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Best places to raise a family in the West

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Nadia Yong // Shutterstock

Best places to raise a family in the West

The West is full of enticing natural beauty and ample professional opportunities, making it an attractive option for raising a family. With an abundance of jobs across entertainment, tech, and science, there are also many practical reasons to relocate here. The almost-always fantastic weather, entrepreneurial opportunities, focus on health, and peaceful lifestyle are just the start of why raising a family in the West can be beneficial.

But where in the West suits your family best? Choosing a place to raise a family comes with a number of considerations including the basics: cost of living, incomes in the area, quality of the public school system. And then there are the lifestyle considerations: the feel of the area, population density, safety, family activities, walkability of the town. It can be difficult—and to be honest, quite daunting—to find a place that checks off all the boxes, but there are neighborhoods, towns, and cities that fit everyone’s lifestyle and needs.

To help families of all stages take a data-driven approach to finding the best communities within the American West, Stacker looked to Niche's 2019 Best Places to Raise a Family, which evaluates dozens of important components to raising a family. Public schools have the heaviest weight among the considerations included, while crime and safety, cost of living, demographics, and community resources all factor strongly (full methodology here).

The following states were considered for this piece: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Only places with populations of over 10,000 were considered, with at least two places from every state included to offer representation for all states. Click ahead to see the best places in the West that will allow your family to thrive.

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RTC // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Helena, MT

- Population: 30,345
- Median home value: $220,100 (54% of residents own)
- Median rent: $797 (46% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $53,892
- Educational attainment: 17% masters or higher, 27% bachelors, 30% some college, 26% high school or less

Rife with history, Helena is a wonderful place to live, especially for families who like to be active outdoors. With opportunities for families to enjoy fishing, hiking, boating, camping, kayaking, and skiing nearby, families can make the most of their time together. The many outdoor activities are just a bonus to the affordable housing market.

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ClatieK // Flickr

#49. Spanish Springs, NV

- Population: 16,458
- Median home value: $301,300 (86% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,510 (14% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $85,050
- Educational attainment: 8% masters or higher, 14% bachelors, 44% some college, 34% high school or less

With a small population and affordable housing options, this city has a small-town feel with the classic draws of a suburban neighborhood (it's north of Reno). The Lazy 5 Regional Park offers summer concerts, water activities, athletic fields, a skate park, and picnic areas.

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Patrick Nouhailler // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Carson City, NV

- Population: 54,219
- Median home value: $217,400 (55% of residents own)
- Median rent: $868 (45% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $49,341
- Educational attainment: 9% masters or higher, 13% bachelors, 37% some college, 42% high school or less

Access to cultural activities and proximity to Lake Tahoe are the main draws of Carson City. With the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada and the Nevada State Railroad Museum, there are several ways to enjoy the local culture with your family. The Carson City School District is also an above-average public school district, with a student-teacher ratio of 19-to-1.

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SvetlanaSF // Shutterstock

#47. Honolulu, HI

- Population: 402,452
- Median home value: $688,200 (48% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,441 (52% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $70,527
- Educational attainment: 14% masters or higher, 24% bachelors, 28% some college, 33% high school or less

Honolulu is Oahu’s biggest city, and raising a family there comes with all the conveniences of urban life: restaurants, access to shops, activities (including incredible beaches), and schools. Honolulu also has above-average public schools.

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1st Lt. John Howard // U.S. Army

#46. Mililani Mauka, HI

- Population: 20,393
- Median home value: $641,900 (77% of residents own)
- Median rent: $2,215 (23% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $112,726
- Educational attainment: 16% masters or higher, 34% bachelors, 31% some college, 18% high school or less

Named the #1 place to raise a family in Hawaii, Mililani Mauka is in Honolulu County and offers a densely populated suburban feel. There are several well-kept community parks to enjoy outdoor activities, and the public schools are highly rated. The population comprises many working professionals and young families.

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Wonderlane // Flickr

#45. Anchorage, AK

- Population: 298,225
- Median home value: $304,500 (60% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,261 (40% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $82,271
- Educational attainment: 13% masters or higher, 22% bachelors, 35% some college, 31% high school or less

The largest city in Alaska with a population of 300,000, Anchorage still maintains a small-town atmosphere. The cold winters are eased by a welcoming community with many exciting outdoor activities, like skiing, hunting, hiking, fishing, and dog mushing.

