Best Cities for Families

Print Email

Source: Thinkstock

25. Cedar Rapids, IA
> 5-yr. change in number of families: -2.5%
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 189.5
> Share of 3-4 yr. olds in preschool: 54.3%
> Graduation rate: 89.0%

For working families, time can be a precious commodity. In the Cedar Rapids metro area, the average commute time is only about 19 minutes — 7 minutes shorter than the commute for the average American. The Cedar Rapids metro area also offers subsidized preschool, and partially as a result, 54.3% of 3 and 4-year olds are enrolled — one of the larger shares among U.S. metro areas.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

24. Glens Falls, NY
> 5-yr. change in number of families: -13.2%
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 170.5
> Share of 3-4 yr. olds in preschool: 57.6%
> Graduation rate: 82.5%

Glens Falls is one of two metro areas in upstate New York to rank among the best cities to raise a family. At 57.6%, Glens Falls has one of the highest preschool enrollment rates of any U.S. metro area. The area is also relatively safe. There were only 171 violent crimes in 2015 for every 100,000 residents, less than half the U.S. violent crime rate.

Source: Thinkstock

23. Midland, MI
> 5-yr. change in number of families: N/A
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 143.9
> Share of 3-4 yr. olds in preschool: 51.0%
> Graduation rate: 86.8%

Many of the best places to raise a family can be prohibitively expensive for many Americans, but not Midland, Michigan. The typical area home is worth $138,500, only twice as much as the area’s median family income. Nationwide, the median home value is nearly three times the median income.

Source: Thinkstock

22. Fort Collins, CO
> 5-yr. change in number of families: +4.7%
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 199.1
> Share of 3-4 yr. olds in preschool: 49.7%
> Graduation rate: 79.0%

The 79.0% high school attainment rate among Fort Collins adults leaves something to be desired, and a population with low educational attainment can often a share can often point to a suboptimal job market  strong economic conditions in the metro area make it an ideal place for families. The unemployment rate among parents is only 2.6%, well below the comparable 3.8% U.S. rate. Additionally, the typical Fort Collins family earns $80,757 a year, well above the $68,260 median family income nationwide.

Source: by Dylan L. Tanner / Wikimedia Commons

21. Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA
> 5-yr. change in number of families: +6.3%
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 367.5
> Share of 3-4 yr. olds in preschool: 44.3%
> Graduation rate: 90.8%

Des Moines, Iowa boasts one of the higher graduation rates of any metro area. More than 90% of students in Des Moines graduate from high school, well above the 83% U.S. high school graduation rate. The Des Moines area also has nearly 60 recreation centers and sports facilities, such as tennis courts and swimming pools, for every 100,000 families, one of the higher shares of any U.S. metro area.