Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

Best place to raise a family in every state

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.

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-
 

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
 

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
 

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-
 

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
 

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-
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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+
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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+
 

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
 

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).
 

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-
 

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
 

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
 

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+
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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+
 

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)
 

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+
 

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-
 

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
 

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
 

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-
 

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
 

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+
 

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+
 

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
 

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
 

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+
 

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-
 

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-
 

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+
 

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-
 

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
 

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
 

2018 All rights reserved.