The Best Places to Raise a Family in the US
Raising children — talk about a wonderful and fulfilling yet challenging journey. Having a child and raising them to be well-mannered, good-hearted adults is one of life’s most complicated experiences, but when all is said and done, it is inexplicably rewarding. One of the reasons it is so complex is attributed to the thousands of different methods and philosophies there are when it comes to parenting. When you take into account each family’s culture, education, personalities, and other beliefs, it’s no wonder that kids become such unique individuals that bring their own special perspectives into the world.
One factor that’s often overlooked that has a significant impact on the way children are raised is the place where they grow up. Everything from the state you live in, to the school your children attend, to the home they grow up in influences the person that they become. Did you ever wonder if the city you live in is the right place for you? Or, if you’re pregnant or planning on having kids in the near future, is the city where you currently live the best place to establish your future family?
Here are some of the aspects you should contemplate when it comes to your hometown’s child-raising suitability, and some top cities to consider should you explore moving to a better city for raising a family.
Breaking down child-raising
Whether you’re taking a hard look at the town you’re living in or you’re looking into prospective cities to make your new home, below are some of the components that should factor into your decision.
Determine whether or not you can afford the typical costs of living for a certain area. The costs of housing, utilities, food and grocery, healthcare, transportation, and more all vary from location to location. Compare your income with the average cost of living in the area with your net spending to see how much money you're able to put toward your children.
Real estate activity
When considering a move, or when taking a hard look at your own neighborhood, become familiar with the area’s real estate activity. Knowing the demand for available homes in a specific neighborhood and how much houses are selling for will give you an idea of how sought-after the location is, and whether or not families with children are flocking to or from that area.
Child care costs
For families with young children, and especially for those hard-working parents with full-time jobs, childcare will be a regular, greater expense. For those migrating to a new, unfamiliar state, here is a guide to average childcare costs per state.
Both the quality and cost of education will play a major role in how your child develops. The cost of education will directly affect your access to certain institutions, which will ultimately influence the quality of your child’s educational experience. Research and compare reputable school districts to see if it’s time to make some changes to your kid’s schooling.
Crime rates and security measures in a neighborhood will help you determine the right place to raise a child. Talk to people dwelling the area, utilize crime-mapping tools, and investigate the neighborhood to see if people feel content and safe in the area with their children.
Parents everywhere can agree that half the battle when it comes to raising kids is keeping them entertained. What is there to do on the weekends and summers when school lets out? Are there family-friendly restaurants, zoos, movie theaters, little leagues, amusement parks, museums, etc.?
Best Places to Raise a Family
Now that you know what makes a city or neighborhood an appropriate place to raise kids, let’s discuss some of the best places in the country to establish a family, so you can evaluate your own town and weigh some potential new cities for your children to call home.
One study lists Omaha as the best city in America to raise kids — low crime rates allow kids to walk to some of the most reputable schools in family-friendly neighborhoods. With a low cost of living and plenty of family-friendly activities such as one of the largest zoos in the country, this city is a great place to plant roots with your children.
Merrimack, New Hampshire
Merrimack has been listed in numerous surveys over the years as a great place to bring up children. Plenty of popular, family-friendly restaurants and activities along with well-renowned school districts with successful sports programs make this a great place to consider moving your family. Plus, throughout the year, families can enjoy a number of year-round festivals and beautiful outdoor parks, creating a strong community bond and a great foundation for kids.
Research designates Naperville as the best city to raise a family in the United States due to its percentage of existing families and highly-rated public schools. In fact, this town is also ranked the #1 city with the top public schools in the country as well as the third best city to live in America. It’s also important for parents to know that business growth and job opportunities here are excellent, as many young professionals come here to start a career and a family.
This east coast city is very similar to Naperville in its credibility in the rankings. This city is third behind Naperville in the best places to raise a family, #2 in best cities to live in the United States, and #5 in the top cities for young professionals. Not to mention that this city is a quick commute over to Washington D.C., which is a great opportunity for families to make an educational day trip. Great schools, a diverse food scene, and a generally open-minded population are selling points to this beloved town.
Columbia should top your list of potential cities in which to relocate. Not only does it contain all of the ingredients for a family-friendly hometown 一 supermarkets and malls, walkable and clean neighborhoods, outdoor activities, and highly funded school systems 一 but it’s a great place to buy a home. Believe it or not, Columbia ranks #11 out of 228 for best places to buy a home in the United States, making it even more appealing for families looking to venture into a better and more suitable city.
Choosing a place to establish a foundation for your family is a major decision that requires deep consideration of a wide variety of factors. Familiarize yourself with all the components that come into play and use all the resources you can to make the best choices to protect your family’s future.