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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Laramie, WY

- Population: 32,104
- Median home value: $210,600 (44% of residents own)
- Median rent: $750 (56% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $43,191
- Educational attainment: 22% masters or higher, 29% bachelors, 30% some college, 19% high school or less

The #1 best city to raise a family in the state of Wyoming, Laramie offers residents a dense suburban atmosphere with a large rental market. The city has many conveniences of suburban life including easy access to shops, schools, and parks, and the University of Wyoming gives the community youthful vigor as well as cultural cache.

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Ems Images // Shutterstock

#43. Sheridan, WY

- Population: 17,816
- Median home value: $211,500 (61% of residents own)
- Median rent: $795 (39% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $52,666
- Educational attainment: 12% masters or higher, 19% bachelors, 38% some college, 31% high school or less

With a mixed population of retirees, young professionals, and families, Sheridan offers a slow-paced suburban lifestyle for those with children. Affordable homes and highly rated public schools make for a convenient place to live with plentiful access to pharmacies, coffee shops, restaurants, and stores.

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Jeremy Segrott // Flickr

#42. Moscow, ID

- Population: 24,833
- Median home value: $216,700 (41% of residents own)
- Median rent: $669 (59% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $35,979
- Educational attainment: 26% masters or higher, 32% bachelors, 27% some college, 14% high school or less

Take a stroll with the family down to the Moscow Farmers Market or check out the foliage at the University of Idaho Arboretum & Botanical Garden. Between the beautiful Latah Trail Bike Path, the Appaloosa Museum & Heritage Center, and the nearby Wolf Lodge Campgrounds, there are plenty of activities to do with children both indoors and outdoors.

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CSNafzger // Shutterstock

#41. Boise, ID

- Population: 220,859
- Median home value: $206,800 (60% of residents own)
- Median rent: $875 (40% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $54,547
- Educational attainment: 14% masters or higher, 27% bachelors, 33% some college, 27% high school or less

Boise has a lot of outdoor activities for families, including birding at the World Center for Birds of Prey, biking the Boise River Greenbelt, and strolling through the Idaho Botanical Garden. This city is definitely a cultural hub of Idaho, with many vibrant neighborhoods that have their own unique personalities.

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Tim Evanson // Flickr

#40. Bozeman, MT

- Population: 43,132
- Median home value: $310,800 (44% of residents own)
- Median rent: $956 (56% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $49,217
- Educational attainment: 22% masters or higher, 35% bachelors, 28% some college, 15% high school or less

Named the #10 place to raise a family on Livability’s 2018 ranking, Bozeman offers a tight-knit suburban community. Residents have an average commute time of 15 minutes to work and enjoy several opportunities to relax outdoors on the weekend. Montana State University is one of the community’s largest employers along with the companies that make up the city’s burgeoning tech scene.

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Gary Whitton // Shutterstock

#39. College, AK

- Population: 14,362
- Median home value: $233,000 (60% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,198 (40% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $77,341
- Educational attainment: 18% masters or higher, 24% bachelors, 37% some college, 20% high school or less

College is part of the Fairbanks metropolitan area and has the University of Alaska Fairbanks within its city limits. With the abundance of college students come many cultural activities such as concerts and theatrical productions. The city has a sparse suburban feel, and many of its residents are young professionals.

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Checubus // Shutterstock

#38. Kaysville, UT

- Population: 30,328
- Median home value: $293,800 (89% of residents own)
- Median rent: $846 (11% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $91,334
- Educational attainment: 15% masters or higher, 33% bachelors, 35% some college, 17% high school or less

Between Ogden and Salt Lake City, Kaysville is regarded as “Utah’s hometown.” The city is historic and was the first to be incorporated in Davis County. The public schools also boast high rankings, with Davis High School leading the number of students who take the AP test in the state and also ranking second in the state for students that pass.

[Pictured: Salt Lake City, UT.]

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NPS Photo

#37. North Logan, UT

- Population: 10,140
- Median home value: $249,300 (63% of residents own)
- Median rent: $982 (37% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $70,139
- Educational attainment: 19% masters or higher, 32% bachelors, 32% some college, 16% high school or less

With a modest population of just over 10,000, North Logan offers a small-town environment for a great value. North Logan has a lot of outdoor activities fun for the whole family like hiking to the Wind Caves, skiing Beaver Mountain, or trekking the Crimson Trail.

