American’s move for a variety of reasons, and one of the biggest ones is to move for their family.
Whether they’re just married, having their first child, enrolling their children in school or watching them go off to college, families know that any one of these different stages in life is the right time to relocate.
Luckily for those searching for an ideal city to meet their needs, Livability has recently released its findings about the 10 best cities in the US to raise a family based on the these nine factors:
- Percentage of School Age Children (ages 5-18)
- Number of Parks
- Crime Rate
- Graduation Rate
- Quality of Schools in the Area
- Walk Score
- Average Commute Time
- Number of Libraries
- Percentage of Families in Poverty
Here are the top 10 cities according to Livability:
10. PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Known for having stellar education, Palo Alto serves approximately 12,000 students with 12 elementary schools, three middle schools and two high schools. Also tucked into this sought-after city is the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo, whose interactive exhibits spark a child's curiosity to learn more about science and nature.
- Percentage of School Age Children (ages 5-18): 19.3%
- Graduation Rate: 92.9%
- Number of Parks: 31
- Walk Score: 54
9. BOWLING GREEN, OHIO
Affordability and social amenities are what Bowling Green is all about. Boasting an average home price well below the national average and offering access to tons of community activities and annual festivals, this city has just the right scale for families looking to settle here--and the average commute time is less than other places on this list so families can spend more time together after work.
- Percentage of School Age Children (ages 5-18): 24.1%
- Graduation Rate: 99%
- Number of Parks: 7
- Walk Score: 44
8. HOMEWOOD, ALABAMA
Consistently ranked among the best school districts in the state, Homewood prides itself on its stellar education system. This Birmingham suburb also has an impressive parks system that offers events for kids throughout the year, including an Easter egg hunt, a Christmas parade and a Fourth of July Festival!
- Percentage of School Age Children (ages 5-18): 21.4%
- Graduation Rate: 93.7%
- Number of Parks: 6
- Walk Score: 40
7. ST. GEORGE, UTAH
For families who love the outdoors, a breathtaking city like St. George should be right up your (v)alley. Surrounded by the Zion National Park, the Pine Valley National Wilderness Area and the Red Cliffs National Conservatory Area, St. George is beaming with natural wonders, family-friendly activities AND the impressive Washington County School District.
- Percentage of School Age Children (ages 5-18): 23%
- Graduation Rate: 90.3%
- Number of Parks: 14
- Walk Score: 26
6. OAK PARK, ILLINOIS
Photo Credit: Terra Engineering
If you dream of having your children grow up in a town where kids play outdoors, ride bikes on the sidewalk and spend summer nights catching fireflies, Oak Park may be just the perfect place for you. A city marked by single-family homes, highly rated public and private schools, and an award-winning recreation system, Oak Park brings to life the warm and fuzzy family values that movies are made of.
- Percentage of School Age Children (ages 5-18): 19.5%
- Graduate Rate: 90.7%
- Number of Parks: 16
- Walk Score: 73
5. CHULA VISTA, CALIFORNIA
Photo Credit: Chula Vista CA
The largest urban place on this list, Chula Vista is a culturally diverse, picturesque city that’s bustling with a host of neighborhood choices and a moderate year-round climate. Families living here enjoy a close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, good schools and many outdoor activities.
- Percentage of School Age Children (ages 5-18): 22.7%
- Graduation Rate: 87.3%
- Number of Parks: 48
- Walk Score: 40
4. HOLLAND, MICHIGAN
Photo Credit: Great Lakes Fisherman's Digest
A city that proudly exudes its Dutch heritage, Holland is one of the smallest cities on this list, but that’s part of its appeal. It is a close-knit community that focuses on neighborhood organizations. With a stellar parks system and great schools, Holland is loved by many. Its world-renown Tulip Time Festival attracts tens of thousands.
- Percentage of School Age Children (ages 5-18): 24.2%
- Graduation Rate: 91.3%
- Number of Parks: 8
- Walk Score: 43
3. NEWTON, MASSACHUSETTS
Just seven miles from downtown Boston, Newton has good schools, safe neighborhoods and colorful history at every turn. Made up of 13 small villages, each with its own personality, Newton is a great place for raising a family. It has a top-rated public school system, plenty of outdoor activities and a diverse range of top-rated restaurants, pubs and shopping.
- Percentage of School Age Children (ages 5-18): 22.3%
- Graduation Rate: 94.6%
- Number of Parks: 35
- Walk Score: 51
2. CHANDLER, ARIZONA
Photo Credit: Chandler Homes and Real Estate
Blessed with 300 days of sunshine a year, Chandler is one city that has dived into offering a wide array of outdoor activities. With a 23,000-square-foot BMX park and more than 60 city and neighborhood recreational spots, Chandler is closing in on its goal to have a neighborhood park in every residential square mile of the city. Chandler also boasts one of the fastest growing school districts in Arizona, continually recognized in the state for educational excellence.
- Percentage of School Age Children (ages 5-18): 22.4%
- Graduation Rate: 86.2%
- Number of Parks: 25
- Walk Score: 30
1. ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
Photo Credit: Visit Montgomery
Rockville tops the list due to its award-winning public school system. All Montgomery County high schools are ranked among the top 11% in the country by the Washington Post, and five of them also make Newsweek's “America’s Best High Schools” list while 14 made U.S. News and World Report's list. If their stellar educational institutions aren’t enough, Rockville also offers affordable neighborhoods, an excellent public transportation system and more than 1,000 acres of parkland.
- Percentage of School Age Children (ages 5-18): 15.8%
- Graduation Rate: 87.7%
- Number of Parks: 36
- Walk Score: 51