Best Places to Raise a Family: Finding the Perfect Place to Raise Your Family
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best place to raise a family. Cost of living, job availability, and quality of schools are all important considerations. At the end of the day, it is about finding a place that speaks to you and will allow your family to thrive. And this doesn’t all look the same for every family.
This list of the best places to raise a family will allow for a wide variety of quality towns and cities to choose from. Whether you are looking for something bigger or more rural, located on the East Coast, West Coast, or somewhere in between, this list will have you covered.
You can pick a few from here, visit them to find more information, and then start settling in your new dream location.
After you finish this list, visit our lists of the best moving companies, the best small towns in America to live in, and the best travel sites. These lists will provide even more quality living options and great resources for moving when the time comes.
Top 15 Places to Raise a Family:
1. Boise, Idaho
Highlights: Stunningly beautiful location, an excellent job market, and some of the best schools in the country.
About Destination: If you’re looking for a Midwestern gem that boasts all the best features of a big city with a small town feel, look no further than Boise, Idaho. From its stunningly beautiful location nestled in the Rocky Mountains to its friendly and welcoming community, Boise has something for everyone.
Boasting a low cost of living, an excellent job market, and some of the best schools in the country, it’s no wonder Boise is consistently ranked as one of the best places to raise a family. And if you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to get back to nature here with countless hiking and biking trails, boating and rafting, and more.
2. Peoria, Illinois
Highlights: Strong sense of community, a variety of cultural and recreational activities, and excellent healthcare and shopping options.
About Destination: Peoria is the perfect place to raise a family. With its strong sense of community, top-rated schools, and beautiful natural surroundings, Peoria has everything you need to give your family the best possible life.
Here, families can enjoy all the benefits of small-town living while still having access to big-city amenities. Peoria is home to a variety of cultural and recreational activities, as well as excellent healthcare and shopping options. And with its close proximity to Chicago, there are endless opportunities for fun and adventure.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to raise your kids or a vibrant community to call home, Peoria has something for everyone.
3. Hartford, Connecticut
Highlights: Growing job market, affordable housing, and top-rated universities.
About Destination: If you’re looking for a great place to raise a family, Hartford, Connecticut, is worth considering. The capital city has a growing job market, affordable housing, top-rated universities, and plenty of fun things to do. Plus, the cost of living in Hartford is lower than Connecticut’s average.
4. Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky
Highlights: Metro area, highly affordable, and beneficial to high school students.
About Destination: Looking for a great place to raise a family? Consider Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky. This metro area is highly affordable, with the cost of living requiring just 21.98% of the median household income.
High school students will also benefit from being within the top 50 metro areas on the Best Places to Live list for college readiness. With so much to offer, Lexington-Fayette is a great choice for families looking for a wonderful place to call home.
5. Portland, Maine
Highlights: Low crime rate, thriving arts and cultural scene, delicious culinary offerings, and an abundance of outdoor activities.
About Destination: Nestled on the coast of Maine, Portland is a hidden gem of a city that offers its residents the best of both worlds – small town charm and big city amenities. Offering an intimate and community-focused lifestyle, Portland is consistently ranked as one of the best places to raise a family. And with its low crime rates and affordable cost of living, it’s no wonder why more and more people are flocking to this idyllic city.
Whether you’re looking for an urban adventure or a laid-back lifestyle, Portland has something for everyone. With its thriving arts and culture scene, delicious culinary offerings, and abundance of outdoor activities, there’s always something to do in this vibrant city.
6. Grand Rapids, Michigan
Highlights: Small-town charm, big city amenities, and high quality of life.
About Destination: If you are looking for one of the top places to raise a family, look no further than Grand Rapids, Michigan. This charming city offers the perfect blend of small-town charm and big-city amenities, making it the perfect place to call home.
Grand Rapids residents enjoy a high quality of life thanks to a low cost of living and excellent schools. Additionally, Grand Rapids is one of the most affordable cities in the country, with residents spending just 20.71% of the area’s median annual household income on housing.
7. Arlington, Virginia
Highlights: 4 universities, one of the best cities in the U.S. for millennials and recent college grads, and has many tourist activities.
About Destination: Arlington, Virginia, is one of the best places to raise a family. With schools that rank 25% higher on average than other schools in the country, your kids will get a great education. Additionally, there are four universities in the area, so they can continue their education closer to home if they choose to.
Arlington also ranks as one of the best cities in the U.S. for millennials, recent college grads, and dogs. Yes, you read that right. Five city-owned dog parks offer obstacles, fences, water, and more. Along with all the tourist activities like visiting Arlington cemetery and catching a Washington NFL game, bike trails connect many corners of the city – perfect for those who enjoy riding bikes.
8. Bellevue, Washington
Highlights: Excellent public schools, a strong job market, and is close to Seattle.
