What is the best city in America to raise a family?
We all have fond memories of our childhood hometown — summer nights playing outside with the neighbor kids until dusk, pancakes at the local diner with mom and dad, and the special teachers who stayed late to go over a tricky assignment.
So, where in the US can you raise a family?
Well, when it comes to that, everyone has different priorities.
Some parents value health and safety above all else, settling in small, close-knit communities with plenty of places for secure outdoor play. Others move to be close to good schools, ensuring their kids get the best education. Extended family is a must-have for some, making sure that they and their children are supported and nourished by family bonds.
Whatever your priorities are, we’re sure you’ll find something to meet them in our list of top American cities to raise a family.
1. Overland Park, KS
If you want to make sure that you and your family will not want for anything to do together, then head on over to Overland Park, the second most populous city in the U.S. state of Kansas.
Downtown Overland Park hosts Local Life 3rd Fridays every month encouraging residents to shop local and to continue participating in their already active community.
Businesses stay open late and offer snacks, specials, promotions, entertainment, and special treats.
During community events and the farmer’s market, there are almost always local musicians jamming in the streets. But sometimes they just jam on their own to continue filling the streets with music that makes you feel good and want to move, just like the city of Overland Park does.
Every Sunday from June through August, Overland Park hosts Music In The Park.
Pack a picnic and bring a chair to enjoy the live, local music and festivities with the rest of the community for an evening of wholesome entertainment all for free. And if your dog digs music, you’re welcome to bring them on a leash, making Sunday a fun day for everyone.
2. Arlington, VA
If safety trumps everything else in your list of priorities, then you might want to consider Arlington, Virginia, which is located right across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C..
With a crime rate 61% lower than the national average, it certainly fits the bill (especially in today’s volatile climate).
On top of that reassuring statistic, Arlington boasts a plethora of green space, a lively restaurant and bar scene, and an unemployment rate of 2.8%. With excellent job opportunities, a strong military history, and plenty to see and do, Arlington is an excellent place for singles, young professionals, families, military personnel, and retirees to live.
Need more proof?
In fact, if things go as predicted, the median home price in Arlington County is expected to spike 17.2 percent by the end of 2019.
Pretty impressive, isn’t it?
3. Fremont, CA
They say that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
In that case, you may want to move somewhere where the separation and divorce rate is at its lowest in the US – Fremont, California.
According to SFGate’s interview with a local councillor, “The family unit is very important to the success of kids, and as such our residents are more likely to not give up on their marriage.”.
Another thing going for Fremont is the fact that it has a low poverty rate, probably due to local demographics. Many citizens tend to have advanced education, which generally contributes to better pay.
The city is also close enough to Silicon Valley, which, of course, drives up demand for jobs.
Finally, Fremont was named the least-stressed city in 2017 and in early 2018, it earned the title of “Happiest City” in the US.
4. Ann Arbor, MI
Looking for an all-rounder kind of location with great medical facilities?
Then, Ann Arbor, Michigan might be your forever city.
According to AreaVibes, the city is “extremely livable” – receiving high marks for its A+ amenities, low crime rates and top-notch schools.
For Niche.com, Ann Arbor is one of 2017’s “Best Places to Raise a Family in Michigan.”
As if that’s not enough, the city also happens to be home to Michigan’s highest rated hospital, the University of Michigan Hospitals-Michigan Medicine. The hospital is also nationally ranked in 14 adult specialties and 10 pediatric specialties.
5. Carmel, IN
If you want to make sure that your family lives in an area with other families, then you might want to move to Carmel, Indiana, with its high percentage of children (13% higher than most other American cities).
There’s a reason for that: its wide-array of family activities, top-rated schools and fairly affordable neighborhoods.
Oh, and there’s another big draw: Carmel’s low crime rate, which is 72 percent lower than the national average.
This tiny city has had a number of accolades: Best Place to Live (by Money magazine: 2012 and 2017), Best to Live In America (Niche: 2017) and No. 1 Small City In America To Raise A Family (SmartAsset.com: 2017).
6. Highland Park, TX
Looking for a tight community feel with a stable housing market?
Then go for Highland Park in Texas, an affluent small town (with a population of less than 9,000) that’s located a mere 15-minute drive from Dallas.
Aside from these two major pros, Highland Park also happens to be an exceptionally safe place to raise a family, with an overall crime rate that is 21 percent lower than the national average.
On top of that, they have easy access to top health care providers, including several highly-rated hospitals such as the UT Southwestern Medical Center, Baylor University Medical Center and Medical City Dallas.
7. Minnetonka, MN
Another city you need to consider as an excellent place to raise a family is Minnetonka, a suburban city in Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States, only eight miles (13 km) west of Minneapolis.
It’s got a fair bit of outdoor attractions and excellent schools, easy access to top health care providers and crime rates that are 36 percent lower than the national average.
No wonder it was rated as one of the best places to live in the U.S. by Money in 2017.
To recap, choosing the place to put down your roots can be a massive undertaking, especially when you have a family to consider.
You’ll need to create a list of priorities before you start doing your research.
Take it slow.
This is one decision you definitely don’t want to take lightly.
If you’re at a loss, then start with our list of the best cities in the US to raise a family and then delve deeper.
Good luck and do let us know in the comments below if you have any suggestions. Do you live or have lived in one of the cities above? Would you recommend them? Why or why not?