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Best place to raise a family in every state

  • Olesia Bilkei // Shutterstock
    1/ Olesia Bilkei // Shutterstock

    Best place to raise a family in every state

    Choosing a place to raise children can be a daunting task for new families as well as seasoned parents. If it takes a village to raise a child, that may just extend all the way to your next door neighbor, 5th-grade teacher, or volunteer soccer coach. While all parents are looking for the top place to raise their children, oftentimes this decision means balancing community resources with steep prices for the nicest neighborhoods.

    To help families of all stages take a data-driven approach to finding the best communities within their state, Stacker looked to Niche's 2017 Best Places to Raise a Family which evaluates dozens of important components. Public schools have the heaviest weighting among the considerations included, while crime and safety, cost of living, demographics, and community resources all factor strongly (full methodology here).

    From this analysis, we've picked out the area in each state that ranks best for raising a family, focusing on places with at least 10,000 residents.

    We've ranked the full list from small to large by population—while you may have never even heard of some of these cities, they’re worth taking a look at before you decide to plant your roots. The best spot for your family might be right next door.

  • Mlewis2005 // Wikicommons
    2/ Mlewis2005 // Wikicommons

    Wyoming: Jackson

    Population: 10,279
    Education: Public schools grade: A-; Residents with Bachelors degree: 36%; Residents with Masters degree: 10%
    Cost of living grade: C- (Median home value: $573,400; Median rent: $1,175)
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Diversity grade: A-
    Crime & safety grade: B-
     

  • The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch
    3/ The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch

    California: Pacific Highlands Ranch

    Population: 10,694
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 26%; Residents with Masters degree: 50%
    Cost of living grade: C- (Median home value: $1,018,587; Median rent: $1,804)
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Diversity grade: A
    Crime & safety grade: A
     

  • Idawriter // Wikicommons
    4/ Idawriter // Wikicommons

    Maryland: Urbana

    Population: 10,872
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 39%; Residents with Masters degree: 27%
    Cost of living grade: C+ (Median home value: $439,900; Median rent: $2,214)
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Diversity grade: A
    Crime & safety grade: n/a
     

  • WMrapids // Wikicommons
    5/ WMrapids // Wikicommons

    Michigan: East Grand Rapids

    Population: 11,297
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 42%; Residents with Masters degree: 38%
    Cost of living grade: B (Median home value: $303,400; Median rent: $1,395)
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: A-
     

  • Cody // Wikicommons
    6/ Cody // Wikicommons

    New Mexico: Los Alamos

    Population: 11,733
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 23%; Residents with Masters degree: 43%
    Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $277,700; Median rent: $933)
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Diversity grade: A-
    Crime & safety grade: n/a
     

  • Donald Linscott // Shutterstock
    7/ Donald Linscott // Shutterstock

    Maine: Falmouth

    Population: 11,753
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 41%; Residents with Masters degree: 29%
    Cost of living grade: C (Median home value: $390,800; Median rent: $1,680)
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: B-
     

  • Daniel Case // Wikicommons
    8/ Daniel Case // Wikicommons

    New Jersey: Short Hills

    Population: 12,771
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 35%; Residents with Masters degree: 56%
    Cost of living grade: C (Median home value: $1,312,800; Median rent: $1,800)
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Diversity grade: B
    Crime & safety grade: n/a
     

  • Dave Dugdale // Flickr
    9/ Dave Dugdale // Flickr

    Colorado: Superior

    Population: 12,928
    Education: Public schools grade: A; Residents with Bachelors degree: 39%; Residents with Masters degree: 37%
    Cost of living grade: C (Median home value: $456,400; Median rent: $1,533)
    Outdoor activities grade: A+
    Diversity grade: A-
    Crime & safety grade: n/a
     

  • "Newly renovated Hockessin Public Library" - Cschroeder999 // Wikicommons
    10/ "Newly renovated Hockessin Public Library" - Cschroeder999 // Wikicommons

    Delaware: Hockessin

    Population: 13,702
    Education: Public schools grade: B+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 33%; Residents with Masters degree: 30%
    Cost of living grade: C+ (Median home value: $422,400; Median rent: $1,823)
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Diversity grade: B+
    Crime & safety grade: n/a
     

  • C.A. Norden // Wikicommons
    11/ C.A. Norden // Wikicommons

    West Virginia: Teays Valley

    Population: 13,706
    Education: Public schools grade: B+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 22%; Residents with Masters degree: 17%
    Cost of living grade: B+ (Median home value: $214,800; Median rent: $850)
    Outdoor activities grade: B
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: n/a
     

  • Steve and Jan Bachman // northern-va-homesforsale.com
    12/ Steve and Jan Bachman // northern-va-homesforsale.com

