,677 51
Santa Clarita, CA 46 180,303 61
Santa Rosa, CA 47 173,165 57
Roseville, CA 48 128,276 38
Chula Vista, CA 49 260,598 61
Scottsdale, AZ 50 234,495 68
Anaheim, CA 51 346,776 51
Denton, TX 52 128,421 66
Sioux Falls, SD 53 167,884 82
Carlsbad, CA 54 112,008 64
Las Cruces, NM 55 101,459 79
Escondido, CA 56 149,912 52
Visalia, CA 57 128,738 71
Irving, TX 58 232,013 43
Newport News, VA 59 181,606 79
Des Moines, IA 60 212,859 76
Cincinnati, OH 61 298,011 100
Sacramento, CA 62 484,530 100
High Point, NC 63 108,982 60
Oxnard, CA 64 204,752 48
Fresno, CA 65 513,807 100
Norwalk, CA 66 106,360 50
Clovis, CA 67 102,148 35
San Diego, CA 68 1,374,812 100
Ontario, CA 69 169,389 33
Elk Grove, CA 70 163,634 58
Tyler, TX 71 101,946 56
Simi Valley, CA 72 126,126 55
Miami, FL 73 432,622 100
Round Rock, TX 74 112,767 58
Pomona, CA 75 151,807 63
Pearland, TX 76 106,238 37
Omaha, NE 77 443,072 106
San Jose, CA 78 1,009,363 92
Murrieta, CA 79 108,583 54
Baton Rouge, LA 80 228,694 100
Grand Prairie, TX 81 185,631 63
Spokane, WA 82 212,078 95
Fort Collins, CO 83 157,251 68
Provo, UT 84 115,718 60
Norman, OK 85 118,974 65
Columbus, GA 86 200,303 82
Bakersfield, CA 87 367,555 91
Cedar Rapids, IA 88 129,537 73
Elizabeth, NJ 89 128,042 66
Colorado Springs, CO 90 448,759 88
West Jordan, UT 91 110,928 62
Tacoma, WA 92 205,602 102
Huntington Beach, CA 93 198,724 63
Pembroke Pines, FL 94 164,753 38
Miramar, FL 95 133,741 60
Allentown, PA 96 119,624 73
Worcester, MA 97 183,677 67
Sterling Heights, MI 98 131,674 46
Chesapeake, VA 99 233,194 44
Waco, TX 100 130,659 76

Best Places To Raise A Family By State

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2 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Best Cities To Raise A Family In America For 2018

  1. At Fullerton City Council, Don Hoppe, Public Works Director recommended approving a new 5G Cell System to be installed throughout the city. The goal is to have these systems every 500 feet. Yet when asked if he has any safety or health information on these systems, his response is that he has not reviewed any health data nor does he even know if any such studies exist. Yes there are studies sir that warn of negative health consequences but you think it is okay to plaster these throughout every nook of the city. You think it is okay to state that you have done no due diligence on its possible negative health effects to the entire Fullerton community. Or maybe you have read such studies but you pretend to be ignorant just to get this passed and it did pass. Are you that stupid Director Hoppe and/or that corrupt and/or that uncaring about about the health of our community. We live in very dangerous times and unfortunately in many cases the risk is coming directly from our government.

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