The 10 Best U.S. Cities for Raising a Family

NeighborhoodsBy Charles B. Stockdale, 24/7 Wall Street

Choosing where to raise your kids can be a deeply personal decision, based on what you value most, what you can live without, and of course, what you can afford. But some things are universally desired, including good schools, health care, and nearby recreational opportunities. It was these and other similar factors that 24/7 Wall St. considered in order to identify the 10 best cities in which to raise a family.

The best-performing cities to make our list have large public outdoor spaces, lots of playgrounds, top hospitals and strong schools. Sometimes, as in the case of Irvine, Calif., where a decommissioned Marine Corps air station has been transformed into the massive Orange County Great Park, a bit of good fortune has played a role. However, the cities on our list generally have economies that are booming.

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Because being able to pay the bills is critical to raising a family, we factored unemployment rates into the equation. In the end, seven out of the 10 cities on our list had unemployment rates among the lowest in the country, and the majority saw their economies improve in recent years due to growth in new industries, primarily in the tech field.

High school graduation rates reflect the quality of both the local school system and the economy. The cities that performed best also have educated adult populations. Eight out of the 10 cities have a large percentage of adults with at least a high school degree.

We examined the nation's 100 largest cities and complied our list based on data on adult education levels from the Census Bureau; unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics; data on the nation's best high schools and the best children's hospitals from U.S. News and World Report; violent crime rates from the FBI; and data on parkland, playgrounds and other public facilities from the Trust for Public Land.

This is 24/7 Wall St.'s list of the best cities to raise a family:

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who is this?But whays up

September 17 2012 at 9:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Omaha is an ok city but it has its crime. Its like any city, it all depends on where you live........ This has crime stats for Omaha

May 24 2012 at 9:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
joe joe

I have driven a night shift taxi for 5 years in Boise, Never been robbed or assaulted once. Boise is awesome!

January 17 2012 at 11:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Maybe good education, medical and health conditions. And good living environment.
Lots to enjoy here:

January 17 2012 at 12:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have to agree on Raleigh being a great place to raise kids. Not so much if you're single and young though. It can be quite boring, superficial and Stepford.

January 16 2012 at 12:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I always find these articles is a though you must live in a "big city" for the researches to care. Why can't they extend their demographics to include smaller communities. I am raising a family in a "town" of 9,300 where we have exceptional schools, very low unemployment, little to no crime, lots of sunshine and fresh air, and great neighbors. The downside can be local gossip, but the positives far outweigh this one negative. We live less than a half hours drive from a "city" of 325,000 and if we need to shop there it's "easy in, easy out" if you can tolerate the bad drivers. I grew up in a city of 200,00, lived and worked in D. C. and have travelled extensively throughout the world. I have elected to no longer be sophisticated.

January 15 2012 at 10:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Ben's comment
Alex L

Madison isn't really very big at all. I live here, and you can walk from one side of downtown to another in less than half an hour.

January 17 2012 at 10:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Kids should be raised in the country, though there isn't much left and what is left is being industrialized by the corporate criminal class.

January 21 2012 at 10:43 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

West Hartford, Connecticut is rated as a nice place to raise a family. Among its advantages are a top notch school system and its highly rated Blue Back Square in the town center.

January 15 2012 at 2:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I am surprised that New York City was not among the top Cities with all the entertainment, events, and affordable housing in addition to being one of the safest with some of the most stringent gun control laws in the world.

January 15 2012 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

what are the demographics of these cities? is there any correlation?

January 15 2012 at 12:39 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to flasurfsup's comment

What's your point? Minorities are mostly poor people that fill up big cities? And there are whites that are not poor and lead lives elsewhere?

What's your point, white boy?

January 15 2012 at 1:24 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to keile.keile's comment

Well, boy, I think his point is, and I'll slow it down for ya, that every heavily black populated area is a crime filled cesspool. Ya get that? i.e. Detroit, Gary In, Compton Ca, Camden, NJ, Memphis Tn., Little Rock Ar. etc. etc. etc.. Every night the first five stories or more of of crimes committed against blacks. Horrible deadly acts always perpetrated by other black thugs. If you want to be incensed about something you could always start there. Be a man and quit looking for the Klansman under the bed.

But, if history is any indication, you'd rather be angry at the messenger than those that are really hurting the 'black community'. So the world turns.

Now you may not like that someone tells it like it is, but that is your problem. At the end of the day facts are just that; facts.

BTW, Happy MLK day. - "I want to be the white man's brother, not his brother-in-law."
And I want to be yours also, but it will never happen until people start talking as adults to ALL the problems in 'OUR' community which is America, including topics that for some reason make people uneasy discussing. To me it is like showing symptoms of a terrible disease and doing nothing about it hoping it will go away. It won't.

January 16 2012 at 8:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

There is one common factor between all of the top 10 US cities for raising a family. I live in one of these cities, and I must say I feel pretty safe. Can you figure out that common factor ?

January 15 2012 at 11:57 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to maggiemoe1950's comment

I guess it's a crime to be black/Hispanic and poor and struggling the US. White people want to start wiping us out.

January 15 2012 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to keile.keile's comment

No, it is not crime being anything. You know that. Being a criminal is the focus here. Are you so uneducated or just so blinded by hate that you cannot see the truth.

keile said;
'White people want to start wiping us out.'

Are you kidding me? Blacks are doing it to themselves. Surely you are man enough to admit that, or has the hyperbole of victimhood infected your thinking for far too long?

January 16 2012 at 9:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down