10 best towns for raising a family
Family Circle magazine identifies 10 family-friendly towns and suburbs nationwide that make the grade in housing costs, school quality, green space and 'giving spirits.'
When you're looking for the right place to live, your judgment is based upon a variety of factors, including where you are in your life. That hip downtown loft, which you find delightful as a young single, probably won't work for a family of four.
These days, we're reading a lot about how young people and empty-nesters are flocking to urban cores, choosing city life over suburbs. But what if you're looking for a nice place to raise a family? Not only is a high-rise condo not necessarily an ideal environment, but the neighborhood schools also often are not places you'd want to send your children for a good education.
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Family Circle has compiled a list of the 10 best towns for families, based on affordable housing, good neighbors, green spaces, strong public-school systems and "giving spirits." The towns are showcased in the August 2012 issue of the magazine.
To create the list, the magazine and a research firm compiled a list of 3,335 towns with populations between 11,000 and 150,000. From those, they pulled areas with a strong concentration of family incomes between $55,000 and $96,000. They then looked at housing affordability, school quality, health care, green space, crime rates and financial stability.
Here is Family Circle's List of the 10 Best Towns for Families:
- Bay Village, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland.
- Lake Oswego, Ore., a suburb of Portland.
- Vail, Ariz., a suburb of Tucson.
- Fishers, Ind., a suburb of Indianapolis.
- Ballwin, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis.
- Louisville, Colo., 20 miles from Denver.
- Longmeadow, Mass., in western Massachusetts near Springfield.
- Fort Mill, S.C., 20 miles from Charlotte, N.C.
- Zachary, La., a suburb of Baton Rouge.
- Oak Park, Ill., a suburb of Chicago.
What do you think about these choices? Are those the criteria you would apply in seeking a family-friendly community?
I think Wilbraham Ma. is a better choice for a family. It is beautiful, and the schools are great.
I would never pick Vail, AZ as a "best town" for families!!! There is nothing out here. We don't even have a public park! Anywhere you want to go you have to drive into Tucson, and that can be 20 miles. The schools are definately better than Tucson. TUSD is horrible!
Summer is so bloody hot that the kids can't go outside during the day and the wind never stops! Sad when it is known as the "Vail Gale" because of the "gale" force winds.
We have a Quik Mart, Walgreens, a feed store, 2 mexican food eateries, a bar, post office and THAT'S IT!!!! Oh and Dairy Queen - thank God for DQ!!!!
I agree with the older statement of concrete developments with little or no greenery - that describes Vail pretty darn good!
most short lists lack substance. this list is not in any way relevant except to the author.
her radar does not display the NY & north NJ suburbs. so many small towns offer
safety, schools, close knit community values , yes all the rural virtues, plus the treasures
the greatest metro area offers. this produces our best citizens. stay, no need to plant your
seeds in the boonies.
The schools are below average, the state is extremely heavy with drugs, the teen pregnancy is out of control, the pay is poor and good jobs are few and far in between. I've lived man places in my 30 years. I grew up in Texas and have lived in Ohio, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California. I would choose any one of those states over Arizona, in a heartbeat, to raise my children.
There is just too much crime, too few good jobs, too many drugs, etc. I would absolutely not recommend Vail or anywhere else in Arizona.
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.