Best Cities To Raise A Family In America For 2020


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.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best cities to raise a family in America.

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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:

The 10 Best Cities To Raise A Family In America For 2020

Overland Park, KS

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 188,687
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 76
Closest Major City:
Households with kids: 31.0%
More on Overland Park: PhotosData

The best place to raise a family in America is Overland Park, Kansas, a Kansas City suburb. Overland Park is also one of the most affordable places you can live in the country – at least for now. The schools here are like off the charts good, and families here all thrive. Divorce rates are super low, and everyone has a good job if they want one.

There’s a lot to do downtown, there’s farmers, concerts, events and parks all over the place. There’s a real sense of community here in Overland Park.

Torrance, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 146,392
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 47
Closest Major City:
Households with kids: 31.9%
More on Torrance: PhotosData

Naperville, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 147,411
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 56
Closest Major City:
Households with kids: 39.0%
More on Naperville: PhotosData

Santa Clara, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 126,209
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 57
Closest Major City:
Households with kids: 33.1%
More on Santa Clara: PhotosData

Orange, CA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 139,873
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 50
Closest Major City:
Households with kids: 34.6%
More on Orange: PhotosData

Green Bay, WI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 104,818
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 89
Closest Major City:
Households with kids: 31.9%
More on Green Bay: PhotosData

Review Of Green Bay by HomeSnacks User

The main attraction in this small city is Lambeau Field, home to the Green Bay Packers. Surrounding it are many fine restaurants and places to grab a beer. Visitors can shop at the Pro Shop and have fun at the Packer Hall of Fame.

The people here are very friendly, even if you’re wearing gear from some other NFL team!

Fullerton, CA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 139,866
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 51
Closest Major City:
Households with kids: 33.3%
More on Fullerton: PhotosData

Tampa, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 376,345

Family Friendly Amenities Score: 100
Closest Major City:
Households with kids: 27.7%
More on Tampa: PhotosData

Review Of Tampa by HomeSnacks User

the area i live in is very safe and secure, the schools are highly rated.

the place i lived in is very safe, the neighbors are good.

Fort Wayne, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 264,052
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 80
Closest Major City:
Households with kids: 31.9%
More on Fort Wayne: PhotosData

Santa Ana, CA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 333,499
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 100
Closest Major City:
Households with kids: 49.6%
More on Santa Ana: PhotosData

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 185 cities. You can download the data here.

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.

Alrighty, so there they are, our most family friendly cities in America. These are the places outside of major metro areas where you can safely, affordably and enjoyably start a family and live well.

Of course, you could raise your kid in a really big city. Some people choose to do so and thrive. But the reality of the situation is less and less Americans are raising families in the big cities these days.

Here’s a look at the cities in America that are probably great if you are single according to the data:

  1. North Charleston
  2. Pompano Beach
  3. St. Petersburg

For more reading, check out:

Best Cities To Raise A Family In America For 2020

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Overland Park, KS 188,687 61
2 Torrance, CA 146,392 50
3 Naperville, IL 147,411 53
4 Santa Clara, CA 126,209 47
5 Orange, CA 139,873 52
6 Green Bay, WI 104,818 68
7 Fullerton, CA 139,866 51
8 Tampa, FL 376,345 100
9 Fort Wayne, IN 264,052 100
10 Santa Ana, CA 333,499 93
11 Norman, OK 121,090 62
12 Joliet, IL 147,957 42
13 San Mateo, CA 104,035 57
14 Virginia Beach, VA 450,135 77
15 Fremont, CA 233,083 47
16 Santa Clarita, CA 209,478 64
17 Ann Arbor, MI 120,641 79
18 Greeley, CO 103,773 78
19 Vancouver, WA 178,413 91
20 Santa Maria, CA 105,483 59
21 Yonkers, NY 199,745 71
22 Mckinney, TX 173,460 37
23 Thousand Oaks, CA 128,481 59
24 Clearwater, FL 114,015 83
25 Downey, CA 112,901 52
26 Jurupa Valley, CA 103,784 73
27 Boston, MA 679,413 100
28 Paterson, NJ 145,800 64
29 Simi Valley, CA 126,199 39
30 Lowell, MA 111,249 61
31 Corona, CA 165,355 46
32 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 175,679 54
33 Boulder, CO 107,360 89
34 Richardson, TX 114,402 61
35 Hayward, CA 158,241 65
36 Berkeley, CA 120,926 82
37 Sunnyvale, CA 152,323 50
38 Laredo, TX 257,575 46
39 Pasadena, TX 154,193 58
40 Sioux Falls, SD 174,151 91
41 Peoria, AZ 164,572 41
42 Clovis, CA 106,666 39
43 Irving, TX 238,637 49
44 El Cajon, CA 103,285 45
45 High Point, NC 111,035 60
46 Grand Rapids, MI 197,081 73
47 Broken Arrow, OK 107,500 39
48 Plano, TX 284,579 51
49 Chula Vista, CA 266,468 56
50 El Paso, TX 680,354 90
51 Oxnard, CA 207,568 57
52 Carlsbad, CA 113,670 55
53 Escondido, CA 151,115 57
54 Fresno, CA 522,277 92
55 Grand Prairie, TX 191,104 61
56 Pearland, TX 117,867 33
57 Anaheim, CA 349,668 69
58 Scottsdale, AZ 246,026 71
59 Round Rock, TX 120,157 60
60 Elk Grove, CA 168,503 36
61 Las Cruces, NM 101,742 80
62 Allentown, PA 120,410 63
63 Cincinnati, OH 300,357 100
64 Sacramento, CA 495,011 100
65 Worcester, MA 185,195 65
66 Visalia, CA 131,066 75
67 Newport News, VA 180,145 76
68 West Jordan, UT 113,089 60
69 Sugar Land, TX 118,182 42
70 Murrieta, CA 111,427 47
71 Provo, UT 116,146 64
72 Providence, RI 179,435 89
73 Miramar, FL 138,168 53
74 Cedar Rapids, IA 131,360 78
75 Fort Collins, CO 162,511 79
76 Gilbert, AZ 237,484 47
77 Midland, TX 135,134 74
78 Tacoma, WA 210,103 98
79 Davie, FL 103,132 37
80 Sterling Heights, MI 132,470 52
81 Pomona, CA 152,494 40
82 Chesapeake, VA 237,820 42
83 Atlanta, GA 479,655 100
84 Pembroke Pines, FL 168,260 56
85 Bakersfield, CA 375,699 88
86 Reno, NV 242,633 100
87 Milwaukee, WI 596,886 100
88 Centennial, CO 109,505 34
89 Baton Rouge, LA 225,362 100
90 Spokane, WA 214,804 100
91 Greensboro, NC 288,719 77
92 Waco, TX 133,964 81
93 Henderson, NV 291,346 47
94 Fort Worth, TX 855,786 105
95 Salinas, CA 156,550 51
96 El Monte, CA 115,669 58
97 Oceanside, CA 175,389 69
98 Colorado Springs, CO 457,502 100
99 West Covina, CA 107,242 38
100 Durham, NC 264,310 80

Family Places By State

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.