These Are the Best US Cities to Raise a Family in 2024, Study Says

The best place to raise a family? Fremont, California. See what other cities made the top 10 and why here.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published May 28, 2024
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Raising a family can be challenging on its own, but your surroundings also play a role—including what city you choose to raise your family in. In the past year, 30 percent of Americans cited “family reasons” as their motivation for moving. Whether moving for a better school system, cheaper daycare options or a safer neighborhood, there are plenty of things to consider when putting down roots. To help parents get a better picture of the cities around the US that offer some of these big benefits WalletHub, a personal finance website, recently authored a new report evaluating the best states to raise a family.

The annual report determined which cities were best for families by comparing 180 locales across 45 key indicators of family-friendliness, including school system quality, housing affordability, healthcare availability and more. The indicators were housed under five key dimensions: family fun, health and safety, education and childcare, affordability and socioeconomics. The report then ranked the cities based on their overall score.

So what’s the best city to raise a family in the US? In a world of rising inflation and skyrocketing costs, researchers point to Fremont, California, largely due to economic factors. Rated number one in socioeconomics and education and child care. The city boasts one of the highest median family incomes after adjusting for the cost of living, at $122,000 and its public schools get high marks for quality across the board.

In second place, Overland Park, Kansas, also received top marks for affordability but really stood out when it comes to health and safety. The small town boasts a low infant mortality rate, a low traffic fatality rate and the ninth-best public hospitals in the country. The top five around are rounded out by Irvine, California and Plano, Texas in third and fourth place respectively and Seattle, Washington and Gilbert, Arizona in fifth and sixth.

In other interesting news, this year, the report found that New York City has the most playgrounds per person and Columbia, Maryland, had the highest median annual family income adjusted for the cost of living. Cedar Rapids, Iowa, takes the cake for the most affordable housing, while Gilbert, Arizona is where you’re most likely to find a playdate for your little one, with the highest percentage of families with young kids.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 best US cities to raise a family, based on their overall scores.

Top 10 Best US Cities to Raise a Family

  1. Fremont, California
  2. Overland Park, Kansas
  3. Irvine, California
  4. Plano, Texas
  5. Seattle, Washington
  6. Gilbert, Arizona
  7. San Jose, California
  8. San Diego, California
  9. Boise, Idaho
  10. Huntington Beach, California

For a detailed breakdown of how the cities were scored and to see all 180 cities and their rank, check out the full online report.

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