    Virginia: Broadlands

    Population: 13,872
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 45%; Residents with Masters degree: 31%
    Cost of living grade: C+ (Median home value: $569,800; Median rent: $2,039)
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Diversity grade: A-
    Crime & safety grade: n/a
     

  • Yinan Chen // Wikicommons
    13/ Yinan Chen // Wikicommons

    Wisconsin: Whitefish Bay

    Population: 14,088
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 40%; Residents with Masters degree: 33%
    Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $350,700; Median rent: $1,175)
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Diversity grade: B
    Crime & safety grade: B+
     

  • Lee Paxton // Wikicommons
    14/ Lee Paxton // Wikicommons

    Pennsylvania: Franklin Park

    Population: 14,228
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 35%; Residents with Masters degree: 35%
    Cost of living grade: C+ (Median home value: $312,200; Median rent: $1,296)
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Diversity grade: B
    Crime & safety grade: A
     

  • Mikhail Varentsov // Shutterstock
    15/ Mikhail Varentsov // Shutterstock

    Alaska: College

    Population: 14,372
    Education: Public schools grade: B+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 24%; Residents with Masters degree: 19%
    Cost of living grade: C+ (Median home value: $231,900; Median rent: $1,174)
    Outdoor activities grade: C-
    Diversity grade: NG
    Crime & safety grade: n/a
     

  • Michael Rivera // Wikicommons
    16/ Michael Rivera // Wikicommons

    Florida: World Golf Village

    Population: 15,041
    Education: Public schools grade: A; Residents with Bachelors degree: 31%; Residents with Masters degree: 16%
    Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $260,500; Median rent: $1,649)
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Diversity grade: B+
    Crime & safety grade: n/a
     

  • Ken Lund // Flickr
    17/ Ken Lund // Flickr

    Nevada: Spanish Springs

    Population: 16,091
    Education: Public schools grade: A-; Residents with Bachelors degree: 13%; Residents with Masters degree: 10%
    Cost of living grade: C (Median home value: $273,100; Median rent: $1,445)
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Diversity grade: A-
    Crime & safety grade: n/a
     

  • Brian McGuirk // Wikicommons
    18/ Brian McGuirk // Wikicommons

    Rhode Island: Barrington

    Population: 16,304
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 30%; Residents with Masters degree: 37%
    Cost of living grade: C (Median home value: $394,800; Median rent: $1,350)
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: B+
     

  • Bill Eichelberger // Wikicommons
    19/ Bill Eichelberger // Wikicommons

    Kentucky: Fort Thomas

    Population: 16,317
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 29%; Residents with Masters degree: 18%
    Cost of living grade: B+ (Median home value: $200,600; Median rent: $782)
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Diversity grade: C+
    Crime & safety grade: n/a
     

  • "Nearby Greenville, South Carolina" - Sean Pavone // Shutterstock
    20/ "Nearby Greenville, South Carolina" - Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

    South Carolina: Five Forks

    Population: 16,929
    Education: Public schools grade: A-; Residents with Bachelors degree: 37%; Residents with Masters degree: 24%
    Cost of living grade: B (Median home value: $271,700; Median rent: $1,331)
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Diversity grade: B
    Crime & safety grade: n/a

    Five Forks is located ten miles southeast of Greenville (pictured above).
     

  • "Downtown Hinsdale Block" - Teemu08 // Wikicommons
    21/ "Downtown Hinsdale Block" - Teemu08 // Wikicommons

    Illinois: Hinsdale

    Population: 17,438
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 37%; Residents with Masters degree: 42%
    Cost of living grade: C (Median home value: $859,400; Median rent: $1,785)
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Diversity grade: B
    Crime & safety grade: A-
     

  • Ann Moore // Shutterstock
    22/ Ann Moore // Shutterstock

    Vermont: South Burlington

    Population: 18,704
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 32%; Residents with Masters degree: 21%
    Cost of living grade: C (Median home value: $271,900; Median rent: $1,326)
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Diversity grade: B
    Crime & safety grade: B
     

  • Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
    23/ Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    New York: Syosset

    Population: 19,232
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 33%; Residents with Masters degree: 30%
    Cost of living grade: C- (Median home value: $626,300; Median rent: $2,372)
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Diversity grade: A-
    Crime & safety grade: n/a
     

  • "Werner Park" - U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Plueger
    24/ "Werner Park" - U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Plueger

    Nebraska: Papillion

    Population: 19,520
    Education: Public schools grade: A; Residents with Bachelors degree: 25%; Residents with Masters degree: 14%
    Cost of living grade: A- (Median home value: $167,200; Median rent: $829)
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: B+
     

