Massachusetts: Middlesex County
- Population: 1.6 million
- Median household income: $97,012
With a deep history offering its residents historic and fun outdoor places to gather, like Minute Man National Park and Walden Woods, it comes as no surprise that Middlesex County is also the best county for outdoor activities in Massachusetts. A high walkability score allows many families to live within a walkable distance to family-friendly places like parks and libraries. Fantastic public schools and safe neighborhoods make this county a true gem.
Michigan: Washtenaw County
- Population: 365,961
- Median household income: $69,434
Home to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County is a bustling area that offers safe towns and excellent schools. Families can come together at one of the many community activities offered by the county's parks and recreation department. Washtenaw County is also famous for its lakes, which offer family fun for all seasons and include everything from family campouts in the summer to ice fishing events in the winter.
Minnesota: Hennepin County
- Population: 1.2 million
- Median household income: $74,113
Just over 77% of the population of Hennepin County, Minnesota, is within a walkable distance to a park. Walkability is just one of the lures for families who call this Minnesota county home. A sense of community, friendly residents, and access to both a major metropolitan hub and surrounding suburban towns make Hennepin County a great place to live.
Mississippi: Madison County
- Population: 103,498
- Median household income: $71,690
A wonderfully diverse and safe place to raise a family, Madison County, Mississippi, also boasts affordable homes with a side of Southern hospitality. Known for its close-knit, family-friendly vibe, Madison County offers family-friendly activities and bustling local businesses.
Missouri: St. Louis County
- Population: 998,684
- Median household income: $65,300
Also voted the #1 county in Missouri for outdoor activities, St. Louis County offers easy access to everything. Affordability and an excellent public school system make this a great place for families. The county even has free activities for every age and sensibility, including a park that is 500 acres larger than New York City’s Central Park, educational museums, and a famous St. Louis landmark with a view.
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Montana: Gallatin County
- Population: 104,729
- Median household income: $61,499
The scenic Rocky Mountains provide the backdrop for Gallatin County, Montana. Families who call this county home have easy access to ski the powdery white slopes of one of the largest ski resorts in the United States (located in Gallatin and Madison counties), experience outdoor adventures at Yellowstone National Park (in nearby Gallatin County), and simply enjoy the outdoor wonder that miles of wilderness offer. With safe neighborhoods and good schools, Gallatin County is the perfect family place.
Nebraska: Douglas County
- Population: 554,992
- Median household income: $61,688
Douglas County, Nebraska, has a strong sense of community, Midwestern values, good schools, and affordable homes. The city of Omaha, the largest city in the county (and the state), offers so much to do, with a theater featuring kid-friendly shows, a model railroad garden, and exciting, family-oriented events. It’s no wonder that Douglas County is the #1 county in Nebraska to raise a family.
Nevada: Washoe County
- Population: 450,486
- Median household income: $61,155
From sleepy suburban towns located on the shores of Lake Tahoe to the biggest little city in the world, Washoe County offers a diverse list of places for families to live. Its access to Lake Tahoe and other natural outdoor wonders affords its residents the opportunity to swim, boat, and hike in some of the most scenic beauty Nevada has to offer.
New Hampshire: Rockingham County
- Population: 305,129
- Median household income: $90,429
Situated along New Hampshire’s coastline, Rockingham County offers some of the best educational opportunities both publicly (with low student-to-teacher ratios) and privately (including one of the country's top boarding schools). Made up of quaint New England towns and seaside communities, it is a safe place to enjoy family-friendly activities like swimming at a coastal resort or riding a historic wooden roller coaster at a local amusement park.
New Jersey: Somerset County
- Population: 330,176
- Median household income: $111,772
A diverse and welcoming community, Somerset County, New Jersey, is both safe and convenient, with a manageable commute time to New York City. With a per-pupil-expenditure much higher than the national median, and top-performing schools, education is paramount in Somerset County. Outdoor activities also rate high here, with many mountains, parks, and lakes for families to enjoy.
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