In a country as large and diverse as the United States, not all areas are equal when it comes to raising children. While the number of factors that can affect a child’s development is seemingly limitless, there are a few core measures related to safety, school district quality, and amenities that can make all the difference between one area and another. And in some parts of the country, children are at a considerable disadvantage.
24/7 Wall St. created an index to identify the 25 worst U.S. metro areas in which to raise a child. All but two cities on this list are located in the either the western or southern United States.
The ideal city in which to raise children should be safe and have quality schools and plenty of recreational amenities. Only metro areas with some combination of high violent crime rates, low preschool enrollment rates, low high school graduation rates, and limited access to parks and recreation centers made this list.
Relatively violent cities with fewer amenities and worse educational outcomes also often tend to be relatively poor. In 21 of the 25 cities on this list, the child poverty rate is higher than the 20.7% U.S. rate.
Serious financial hardship is likely partially the result of poor economic conditions. As of June 2017, the unemployment rate was higher than the 4.4% U.S. jobless rate in 18 of the 25 cities on this list.
Likely due in part to the low desirability of many of the cities on this list, home values in these areas are relatively low. In 21 of the 25 cities on this list, the median home value is less than the typical American home value of $194,500.