[Pictured: Wind Caves.]

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Ramkumar Menon // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Los Gatos, CA

- Population: 30,709
- Median home value: $1,476,700 (66% of residents own)
- Median rent: $2,111 (34% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $132,671
- Educational attainment: 30% masters or higher, 36% bachelors, 21% some college, 12% high school or less

A suburb of San Jose, Los Gatos has a large population of retirees and offers a quiet community with a dense suburban feel. The fantastic public schools and great museums lend themselves to a town that’s full of culture.

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Joe Wolf // Flickr

#35. South Pasadena, CA

- Population: 25,974
- Median home value: $928,500 (45% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,556 (55% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $92,756
- Educational attainment: 30% masters or higher, 33% bachelors, 23% some college, 14% high school or less

While affordability certainly isn’t the selling point for choosing South Pasadena to raise your family—with a median home value of $928,500—it reciprocates with a high percentage of educational attainment for its residents. It was ranked #6 on Niche’s 2010 best Los Angeles suburbs to raise a family and boasts a modern city with a small-town attitude.

[Pictured: Garfield Park, South Pasadena, CA.]

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Burkhard Mücke // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Berkeley, CA

- Population: 120,179
- Median home value: $861,800 (43% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,523 (57% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $75,709
- Educational attainment: 39% masters or higher, 34% bachelors, 17% some college, 11% high school or less

Home to the University of California, Berkeley, this city is a vibrant suburb of San Francisco with a personality that matches its unique history. In keeping with its revolutionary history, its downtown is a mix of tie dye wares and henna tattoo vendors, mixed with quaint cafes and a thriving mom-and-pop restaurant scene. Berkeley also has a lot to offer for outdoorsy families with hikes up to Grizzly Peak and strolls through the university’s botanical garden.

[Pictured: University of California Berkeley Botanical Garden.]

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LunaseeStudios // Shutterstock

#33. Irvine, CA

- Population: 256,877
- Median home value: $753,400 (48% of residents own)
- Median rent: $2,114 (52% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $95,573
- Educational attainment: 29% masters or higher, 38% bachelors, 20% some college, 12% high school or less

Dubbed the “Safest City of its Size” for the 14th year in a row, it is a great place to raise a family. This city also has the charm of being a college town, centering on the University of California, Irvine. Built as a dense suburban town, it has all the conveniences for raising a family, including easy access to shops, schools, and parks.

[Pictured: The Great Park Palm Court in Irvine, CA.]

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KurtClark // Flickr

#32. Cottage Lake, WA

- Population: 23,941
- Median home value: $676,400 (92% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,831 (8% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $146,315
- Educational attainment: 25% masters or higher, 36% bachelors, 26% some college, 12% high school or less

Cottage Lake is a suburb of Seattle that boasts scenic views and a rural feel. The city has a high percentage of educational attainment with 36% of residents achieving bachelors degrees and 25% achieving master’s degrees or higher. There is also a plethora of outdoor activities for families to enjoy, including swimming, camping, boating, and hiking at Cottage Lake Park.

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Esprqii // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Lake Oswego, OR

- Population: 38,212
- Median home value: $559,100 (69% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,425 (31% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $93,993
- Educational attainment: 28% masters or higher, 41% bachelors, 22% some college, 10% high school or less

The scenic Oswego Lake is the centerpiece to this idyllic town just outside of Portland. The city has beautiful views, great public schools, and great lake activities. While being on the lake increases the value of real estate, its residents have very high educational attainment, with a whopping 41% of residents obtaining a bachelor's degree and 28% getting a master’s degree or higher.

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Gtj82 // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Cherry Creek, CO

- Population: 12,310
- Median home value: $559,900 (66% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,394 (34% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $97,883
- Educational attainment: 31% masters or higher, 38% bachelors, 20% some college, 11% high school or less

Cherry Creek is a suburb of Denver that is only five minutes from the downtown area. The town has become known for its diverse shopping scene and locally sourced cuisine. Cherry Creek is also one of Denver’s safest neighborhoods with a crime rate 60% lower than the rest of the city.

[Pictured: Arts Festival in Cherry Creek, CO.]

