Here are the best and worst cities to raise a family in 2024

Jul 9, 2024 | Latest News | 0 comments

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The choice of where to raise a family is a big one for millions of Americans — and some cities are better picks than others. 

A recent study by WalletHub showed just which U.S. cities are the most family friendly in 2024. 

The company compared more than 180 U.S. cities, including the 150 most populated ones, to find the best cities to live in based on various criteria. 

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The five key dimensions include family fun, health and safety, education and child care, affordability and socio-economics. 

Within each of those, other metrics evaluated included the number of playgrounds, skate parks and mini-golf locations per capita. 

The study also looked at ideal weather, water quality, access to pediatricians, violent crime rate, high school graduation rate, summer learning opportunities, cost of living and more. 

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In the socioeconomic category, WalletHub analyzed the separation and divorce rate in cities, the unemployment rate, the wealth gap and other metrics. 

Here are the top five U.S. cities to raise a family in 2024 according to this report.

Counting down here …

WalletHub named the city of Fremont, California, the most family-friendly city in the United States.

That’s due in part to its highest median family income after adjusting for the cost of living, at close to $122,000. 

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It was also ranked high due to 50.5% of its families having children under age 18, making it one of the highest rates in the country. 

The city of Fremont also has a high percentage of public schools and summer camp opportunities. 

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Wallet Hub also said of Fremont that its “residents are able to stay healthy. Only 1.4% of children lack health insurance, the second-lowest percentage in the country, and only 1.1% of the population lacks access to healthy food. The city also has the fifth-most parkland acres per capita, allowing for good outdoor exercise opportunities.”

Ranking second on the list is Overland Park, Kansas, which was recognized for its low unemployment rate and high median family income. 

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The Kansas City suburb also has a low separation and divorce rate and is safe for children with a low traffic fatality rate, according to WalletHub. 

Irvine, California, came in third for its high-ranking schools and lowest violent crime rate per capita. 

Cities at the bottom of the list included Gulfport, Mississippi; Newark, New Jersey; Cleveland, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; and Memphis, Tennessee — which came in last place. 

Other notable finds in the WalletHub study: New York City was tied with Chicago and Charlotte for the greatest number of playgrounds per capita. 

The greatest number of attractions, in general, was a five-way tie between New York City, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco. 

WalletHub analyst Cassandra Happe said in a media statement, “Finding the best place to raise a family is difficult between balancing an affordable cost of living with good educational opportunities, safety and enough recreation to keep kids entertained.”

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She added, “On top of all of these factors, people also often want to raise their children close to their extended family.”

She also said, “Current or prospective parents can benefit from narrowing down their choices to a few of the best cities that are within a reasonable drive of their family.”

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