What Are the Best Places to Raise a Family?

What Are the Best Places to Raise a Family?

Before you had kids the main thing you worried about when selecting a place to live was the price of beer and gasoline. Now that you’ve started a family you might find there are a few more considerations.

You can select a place to raise your family based on educational opportunities for the children, economic opportunity (like getting a high-paying job), social factors or any number of other reasons. Here is a list of the ten best places to raise a family.

1. Sarasota County, Florida

Home to the city of the same name, Sarasota County has some of the most reasonable home prices in the state. A median cost of about $280,000 makes large homes and properties in this county a steal. Downside — 82% high school graduation rate is pretty low.

2. Howard County, Maryland

This county sits between Baltimore and Washington, DC which means you have easy access to big cities in all directions. The second “smartest” county in the country (average SAT score is a whopping 1,113) has the country’s great public library system as judged by a national association of libraries. Downside — long commutes to work.

3. Marin County, California

The smartest county in the nation (with an average SAT of 1,133) features a 97% high school graduation rate. Communities in this county include Sausalito and are close to picturesque sites like redwood forests and Mount Tamalpai. Downside — Median home price is near a million dollars.

4. Collin County, Texas

Cheap homes is the name of the game here — you can buy a home in the fast growing northern suburbs of Dallas for a median price of just $191,000. The county also has a really high graduation rate for this area of the state — 92%. Downside — much higher crime rate than you’d expect at 34.7 crimes committed per 1,000 people.

5. Chester County, Pennsylvania

Smart students, a safe environment, and beautiful scenery along the Schuylkill River are what attract people to this county within 30 miles of Philadelphia. Downside — median home price is near $350,000.

6. Hunterdon County, New Jersey

The safest county in the country (just 8 crimes committed per 1,000 people) is also one of the most affordable, with median home prices in the $260s. Downside — this is the “dirty air” part of New Jersey, and there are fairly long commutes to work to boot.

7. Delaware County, Ohio

A solid performer across the board — within easy drive of the state capital Columbus, the fastest growing county in the state (with the lowest unemployment numbers), median home price just $180,000 — and they have a nationally recognized school system. Downside — some people may consider this “fly-over country” and be bored by small-town Ohio.

8. Johnson County, Kansas

Another great county to raise a family in within a stone’s throw of a big city — located up against Kansas City is this community known for its outdoor life. There’s nearly 9,000 acres of park and recreation space in this county that also has some of the cheapest home price averages in the country at $170,000. Downside — standardized test scores are strangely low. Consider private school.

9. Ozaukee County, Wisconsin

The wealthiest county in Wisconsin is also blessed with the highest test scores and the best graduation rate in the state. A low crime community (around 11 crimes per 1,000 people) just 25 miles from Milwaukee. Downside — cold winters.

10. Hamilton County, Indiana

Just north of Indianapolis this county is known for its great public school system. There are eight unique communities in this county, each town with its own charm. Average home price is dipping below $200,000 due to a population boom. Short commutes to town and low crime rates could seal the deal for you. Downside — air quality is strangely poor in this area of Indiana.

This is part of a series of blog posts we’re publishing about the best places on Earth. The other post in this series is: