Best Cities for Families

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10. Fond du Lac, WI
> 5-yr. change in number of families: -2.9%
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 214.3
> Share of 3-4 yr. olds in preschool: 41.4%
> Graduation rate: 90.4%

The Fond du Lac metro area has a number of advantages for families, especially the area’s affordability. The typical area home is only worth about double the median family income. Nationwide, home values are typically nearly three times the median family income. The metro area is also one of a minority nationwide where more than 9 in every 10 students graduate from high school.

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9. Rochester, MN
> 5-yr. change in number of families: +13.6%
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 127.6
> Share of 3-4 yr. olds in preschool: 43.8%
> Graduation rate: 85.0%

The number of families living in the Rochester, Minnesota metro area shot up by 13.6% over the last five years, one of the larger increases among U.S. metro areas. New area families join the ranks of those already benefitting from the area’s positive socioeconomic conditions. Both the area’s violent crime rate and share of families with children living below the poverty line are less than half the comparable national rates.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

8. Ann Arbor, MI
> 5-yr. change in number of families: +5.1%
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 319.5
> Share of 3-4 yr. olds in preschool: 56.0%
> Graduation rate: 86.6%

Children in the Ann Arbor metro area are more likely than most to receive medical care when they need it. While around 95% of children are insured nationwide, 98% of children in Ann Arbor are covered. Children in the area are also far more likely than most to be in a preschool program as some 56% of 3 and 4-year olds in the area are enrolled, about nine percentage points higher than the comparable U.S. enrollment rate.

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7. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT
> 5-yr. change in number of families: -1.2%
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 252.8
> Share of 3-4 yr. olds in preschool: 64.8%
> Graduation rate: 87.1%

The Hartford metro area is one of the best metro areas in the United States for families and the second best in Connecticut. As is the case in the other two metro areas considered in the state, more than 60% of 3 and 4-year olds in the broader Hartford metro area are enrolled in a preschool program.

Jobs in the metro area also tend to be high paying. The typical family earns nearly $92,000 a year, well above the $68,260 median family income nationwide.

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6. Charlottesville, VA
> 5-yr. change in number of families: +17.4%
> Violent crimes per 100,000 people: 164.6
> Share of 3-4 yr. olds in preschool: 58.5%
> Graduation rate: 87.3%

Teen births are not especially common in Charlottesville. Across the metro area, there are only about 15.5 births per 1,000 women between the ages 15 and 19, one of the lowest teen birth rates among metro areas and less than half the comparable U.S. rate. Also, 10.8% of children in the Charlottesville metro live are in poverty, one of the lowest child poverty rates in the country.