• WalletHub analyzed 150 cities based on population, scoring qualities such as relative cost of housing, proximity to health care, school district quality and recreational opportunities.
  • Aurora, Illinois, ranked in the top 10, boosted by relative affordability scores.
  • Fremont in the Bay Area was rated high for safety and socioeconomic environment.

Moving as an individual, or even as a couple, is often times less stressful than moving as a family. Having a children’s needs to consider may require previous must-haves like low commute times and affordability to take a back seat to schools, parks and safety.

While not easy, homebuyers may be able to find a city that suits all of their family-friendly needs — that is, if they’re in the market for a move. WalletHub analyzed the top 150 cities based on population, categorizing and scoring family-friendly qualities such as relative cost of housing, proximity to health care, school district quality and recreational opportunities.

Source: WalletHub


Overland Park, Kansas, came out on top with a total score of 77.16. Overland Park’s rank was assisted in the following categories, which all scored in the top 10: health and safety, affordability and socioeconomic environment.

Chicago suburb Aurora, Illinois, ranked no. 6 with a score of 67.97. Aurora was rated highly in affordability, health and safety and socioeconomic environment. Chicago itself scored a 51.85, with high education scores but low affordability and socioeconomic standings.

Fremont in the Bay Area rounded out the top 10, receiving top scores in safety and socioeconomic environment for a 65.52. San Francisco was further down the list, with a 56.2, hampered by mid-range scores in affordability and education. Interestingly, the City by the Bay ranked no. 71 for relative affordability, despite its notoriously high housing costs.

Irvine in the famed Orange County, California, received a 62.69. Irvine is the no. 1 city for health and safety and no. 5 for socioeconomic environment, according to WalletHub’s metrics. Los Angeles, however, received a 45.58, with extremely low affordability and dismal child care scores — good for no. 125.

Austin (33) received a 58.85 with a solid affordability rank but average scores in family fun and socioeconomic environment. Houston (95) fell lower on the list, with an overall score of 49.88. While Houston’s education and affordability were satisfactory, health and safety were rated less than average.

Cape Coral in South Florida ranked no. 58 and received a 54.82, lifted by high health and safety ratings. However, Cape Coral’s family fun rank pushed it into the bottom 10 cities for that specific category. Miami took a steep hit, with a total score of 39.35 — good for no. 145. The city scored last in affordability and in the bottom 10 for socioeconomic environment.

The Big Apple received a 46.64, rating in the top 50 for health and safety but 115 overall. However, NYC was the third worst city for affordability.

Washington D.C. (127) and Baltimore (132) received low scores of 45.31 and 44.24, respectively. D.C. scored much higher in family fun and relative affordability compared to Baltimore, but Baltimore beat the nation’s capital in education and child care by a long shot.

Email Jennifer Riner

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