What’s the best place to raise a family? That depends! If you aren’t tied to any certain geographical location due to a job, and have the luxury to choose absolutely anywhere you’d like, that’s great.
Some important considerations are the schools, education level of residents, outdoor recreation possibilities, arts, the local economy and affordability of housing.
Here are some questions to ask:
Education: How are the local schools? Will you choose public or private schools? School report card data is available for any district simply by looking at the website to glean information.
Culture: How important is it to you that you live in a place with lots of museums, art galleries and other cultural activities? What about professional sports teams?
Climate: Are there area with high humidity or harsh winters that aren’t acceptable to you? Do you have a strong desire for year-round warm weather, or in contrast do you enjoy the change of seasons?
Recreation: Does your family love the beach, mountains or woods? What about national parks and other public outdoor areas?
The local economy: What’s the median salary? What’s the median home price? Will you be able to make a good living and afford good housing?
The crime rate: Safety is prime consideration, consequently a lower crime rate is probably one of your musts. City-Data.com is a good source for checking the local crime rate of an area.
Political and cultural considerations: Is it important to you to live in a blue or red state? Do you want to live in a certain socio-economic culture? Is there any particular demographic you prefer? Are you looking for diversity?
Job outlook: Is your job geographically tied to a certain region or city? For most people, finding a job in their field will probably mean less than total freedom in choosing where to live.
Some more resources
There are plenty of sources that have put together their own rankings of the best place to raise a family, including Time, Parenting and Stacker. But the best place for you may or may not be one of the official recommendations. Think about what factors are the most important to you and as a result, choose accordingly!