How do you find a good city to raise a family?

The most ideal spots provide safe neighborhoods, quality education, recreation opportunities, and affordability. Weighing all those factors and more and finding the right locale among nearly 20,000 incorporated cities, towns, and villages across America can be daunting, so Stacker collected 2023 data from the national review and ranking site Niche to compile a list of the top 100 cities to raise a family. To be included, each city had to have at least 100,000 residents.

From Quaint Small-Town Feel to Big-City Vibes

The best cities to raise a family span the entire country, and vary in size from just over 100,000 residents to more than 1,000,000. Whether you are looking for a quiet town to settle down or plenty of big-city amenities for yourself and your children, there is an option for you.

thierry dehove // Shutterstock
thierry dehove // Shutterstock

While California has five cities in the top 20, and Texas has four, an Illinois city 33 miles west of Chicago claims the top spot. Six of the 10 cities in the country with populations over 1,000,000 made the list, showing that big cities are a great place to raise a family, offering a wealth of historic sites, museums, top schools, and parks to entertain parents and children alike.

Some Surprising Omissions

High walkability scores, rapidly improving school systems, and falling crime rates place vibrant cities like Dallas and New York among the nation's best for families. Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia are represented, while Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Delaware, West Virginia, Mississippi, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, and Alaska are absent.

If you're hunting for the perfect place to lay down roots, be sure to keep reading to discover the 100 most highly rated cities for raising a family.

LOOK: These are the 100 best cities to raise a family

Stacker collected 2023 data from Niche to compile a list of the top 100 cities to raise a family, based on school systems, crime rates, and more.  

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