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Casey Yee // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Bainbridge Island, WA

- Population: 23,689
- Median home value: $624,200 (76% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,313 (24% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $109,341
- Educational attainment: 32% masters or higher, 38% bachelors, 22% some college, 9% high school or less

Another suburb of Seattle, Bainbridge Island offers a sparse suburban feel that contrasts with the hustle and bustle of its neighboring metropolitan area. Just a 35-minute ferry ride from Seattle, residents can enjoy the best of both worlds here. Homeownership is very high, with 76% of residents owning their homes and only 24% renting.

[Pictured: Washington State Ferry boat landing at Bainbridge Island Terminal.]

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Sergei Krupnov // Flickr

#28. Hillsborough, CA

- Population: 11,436
- Median home value: $2,000,001 (93% of residents own)
- Median rent: $2,952 (7% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $238,750
- Educational attainment: 42% masters or higher, 34% bachelors, 14% some college, 11% high school or less

Located just south of San Francisco, Hillsborough is a neighborhood of San Mateo County. The educational attainment of residents in this area is exceptionally high, with 42% of its residents achieving a master’s degree or higher. This could be because Hillsborough has experienced a 1.3% increase in the job market over the last year. The neighborhood has a rural feel, and 93% of its residents own their own homes.

[Pictured: The Flintstone House, located in Hillsborough, CA.]

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Wikimedia Commons

#27. San Marino, CA

- Population: 13,331
- Median home value: $1,550,100 (84% of residents own)
- Median rent: $3,501 (16% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $152,527
- Educational attainment: 41% masters or higher, 32% bachelors, 17% some college, 9% high school or less

An affluent suburb of Los Angeles, San Marino is a destination for many wealthy retirees. Despite the older demographic, this slightly rural-feeling neighborhood is also an ideal place to raise a family. The area offers many cultural activities like visiting the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, catching the New Year’s Day Rose Parade, or tinkering around at Kidspace Children’s Museum.

[Pictured: The Huntington Japanese Garden, San Marino, CA.]

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Andrew Zarivny // Shutterstock

#26. Castle Pines, CO

- Population: 10,623
- Median home value: $549,700 (87% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,752 (13% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $157,550
- Educational attainment: 26% masters or higher, 44% bachelors, 21% some college, 9% high school or less

Named by WalletHub the #3 best place to raise a family in Colorado, Castle Pines is the #5 neighborhood with the most families with children. Another suburb of Denver, this neighborhood has exceptional public schools and has a rural feel, offering families a lot of state parks and recreation space.

[Pictured: Denver, CO.]

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Michael C. Berch // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Pleasanton, CA

- Population: 79,341
- Median home value: $879,800 (70% of residents own)
- Median rent: $2,140 (30% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $138,269
- Educational attainment: 28% masters or higher, 35% bachelors, 23% some college, 15% high school or less

This suburb of California’s Bay Area, Pleasanton ranked #7 in WalletHub’s 2018 ranking of best Californian cities to raise a family. With a dense suburban feel mixed with quaint small-town charm, families can enjoy a local farmer's market, learn to identify trees in Sycamore Grove Regional Park, or check out the Alameda County Fairgrounds in the summer.

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Sergei Gussev // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Solana Beach, CA

- Population: 13,362
- Median home value: $1,103,900 (59% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,990 (41% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $103,864
- Educational attainment: 30% masters or higher, 37% bachelors, 20% some college, 13% high school or less

This small town in Southern California has a mix of active families, competitive surfers, and nature preservationists. It only takes up four square miles by the sea, but that limited area offers beautiful sunsets and scenic seascapes. Because of its quaint size, this neighborhood is tight-knit and most schools are walking distance from homes.

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Junkyardsparkle // GoodFreePhotos

#23. Issaquah, WA

- Population: 35,629
- Median home value: $502,500 (61% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,746 (39% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $100,844
- Educational attainment: 26% masters or higher, 38% bachelors, 23% some college, 13% high school or less

Seventeen miles west of Seattle, Issaquah is one of the best cities to raise a family in Washington. Issaquah is surrounded by three large mountains by the tip of Lake Sammamish and offers a lot of hiking and boating opportunities for active families. The community also has a roster of annual festivals, including Salmon Days Festival and the First Friday Artwalks series.

[Pictured: View of Lake Sammamish from the zoo in Issaquah, WA.]

