At Apartment List, we know that people care about a lot of factors when they’re searching for a home. Everyone wants a great apartment at a great price, but families look for different things in a city than young singles.

Last year, we released our list of the best cities for young families; this year, we refreshed our analysis with the latest and greatest data to help you make the best decision for your loved ones. This report is specifically tailored for NYC.


Our analysis centered around the 4 factors that we identified as being important to families:

  • Safety (35%): We used FBI data to rank cities by the number of violent crimes and property crimes per 100,000 residents.
  • Housing Cost (30%): We used census data to calculate the percentage of the median renter income required to rent a 2-bedroom apartment.
  • School Quality (25%): Cities were ranked on high school graduation rate for public school districts based in that city. Comparing schools across different states can be challenging, but using high school graduation rate data from the Department of Education gives us a good estimate of overall school quality.
  • Child Friendliness (10%): Communities with a greater percentage of children tend to be more child friendly, so we used census data to score cities based on the percentage of the population that’s under 18.

We weighted these factors using the percentages listed above, and used this index to assign grades and rankings to the nearly 500 cities in our study.

NYC receives a C grade for family-friendliness

NYC’s scores were as follows:

  • Crime Score: 79.2
  • Child Score: 25.3
  • Education Score: 14.9
  • Housing Score: 24.7
  • Total Score: 41.4

New York City received its lowest score in education, with a graduation rate of 71 percent. It received a good child score relative to other major cities like San Francisco (whose under-18 citizens make up only 13 percent of its population), with 21 percent of the city’s population being under the age of 18. Perhaps most encouraging was its crime score, with about 2,198 crimes being committed for every 100,000 people.

In this category, NYC fared much better than cities like Chicago, with over 4,000 crimes being committed for every 100,000 people. Overall, NYC is not the most ideal place for a family, but it’s definitely not the worst.

Yuki Graviet Knapp is a Content Marketing Associate with the Growth Team at Apartment List and is a resident of the Bay Area. 

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