Seven of the Best Cities for Starting a Family

Jon Fesmire |

People move for all sorts of reasons, and there is no reason more noble than finding a great place to start a family. We’ve compiled a list of seven of the best U.S. cities for families, taking into account low crime rates, cost of living, and, of course, the quality of the schools.

Some of these may surprise you, but if you’re serious about starting a family in an area with good schools, good health care, low crime rates, and plenty to do, we encourage you to look into them.

Arlington, MA

History, great education, and close proximity to metropolitan Boston are just a few of the benefits those who live in Arlington enjoy. You’ll find hundreds of libraries in the greater Arlington area, plus the Paul Revere House and the Jason Russell House, two great museums to visit when you want to step back into American history.

Plus, Arlington has an amazing high school graduation rate of 92%, so they know something about good education and preparing kids for success. You’ll also find playgrounds and forest trails. The cost of living is slightly more than the rest of Massachusetts, but the benefits for families are excellent.

Delaware, OH

Here, the median income is about $55,000, the medium home price $158,000, and on top of that, tax rates are low.

Delaware, Ohio is just a half-hour from Columbus, so if you want to go to the larger city for a night out, you don’t have too far to drive. However, there’s still plenty to do in Delaware, a growing city with a small-town feel. Many places you’ll want to go are within walking distance, or are just a short drive away. The high school graduation rate is around 95%, and there are lots of extracurricular activities students of all ages can participate in at the Delaware County Cultural Arts Center.

Iowa City, IA

This is another good city to raise your kids in, if the high school graduation rate of 94% is any indication. Plus, the University of Iowa is here, making it a college town that values education.

Iowa City isn’t the cheapest place to live, but it’s far from the most expensive, with the average 900 square foot, furnished home, renting for about $950 per month. The area is full of natural beauty, so it’s a nice place to go hiking or to a park. You’ll also find lots of libraries, with their own events, like S is for Science on Wednesdays.

Lone Tree, CO

Speaking of libraries, within a fifteen mile radius around Lone Tree, Colorado, you’ll find about one hundred. Want to save money on books and meet other readers? Here’s a great place to live!

Your kids will get a good education, which you can supplement with those libraries or places like the Lone Tree Arts Center. In any case, the city has a 90% high school graduation rate, and the schools encourage reading. There are also plenty of places to hike and play, like the Bluffs Regional Park and Trail.

Monterey Park, CA

Did we say that 100 libraries within a 15 mile radius was good? Well, we stand by that, but how about 385 of them? That’s just one of the benefits of living in Monterey Park, California.

Monterey Park is eight miles from Los Angeles, which means residents are close to all that LA has to offer, including high paying jobs, and not too far from Orange County for when they want to go to Disneyland.

In addition, schools are good, creating a high school graduation rate of about 93% --much higher than the 79% Los Angeles county average.

Monterey Park has its own fireworks show for Independence Day in July, plus free concerts at Barnes Park Amphitheater. You’ll also find plenty of parks to take your kids to when they want to play outside.

Now, you will pay Southern California prices to live here. The average home price is about $485,000, the average apartment rents for about $1,250, and the median household income is about $56,000.

Rochester, MN

Looking for a place with great education and great jobs? Then you have to look at Rochester, Minnesota. This city is home to The Mayo Clinic, a top U.S. hospital that also employees much of the population. How much? The hospital has about 34,000 staff members, including medical students.

IBM also has a big presence here, so there are a lot of tech jobs, and overall, unemployment is low.

As for how much people make and the cost of living, the median household income is about $64,000, with a one bedroom apartment renting for only about $660, and a two bedroom for about $890.

The average graduation rate for high school is about 90%, while the state average is about 82%. Crime is low, and the city has all four classic seasons, with warm summers and snowy winters.

Wylie, TX

We think that music is an important part of education, and if you do as well, you’ll be interested in learning about Wylie, Texas. Yes, the schools are good, and the high schools have a 95% graduation rate. Nearby are about 65 libraries. Back to the music, Wylie hosts the yearly JazzArts Fest and several bluegrass festivals.

The cost of living is low, too, with the average home price at about $155,000. Rent is higher than you might expect, though, at about $1,120 for the average apartment.

Downtown, you’ll find a charming variety of shops and historic buildings, but if you want to get out of town and do something different, Dallas is just a 35 minute drive away.

Wherever you choose to move, we wish your family happiness and success.