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Bill Reynolds // Flickr

#22. West Linn, OR

- Population: 26,307
- Median home value: $433,300 (79% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,392 (21% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $100,188
- Educational attainment: 22% masters or higher, 36% bachelors, 29% some college, 14% high school or less

West Linn is a suburb of Portland with a population of 26,307. Offering an affordable place for families to own homes, West Linn has highly rated schools that are often named among the best in the nation. One of its biggest selling points is the 600 acres dedicated to parkland. There are also botanical gardens, arboretums, and gardens for those who are looking to learn more about nature.

[Pictured: Willamette River West Linn, OR.]

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Mark Doliner // Flickr

#21. Lafayette, CA

- Population: 25,792
- Median home value: $1,214,200 (73% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,940 (27% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $152,609
- Educational attainment: 33% masters or higher, 39% bachelors, 20% some college, 8% high school or less

One of the affluent suburbs of Oakland, Lafayette is located very near Berkeley. Lafayette offers easy access to Northern California’s redwood forests and Tilden Regional Park. Because of its proximity to Berkeley’s university, the area is also close to several fantastic museums, including the Chabot Space & Science Center, the Lindsay Wildlife Experience, and the Lesher Center for the Arts.

[Pictured: Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley, CA.]

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wmung // Flickr

#20. Highlands Ranch, CO

- Population: 105,264
- Median home value: $407,200 (81% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,740 (19% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $116,973
- Educational attainment: 23% masters or higher, 41% bachelors, 24% some college, 12% high school or less

A suburb just 30 minutes outside of Denver, Highlands Ranch is known as the premier “family friendly” neighborhood in Denver. This neighborhood’s residents are mostly in the middle- to upper-income brackets and includes an incredibly safe place to live and excellent public school system.

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Andwhatsnext // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Orinda, CA

- Population: 19,248
- Median home value: $1,221,800 (88% of residents own)
- Median rent: $2,231 (12% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $186,075
- Educational attainment: 40% masters or higher, 41% bachelors, 14% some college, 6% high school or less

A suburb of Oakland, Orinda is yet another family friendly neighborhood in California’s Bay Area. With a diversity of restaurants, shops, and parks, Orinda residents can enjoy a sparse suburban feel with proximity to the cultural attractions of Oakland and Berkeley.

[Pictured: Alice Lane, Orinda, CA.]

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Nadia Yong // Shutterstock

#18. Cedar Mill, OR

- Population: 17,050
- Median home value: $518,300 (74% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,114 (26% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $114,909
- Educational attainment: 27% masters or higher, 36% bachelors, 25% some college, 12% high school or less

Cedar Mill is a suburb of the Portland metro area, and residents are close to both Portland and Beaverton. Major employers of residents, Nike and Intel, are in neighboring towns. Families are also attracted to the Beaverton School District that carries a rating of 9 out of 10 at GreatSchools.

[Pictured: Portland, OR.]

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MARELBU // Wikimedia Commons

#17. San Anselmo, CA

- Population: 12,619
- Median home value: $963,300 (76% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,756 (24% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $116,867
- Educational attainment: 29% masters or higher, 43% bachelors, 20% some college, 8% high school or less

In the affluent Marin County in Northern California’s Bay Area, San Anselmo is a neighborhood centered on community and enjoys pleasant, mild weather with proximity to San Francisco. Without the hustle and bustle of the city across the bay, San Anselmo offers a picturesque landscape with beautiful wineries.

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Doc Searls // WIkimedia Commons

#16. Superior, CO

- Population: 12,879
- Median home value: $491,100 (58% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,723 (42% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $119,810
- Educational attainment: 36% masters or higher, 41% bachelors, 15% some college, 9% high school or less

Situated southeast of Boulder, Superior has an admirable 594 acres of parks and green space and 27 miles of hiking trails. The majority of its residents are families and young professionals that live an active lifestyle. Families can enjoy all the conveniences of suburban living including grocery stores, restaurants, and coffee shops.

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Jay Huang // Flickr

#15. San Ramon, CA

- Population: 75,048
- Median home value: $863,800 (70% of residents own)
- Median rent: $2,152 (30% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $142,718
- Educational attainment: 29% masters or higher, 40% bachelors, 21% some college, 11% high school or less

San Ramon boasts several accolades as a family friendly neighborhood, including the #1 place to raise a family in the Bay Area, the #7 safest city in the nation according to security company SafeWise, as well as being among Money magazine’s best places to live in California. Being near Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco, San Ramon is an ideal suburb to raise a family and remain close to city life.

