These Are 2023’s Best Cities to Raise a Family, Report Says

The best place to raise a family? Fremont, California.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Assistant Editor
Updated June 1, 2023
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Raising a family can be challenging on its own, but your surroundings also play a role—including what city and state you choose to raise your family in. In the past year, as inflation has ballooned, essentials from childcare to groceries and rent have become more expensive, leading families to think twice about where they put their roots down and what might be most affordable. Now, a report from WalletHub, a personal finance website, is evaluating the best states to raise a family.

The annual report determined which states were best for families by comparing 180 cities across 46 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. It then ranked the cities based on their overall score.

According to the report, the best city to raise a family in is Fremont, California, rated number one for the second year in a row for its top socioeconomics, education and child care scores. In second, Overland Park, Kansas, got top marks for affordability.

The top 10 overall remains largely unchanged from 2022, with only Columbia, Maryland and Seattle, Washington dropping down to 13 and 11, respectively. In the meantime, South Burlington, Vermont, moved up to fifth place, along with Gilbert, Arizona, to ninth.

In other interesting news, this year, the report found that New York City, Chicago and Charlotte, North Carolina, are tied for having the most playgrounds. Irvine, California, has the fewest violent crimes (per 1,000 residents), 0.51, while Laredo, Texas, 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 cities to raise a family, based on their overall scores.

Top 10 Best Cities to Raise a Family

  1. Fremont, California
  2. Overland Park, Kansas
  3. Irvine, California
  4. Plano, Texas
  5. South Burlington, Vermont
  6. San Diego, California
  7. San Jose, California
  8. Scottsdale, Arizona
  9. Gilbert, Arizona
  10. San Francisco, 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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