Where Should You Raise Your Children? – The New York Times

3 minutes, 52 seconds Read

A new study ranked 180 U.S. cities for parenting based on relevant data.

Raising children in the best possible environment is a solid reason to relocate. But today’s tough real estate market has slowed migration. In 2023, about 26 million people moved, way down from nearly 43 million in 2019, according to the Census Bureau. All the more reason for parents to carefully consider local resources, support systems, living costs and other attributes when researching a new city.


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A recent study by WalletHub ranked 180 U.S. cities according to family friendliness, using 45 metrics spread across five categories. One was “health and safety,” which parsed data on air and water quality, access to quality food and health care, and crime and traffic risks. “Education and child care” considered public-school quality, day care costs and parental leave policies. “Affordability” calculated the cost of living relative to income, savings rates, credit scores and other measures of financial fitness. “Socioeconomics” covered job opportunities, rates of divorce, poverty, unemployment and foreclosures. Finally, “family fun” accounted for parks and other attractions, weather and the share of families with young children.

Fremont, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay Area, topped the list, helped by its top scores in the education, child care and socioeconomics categories. Its high cost of living was balanced by a high median income. At the bottom was Memphis, which scored low in socioeconomics and health and safety. One thing was clear in the results: the effects of income inequality. Cities at the top of the list had high median incomes and mostly white or Asian populations, while those at the bottom had low median incomes and mostly Black or Hispanic populations.

Family-Friendly?

The cities that scored highest and lowest for raising children, and the categories that helped or hurt their rankings most, according to WalletHub.

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Highest Score

Fremont, Calif.

Overland Park, Kan.

Irvine, Calif.

Plano, Texas

Seattle

Gilbert, Ariz.

San Jose, Calif

San Diego

Boise, Idaho

Huntington Beach, Calif.

Education and child care

Socioeconomics

Affordabilty

Socioeconomics

Health and safety

Education and child care

Socioeconomics

Health and safety

Education and child care

Affordability

Socioeconomics

Affordability

Education and child care

Socioeconomics

Family fun

Education and child care

Health and Safety

Affordability

Education and child care

Socioeconomics

Lowest Score

Augusta, Ga.

Jackson, Miss.

New Orleans

Birmingham, Ala.

Gulfport, Miss.

San Bernardino, Calif.

Newark

Cleveland

Detroit

Memphis

Health and safety

Socioeconomics

Health and safety

Socioeconomics

Health and safety

Socioeconomics

Socioeconomics,

Health and safety, Affordability

Affordability, socioeconomics,

Education and child care

Education and child care

Affordability

Affordability

Socioeconomics

Socioeconomics

Education and child care

Socioeconomics

Education and child care

Health and safety

Socioeconomics

Highest Score

Lowest Score

Fremont, Calif.

Overland Park, Kan.

Irvine, Calif.

Plano, Texas

Seattle

Gilbert, Ariz.

San Jose, Calif

San Diego

Boise, Idaho

Huntington Beach, Calif.

Augusta, Ga.

Jackson, Miss.

New Orleans

Birmingham, Ala.

Gulfport, Miss.

San Bernardino, Calif.

Newark

Cleveland

Detroit

Memphis

Education and child care

Socioeconomics

Health and safety

Socioeconomics

Affordabilty

Socioeconomics

Health and safety

Socioeconomics

Health and safety

Socioeconomics

Health and safety

Education and child care

Socioeconomics,

Health and safety, Affordability

Socioeconomics

Health and safety

Education and child care

Affordability

Affordability, socioeconomics,

Education and child care

Education and child care

Affordability

Socioeconomics

Affordability

Affordability

Socioeconomics

Education and child care

Socioeconomics

Family fun

Education and child care

Socioeconomics

Education and child care

Socioeconomics

Education and child care

Health and Safety

Affordability

Education and child care

Socioeconomics

Health and safety

Socioeconomics

Source: WalletHub

By The New York Times

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