[Pictured: Sunrise at San Ramon Valley, Bay Area, CA.]

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Lisandro Luis Trarbach // Shutterstock

#14. Los Altos, CA

- Population: 30,527
- Median home value: $2,000,001 (83% of residents own)
- Median rent: $2,891 (17% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $208,309
- Educational attainment: 49% masters or higher, 33% bachelors, 12% some college, 5% high school or less

With a steep $2 million median home value, you can guess that Los Altos is an affluent community, with 83% of residents owning their homes. The population is also a highly educated one with nearly half of its residents achieving a master’s degree or higher. Close to the heart of Silicon Valley and all the tech employers, it’s easy to guess why families are moving here.

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U.S. Forest Service // Wikimedia Commons

#13. La Cañada Flintridge, CA

- Population: 20,474
- Median home value: $1,280,900 (89% of residents own)
- Median rent: $2,185 (11% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $160,481
- Educational attainment: 37% masters or higher, 38% bachelors, 17% some college, 8% high school or less

Located in the Crescenta Valley in a narrow basin between the Verdugo and San Gabriel mountains, La Cañada Flintridge has scenic foothills. It is near the Descanso Gardens and the Angeles National Forest, giving the somewhat ritzy area a semi-rural feel.

[Pictured: Angeles National Forest.]

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Emiellaiendiay // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Piedmont, CA

- Population: 11,296
- Median home value: $1,715,700 (88% of residents own)
- Median rent: $2,929 (12% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $202,631
- Educational attainment: 49% masters or higher, 36% bachelors, 12% some college, 3% high school or less

Earning a place in the top 20 suburbs in California, Piedmont is also ranked #15 in the best places to retire in California. This suburb of Oakland and liberal neighborhood has quite a high median home value of $1.7 million. The population also boasts a high percentage of academic achievement, with 36% of residents achieving a bachelor's degree and nearly 50% of residents receiving a master’s degree or higher.

[Pictured: A view of Piedmont Middle School, Witter Field, and the larger Bay Area.]

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Dllu // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Mercer Island, WA

- Population: 24,768
- Median home value: $1,034,600 (70% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,908 (30% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $136,644
- Educational attainment: 37% masters or higher, 42% bachelors, 15% some college, 7% high school or less

At the center of Lake Washington, Mercer Island is connected by bridge to Seattle. Business Insider named Mercer Island one of the 50 best American suburbs. With a beautiful, scenic landscape, 475 acres of parks, excellent public schools, and a focus on community, it’s easy to guess the allure for families.

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Curt Smith // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Bellevue, WA

- Population: 139,014
- Median home value: $665,700 (57% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,741 (43% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $105,402
- Educational attainment: 29% masters or higher, 37% bachelors, 19% some college, 15% high school or less

This city offers a suburban/urban mixed feel with many shops, activities, and restaurants. There is no shortage of activities fun for the whole family, including the Bellevue Botanical Garden, the Bellevue Downtown Park, the Chism Beach Park, and the shopping center at Bellevue Square.

[Pictured: Downtown Park, Bellevue, WA.]

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M.O. Stevens // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Oak Hills, OR

- Population: 11,779
- Median home value: $387,600 (64% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,272 (36% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $85,318
- Educational attainment: 25% masters or higher, 34% bachelors, 26% some college, 15% high school or less

Oak Hills, a mid-century modern Historic District in Beaverton, is a master-planned community that includes 627 single-family homes and 24 townhomes. This town has very specific guidelines for the aesthetic of their homes and is highly designed to keep the historic architecture. This is a good neighborhood for like-minded families that value a unified community.

[Pictured: City Park, Beaverton, OR.]

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Adam Smith // Flickr

#8. Manhattan Beach, CA

- Population: 35,698
- Median home value: $1,694,900 (69% of residents own)
- Median rent: $2,393 (31% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $148,899
- Educational attainment: 34% masters or higher, 41% bachelors, 17% some college, 8% high school or less

Known for breathtaking beachfront that celebrates California's iconic surf scene, Manhattan Beach is a great place for active families to settle down. The natural beauty of the town has attracted many families, along with a few celebrities, to buy homes, including Maria Sharapova, Vince Vaughn, and Michael Strahan. Additionally, the Manhattan Beach Unified School District consistently ranks highly among schools in L.A. County.

