Selecting where to raise your kids is one of the most important decisions you will ever make as a parent. In addition to great schools and plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities, the best cities also have lower crime rates and a decent cost of living for your budget.
If you are considering a move either prior to becoming parents, or you already have a couple of little ones and want to relocate to a more family-friendly area, check out the following suggestions. (Please note, while small towns can be great places to raise a family, the focus here is on larger cities that offer more in terms of jobs, housing and other factors.)
As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas. This is definitely true for Houston in regards to several of the factors that make it an immensely livable place. For example, Houston is one of the nation’s top job creators and it features a medical center that is bigger than the largest one in Dallas. The cost of living is quite reasonable, and Houston is brimming with great restaurants, amazing schools and plenty of cultural attractions.
Houston also boasts a thriving housing market, though you’d be wise to rent for a bit to allow time to get a feel for your favorite areas in this sprawling metropolis.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Parenting.com compiled a list of the top cities for families using statistics like crime data, school ratings and job information to help determine which places made the cut. A thriving economy and safe neighborhoods, combined with great schools and a commitment to renewable energy and clean transportation, helped make the state capitol of North Carolina a shoo-in for the list. If you love being active, Raleigh offers plenty of outdoor recreation options, and the city’s year-round 75-acre State Farmers Market includes fresh produce and other foods that can keep your family healthy.
The suburb of Phoenix was ranked by Livability as one of the 10 best cities for families. The Chandler Unified School District is a top-performing district with outstanding schools and teachers, and the 330 days of sunshine a year beckon residents to go outside and use the city’s many inviting aquatic centers and parks. Chandler also boasts an impressive 325 miles of paved bike lanes and paths, as well as plenty of fantastic shopping, a large mall, a beautiful performing arts center and outstanding hospitals and medical facilities. Baseball fans will enjoy taking their kids to spring training games that are held in the area and the annual Ostrich Festival is a hoot for families.
There is a good reason why the City of Roses consistently places at or near the top of lists of the best cities in America. The largest city in Oregon has an exceptionally high quality of life that is demonstrated in a variety of ways. In addition to its top school systems, access to exceptional healthcare and charming neighborhoods filled with families, there are also relatively low rent prices and there’s easy access to tons of outdoor activities. Oregon’s lack of sales tax will help paychecks go farther and makes it much more affordable than other west coast cities like Seattle or Los Angeles.