10 Best Places to Raise a Family 2018

10 Best Places to Raise a Family 2018



October 2018

New data-driven list ranks the best small to mid-size cities to raise a family.


 Livability.com has released its 10 Best Places to Raise a Family rankings for 2018.

Cities are so much more than a collection of houses, schools and businesses; they help shape our personality and are often a large part of our identity. Knowing the important role that place plays in growing up, Livability’s data scientists and editors once again searched the country looking for the absolute best places to raise a family. With this in mind, Livability.com has named the 2018 10 Best Places to Raise a Family.

To determine the best places to raise a family, Livability’s data scientists first analyzed all U.S. cities with a population between 20,000 and 300,000 and weeded out places with high childcare costs and low Great Schools scores. The list was created by cross-referencing 2018 city population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division with data from Great Schools, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

All in all, Livability data scientists and editors analyzed more than 2,000 cities based on the following criteria in order to determine the 2018 10 Best Places to Raise a Family:

  • Number of potential playmates (percent of the population that is under age 6)
  • Quality of public schools
  • Measures of children’s health
  • Affordability of housing and transportation options
  • Cost of childcare
  • Number of daycare options, parks and libraries
  • Walkability and other factors related to the physical environment
  • And, because we know what really matters to kids: the number of candy stores

And, finally, our editorial experts weighed in to give the list our Livability stamp of approval.

“This year’s Best Places to Raise a Family list highlights some famously family-friendly cities and some gems you might never have heard of,” says Winona Dimeo-Ediger, Livability.com’s Managing Editor. “To get to the heart of what makes a city great for families, we combined rigorous data collection and ranking criteria with personal testimonials from these cities’ most important residents: kids.” 

The 10 Best Places to Raise a Family:

1. Moscow, ID

2. Ann Arbor, MI

3. Beaverton, OR

4. Fort Collins, CO

5. Bloomington, IN

6. State College, PA

7. Oak Park, IL

8. Fayetteville, AR

9. Morgantown, WV

10. Bozeman, MT

About Livability.com:

Livability.com explores what makes small to mid-sized cities great places to live, work and visit. We examine issues such as affordability, cultural amenities and talent attraction, and celebrate the accomplishments of these cities through our monthly top 10 lists, our annual ranking of the Top 100 Best Places to Live, and daily articles exploring the who, what, why and how behind the “where.” Livability.com is a division of Journal Communications, Inc.

*Logo courtesy of Livability

Cynthia Tait

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