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Eric Fredericks // Flickr

#7. Mountain View, CA

- Population: 80,076
- Median home value: $1,079,900 (42% of residents own)
- Median rent: $2,103 (58% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $120,351
- Educational attainment: 39% masters or higher, 29% bachelors, 16% some college, 17% high school or less

Mountain View is the true heart of Silicon Valley, filled with sprawling tech industry campuses and modern eateries. The home of Facebook, Twitter, and Google, to name a few of its residents, Mountain View also offers a community of many young professionals and ranks in the top five cities to raise a family in California.

[Pictured: Castro Street in Downtown Mountain View, CA.]

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MARELBU // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Moraga, CA

- Population: 17,231
- Median home value: $1,035,000 (82% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,913 (18% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $139,018
- Educational attainment: 36% masters or higher, 38% bachelors, 18% some college, 8% high school or less

A suburb of San Francisco, Moraga was named one of the best places to raise a family in California on Stacker’s 2018 ranking. With a mix of young professionals and retirees, Moraga is an affluent suburb with a median home value of approximately $1 million, and 82% of residents owning their homes. Its proximity to the San Francisco allows for residents to enjoy the energy of the city and the quaintness of the suburbs.

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MARELBU // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Palo Alto, CA

- Population: 67,082
- Median home value: $1,989,300 (55% of residents own)
- Median rent: $2,379 (45% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $147,537
- Educational attainment: 52% masters or higher, 29% bachelors, 11% some college, 8% high school or less

Palo Alto is a popular community to raise a family for those working in the tech industry or working at Stanford University. Education is a huge draw for settling in Palo Alto, as its Unified School District is one of the top-rated in the country and serves approximately 12,000 students. There are even more educational opportunities with the city’s many museums, including Stanford's Cantor Arts Center and the Museum of American Heritage.

[Pictured: Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA.]

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LPS.1 // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Albany, CA

- Population: 19,682
- Median home value: $766,000 (48% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,739 (52% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $87,694
- Educational attainment: 39% masters or higher, 33% bachelors, 17% some college, 11% high school or less

Earning a ranking among the top five best California suburbs, Albany has a suburban/urban mixed feel with a somewhat moderate median home value. Even though a significant number of residents own their homes, Albany is more of a renters’ town with 52% renting their homes.

[Pictured: View of Albany from Albany Bulb, with Albany Hill on the left.]

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Jelson25 // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Redmond, WA

- Population: 60,712
- Median home value: $579,400 (51% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,731 (49% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $115,300
- Educational attainment: 31% masters or higher, 37% bachelors, 20% some college, 12% high school or less

Redmond is also a suburb of Seattle and is considered the Silicon Valley of Washington, housing the state’s burgeoning tech scene. With headquarters for Microsoft, Nintendo of America, Concur Technologies, and many more, there is a significant job market for those looking for a stable place to raise their family.

[Pictured: The west campus of Microsoft, Redmond, WA.]

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Curt Smith // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Sammamish, WA

- Population: 62,877
- Median home value: $679,900 (86% of residents own)
- Median rent: $2,094 (14% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $157,271
- Educational attainment: 31% masters or higher, 42% bachelors, 19% some college, 8% high school or less

Named Money magazine’s #9 best place to live in 2018, Sammamish is also a tech hub of Washington. It is situated about 30 minutes from Seattle and attracts families with jobs at Amazon, Microsoft, and Expedia. But it’s not all work here; there are also several outdoor activities in which to partake during downtime, including exploring the town’s 14 parks and wildlife preserves, with hiking, ziplining, and biking.

[Pictured: A sunset over Lake Sammamish.]

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happylilcoder // Flickr

#1. Bethany, OR

- Population: 23,177
- Median home value: $479,700 (74% of residents own)
- Median rent: $1,535 (26% of residents rent)
- Median household income: $121,149
- Educational attainment: 36% masters or higher, 33% bachelors, 20% some college, 11% high school or less

A newer neighborhood with a good mix of retail and residential, Bethany, Ore., takes the #1 spot on Stacker’s list of the best places to raise a family in the West. The diverse community and strong public school system creates a residential feel that captures the spirit of a small town with all the commercial conveniences that make it easy to raise a family.

[Pictured: Portland suburbs.]

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