About Destination: Bellevue is consistently ranked as one of the best places to raise a family in the United States. The city has excellent public schools, a strong job market, and plenty of things to do. Bellevue is also very close to Seattle, making it easy to enjoy all the city has to offer. If you’re looking for a safe, clean and vibrant city to call home, Bellevue should be towards the top of your list.
9. Overland Park, Kansas
Highlights: Warm and welcoming community, celebrates “3rd Friday” every month, and has a weekly farmer’s market.
About Destination: If you’re looking for one of the best places to raise a family, Overland Park, Kansas, should be a strong consideration. Here, you’ll find excellent schools, a warm and welcoming community, and plenty of activities to keep your family busy.
Overland Park lies just outside Kansas City, so you’ll have all the benefits of living in a big city without the hustle and bustle. And every month, the city celebrates “3rd Friday” with special events and discounts at area businesses. It’s a great way to get to know your neighbors and support local businesses.
You’ll also find a weekly farmer’s market where you can get fresh, locally grown food. It’s the perfect place to raise a family.
10. Columbia, Maryland
Highlights: Safe and family-friendly, broken down into villages, and has pools, fitness centers, and two golf courses.
About Destination: Looking for a safe, family-friendly community that offers great schools and plenty of activities? Then look no further than Columbia, Maryland. This planned community is broken down into villages, each with its own indoor recreation area complete with pools and fitness centers. And with two golf courses, there’s something for everyone in Columbia.
The schools in this suburb are some of the best in the state and country, so you can rest assured your children will receive a top-notch education. And with multiple libraries and plenty of parks and trails, there are tons of ways to keep the entire family entertained in Columbia.
11. Plano, Texas
Highlights: 30 minutes north of Dallas, has a population of over 7 million, and is close to two major airports and six professional sports teams.
About Destination: Looking for a place to settle down and raise a family? Look no further than Plano, Texas. Just 30 minutes north of Dallas, Plano offers the perfect blend of suburban charm and big city convenience. With a population of over 7 million, the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area is home to two major airports and six professional sports teams.
Plus, schools in Plano consistently rank above national averages, making it the ideal place for families. When you’re not cheering on one of the local sports teams, you can enjoy the many public parks or take a trip to one of the nearby museums.
12. Cambridge, Massachusetts
Highlights: Home to Harvard University and MIT, located near the Charles River, and has miles of bike paths and parks.
About Destination: Cambridge, Massachusetts, may be the perfect choice for you when it comes to the best places to raise a family. Home to Harvard University and the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this suburb of Boston has everything you could want.
The schools are top-notch, and there are plenty of family activities to enjoy. The Charles River runs through the city, providing miles of bike paths and parks. You can also rent kayaks or paddleboards to enjoy on the water. With so much to offer, Cambridge is the perfect place to call home.
13. Salt Lake City, Utah
Highlights: Median age of 30.7 years, has many children and young people, and a commute shorter than the national average.
About Destination: Salt Lake City is one of the best places to raise a family in the United States. The median age of just 30.7 years indicates that children and young people are important to the population. In addition, Salt Lake City residents have a shorter commute than the national average. These factors and more make Salt Lake City an ideal place for families to call home.
14. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
Highlights: High average annual salary, a relatively short morning commute, and world-class museums.
About Destination: If you’re looking for one of the best places to raise a family, look no further than Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina. These two cities offer families a high average annual salary and a relatively short morning commute.
Plus, with housing costs that make up less than a quarter of the median annual household income, you’ll have plenty of money left to enjoy all Raleigh and Durham have to offer. From world-class museums and delicious dining options to countless outdoor activities and great schools, Raleigh and Durham have everything you need to provide your family with a happy and fulfilling life.
15. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
Highlights: High-quality schools, low cost of living, and an average salary of $60,000+ a year.
About Destination: The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area consistently ranks as one of the best places to raise a family. With high-quality schools and a low cost of living, families can feel confident in their decision to move here.
Housing costs are low compared to the nation’s average, and average salaries come in at $60,000+ a year. This is also an excellent area for learning as high schools in the area all did well in terms of college readiness. If you’re looking for a place to call home, Minneapolis-St. Paul is an excellent choice.
Best Places to Raise a Family Conclusion
When raising a family, everyone has their own opinion on the best place to do so. Some people might think that rural areas are the best, while others might prefer big cities. No matter where you stand, the listings above will provide a number of great places when it comes to raising a family. From affordable housing to top-rated schools, these locations have it all.
At the end of the day, it will come down to your personal preference and what you think the best fit will be for your family. After that, you can start making plans and begin to put down roots in your new city.
To help decide which of these locations is best, you may want to consider a few extended family vacations. This will allow you to experience all that the area has to offer and will allow you to meet some of your new potential neighbors. While visiting, you can also do some potential house hunting and check out all the different neighborhoods that may work for you.
Have you been to any of these destinations before? If you have, please feel free to share your experience below.
Kyle has a background in sports, fitness/health, and business. However, he also has a passion about researching all topics, and is dedicated to making lists that will help make your life easier.