  • 4kclips // Shutterstock
    25/ 4kclips // Shutterstock

    Oklahoma: Jenks

    Population: 19,852
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 30%; Residents with Masters degree: 15%
    Cost of living grade: B+ (Median home value: $195,200; Median rent: $1,145)
    Outdoor activities grade: B-
    Diversity grade: B+
    Crime & safety grade: n/a
     

  • barbsimages // Shutterstock
    26/ barbsimages // Shutterstock

    Connecticut: New Canaan

    Population: 20,248
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 41%; Residents with Masters degree: 37%
    Cost of living grade: C- (Median home value: $1,373,100; Median rent: $1,932)
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: A
     

  • Who8myfish? // Wikicommons
    27/ Who8myfish? // Wikicommons

    Hawaii: Mililani Mauka

    Population: 20,322
    Education: Public schools grade: B+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 33%; Residents with Masters degree: 16%
    Cost of living grade: C- (Median home value: $614,600; Median rent: $2,121)
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Diversity grade: NG
    Crime & safety grade: n/a
     

  • Magicpiano // Wikicommons
    28/ Magicpiano // Wikicommons

    New Hampshire: Bedford

    Population: 21,879
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 35%; Residents with Masters degree: 24%
    Cost of living grade: C (Median home value: $370,000; Median rent: $1,563)
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Diversity grade: C+
    Crime & safety grade: B
     

  • CeGe // Shutterstock
    29/ CeGe // Shutterstock

    North Carolina: Morrisville

    Population: 22,600
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 37%; Residents with Masters degree: 28%
    Cost of living grade: B (Median home value: $291,400; Median rent: $1,146)
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Diversity grade: A+
    Crime & safety grade: B
     

  • MB298 // Wikicommons
    30/ MB298 // Wikicommons

    Oregon: Bethany

    Population: 22,819
    Education: Public schools grade: A; Residents with Bachelors degree: 33%; Residents with Masters degree: 34%
    Cost of living grade: C (Median home value: $440,300; Median rent: $1,379)
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Diversity grade: A
    Crime & safety grade: n/a
     

  • Jon Platek // Wikicommons
    31/ Jon Platek // Wikicommons

    South Dakota: Brookings

    Population: 23,292
    Education: Public schools grade: A; Residents with Bachelors degree: 29%; Residents with Masters degree: 18%
    Cost of living grade: B+ (Median home value: $164,500; Median rent: $675)
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: B
     

  • Steve Quinlan // Shutterstock
    32/ Steve Quinlan // Shutterstock

    Minnesota: Chanhassen

    Population: 24,796
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 41%; Residents with Masters degree: 19%
    Cost of living grade: B (Median home value: $339,800; Median rent: $1,215)
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: n/a
     

  • Pmsyyz // Wikicommons
    33/ Pmsyyz // Wikicommons

    Mississippi: Madison

    Population: 25,473
    Education: Public schools grade: A; Residents with Bachelors degree: 37%; Residents with Masters degree: 25%
    Cost of living grade: B (Median home value: $243,500; Median rent: $1,492)
    Outdoor activities grade: C+
    Diversity grade: B
    Crime & safety grade: B+
     

  • travelview // Shutterstock
    34/ travelview // Shutterstock

    Louisiana: Prairieville

    Population: 29,732
    Education: Public schools grade: A; Residents with Bachelors degree: 28%; Residents with Masters degree: 10%
    Cost of living grade: B+ (Median home value: $220,700; Median rent: $1,083)
    Outdoor activities grade: B-
    Diversity grade: B+
    Crime & safety grade: n/a

    Prairieville sits 15 miles southeast of Baton Rouge (pictured above)
     

  • Ntsimp // Wikicommons
    35/ Ntsimp // Wikicommons

    Utah: Kaysville

    Population: 29,799
    Education: Public schools grade: A; Residents with Bachelors degree: 33%; Residents with Masters degree: 15%
    Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $281,500; Median rent: $760)
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Diversity grade: C+
    Crime & safety grade: B+
     

  • West Fargo High School // Wikicommons
    36/ West Fargo High School // Wikicommons

    North Dakota: West Fargo

    Population: 31,557
    Education: Public schools grade: B; Residents with Bachelors degree: 26%; Residents with Masters degree: 11%
    Cost of living grade: A- (Median home value: $190,400; Median rent: $770)
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: B-
     

  • John Phelan // Wikicommons
    37/ John Phelan // Wikicommons

    Massachusetts: Lexington

    Population: 32,936
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 27%; Residents with Masters degree: 52%
    Cost of living grade: C- (Median home value: $769,400; Median rent: $1,799)
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Diversity grade: A-
    Crime & safety grade: A
     

  • Fernando Leon/Getty Images
    38/ Fernando Leon/Getty Images

    Kansas: Leawood

    Population: 33,763
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 41%; Residents with Masters degree: 33%
    Cost of living grade: B (Median home value: $415,900; Median rent: $1,235)
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: B
     

