When you are thinking about moving with your family, certain factors are top of mind. All of the cities on our list cover the basics: good job prospects, reliable public schools, and health care. They also offer something special. Each has its unique blend of activities and lifestyle that will give your children plenty of reasons to enjoy growing up there.
The combination of great public schools and one of the nation’s healthiest job markets puts Dallas on top of our list. Its diverse high-tech sector is the envy of others. Its unemployment rate was just 4 percent in June, one of the nation’s lowest. That’s good for parents.
And it’s great for kids. Not only does it have two of the nation’s top 10 public high schools, according to U.S. News & World Report, but it has plenty to do outside of the classroom. Take the little ones to the zoo or the aquarium. The older kids can enjoy world-class museums and sports.
The Boston area attracts families who seek tradition and learning. The Annie E. Casey Foundation ranks Massachusetts, with its progressive policies, third in the nation for child well-being.
The city is one of the nation’s most walkable. There’s a history lesson at nearly every turn. Rest in comfort knowing Boston has some of the best hospitals in the nation, including Boston Children’s Hospital, ranked number one by U.S. News & World Report. And, while the city’s public schools are a mixed bag, graduates in suburbs like Lexington and Newton regularly go on to some of the most exclusive colleges in the nation, including those across the river in Cambridge.
Let’s get the biggest drawback out of the way: It’s really expensive to live in Silicon Valley. But if you can swing it, what’s not to like? Your children are likely to have classmates from all over the world with really smart, educated parents. It’s safe. The temperatures are comfortable nearly year round.
Raleigh gets our vote for the best in the south for families. The Research Triangle’s universities attract businesses from around the world. Raleigh is also a nice place to live. Rest easy knowing there’s a low rate of violent crime. Escape into the countryside with your kids on the weekend or explore the Marbles Kids Museum.
Washington, D.C. attracts highly educated professionals who want to make a difference. Bethesda is one of several suburbs that offer them the combination of great public schools, safe neighborhoods, and reasonable commutes to the seat of government.
Any childhood is filled with scrapes and bruises. You’re in luck in Bethesda, where you’re likely to run into a doctor or nurse on the playground. The suburb is home to both the National Institutes of Health and the Walter Reed National Medical Military Center, where presidents go for their checkups.
The mountain city an hour from Denver offers a low violent crime rate, good schools, and plenty of reasons to escape to the great outdoors. Ski, bike or hike — you’ll never be bored on the weekends. With the U.S. Air Force Academy right next door, plenty of defense and tech companies call Colorado Springs home.
Live in Houston and enjoy one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation. Texas ranked number two last year, behind only North Dakota. Houston has some of the nation’s best public high schools. From sailing to space camp, there are plenty of things for your little ones to do.
Minnesota tops the list for child well-being, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual Kids Count ranking, which considers states’ economies, family structure, healthcare and education opportunities. It’s relatively affordable, the schools are good, and the unemployment rate is low.
For a city that needs no accolades, San Francisco is getting plenty of them. The Milken Institute ranked it as the best-performing city in the country in 2014. GreatSchools says it has one of the best big-city school systems in the country. It’s also beautiful, but you knew that. So what’s not to love about growing up in San Francisco? Maybe the cost.
Looking for someplace where you can buy a home without breaking the bank and shuttle between work and school without major traffic problems? Look no further than Cincinnati. It also boasts one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation. U.S. News & World Report ranks its Walnut Hills High School tops in Ohio, and it’s a gold-medal winner for college preparedness.