  • Felix Mizioznikov // Shutterstock
    39/ Felix Mizioznikov // Shutterstock

    Iowa: Bettendorf

    Population: 35,048
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 29%; Residents with Masters degree: 20%
    Cost of living grade: A- (Median home value: $194,800; Median rent: $865)
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Diversity grade: B
    Crime & safety grade: B-
     

  • GregBarthPhoto.com
    40/ GregBarthPhoto.com

    Missouri: Wildwood

    Population: 35,764
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 40%; Residents with Masters degree: 24%
    Cost of living grade: B (Median home value: $358,300; Median rent: $1,099)
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: n/a
     

  • Texas State Historical Association
    41/ Texas State Historical Association

    Texas: Coppell

    Population: 40,631
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 38%; Residents with Masters degree: 26%
    Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $317,900; Median rent: $1,225)
    Outdoor activities grade: C+
    Diversity grade: A
    Crime & safety grade: B+
     

  • Skye Marthaler // Wikicommons
    42/ Skye Marthaler // Wikicommons

    Tennessee: Brentwood

    Population: 40,873
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 42%; Residents with Masters degree: 29%
    Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $555,800; Median rent: $1,922)
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Diversity grade: B
    Crime & safety grade: B+
     

  • "Highlite Lake at Gallatin National Forest" - Flashon Studio // Shutterstock
    43/ "Highlite Lake at Gallatin National Forest" - Flashon Studio // Shutterstock

    Montana: Bozeman

    Population: 41,761
    Education: Public schools grade: A; Residents with Bachelors degree: 35%; Residents with Masters degree: 21%
    Cost of living grade: C (Median home value: $278,700; Median rent: $901)
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: n/a
     

  • Brandonrush // Wikicommons
    44/ Brandonrush // Wikicommons

    Arkansas: Bentonville

    Population: 42,499
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 30%; Residents with Masters degree: 17%
    Cost of living grade: A- (Median home value: $184,800; Median rent: $831)
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Diversity grade: A-
    Crime & safety grade: B
     

  • Barry haynes // Wikicommons
    45/ Barry haynes // Wikicommons

    Ohio: Dublin

    Population: 43,874
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 45%; Residents with Masters degree: 31%
    Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $352,300; Median rent: $1,266)
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Diversity grade: A-
    Crime & safety grade: B+
     

  • Chris Pruitt // Wikicommons
    46/ Chris Pruitt // Wikicommons

    Alabama: Madison

    Population: 45,590
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 35%; Residents with Masters degree: 21%
    Cost of living grade: A- (Median home value: $226,700; Median rent: $859)
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Diversity grade: A-
    Crime & safety grade: B-
     

  • Dmitri Kotchetov // Shutterstock
    47/ Dmitri Kotchetov // Shutterstock

    Washington: Sammamish

    Population: 62,136
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 44%; Residents with Masters degree: 29%
    Cost of living grade: C- (Median home value: $624,800; Median rent: $1,982)
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Diversity grade: A-
    Crime & safety grade: A-
     

  • "Perimeter Church" - Thomson200 // Wikicommons
    48/ "Perimeter Church" - Thomson200 // Wikicommons

    Georgia: Johns Creek

    Population: 82,930
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 39%; Residents with Masters degree: 26%
    Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $348,600; Median rent: $1,370)
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Diversity grade: A
    Crime & safety grade: B+
     

  • " July 5 Fireworks at Carmel Festival" - Serge Melki // Wikicommons
    49/ " July 5 Fireworks at Carmel Festival" - Serge Melki // Wikicommons

    Indiana: Carmel

    Population: 86,940
    Education: Public schools grade: A+; Residents with Bachelors degree: 41%; Residents with Masters degree: 29%
    Cost of living grade: B (Median home value: $306,500; Median rent: $1,132)
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Diversity grade: B+
    Crime & safety grade: A-
     

  • Charles Knowles // Shutterstock
    50/ Charles Knowles // Shutterstock

    Idaho: Meridian

    Population: 88,247
    Education: Public schools grade: B; Residents with Bachelors degree: 24%; Residents with Masters degree: 9%
    Cost of living grade: B- (Median home value: $199,100; Median rent: $1,020)
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Diversity grade: B
    Crime & safety grade: B
     

  • Tim Robert Photography
    51/ Tim Robert Photography

    Arizona: Gilbert

    Population: 226,832
    Education: Public schools grade: A; Residents with Bachelors degree: 28%; Residents with Masters degree: 14%
    Cost of living grade: C+ (Median home value: $264,700; Median rent: $1,315)
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Diversity grade: A-
    Crime & safety grade: B
     

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