Family Circle picks 10 best towns for families
The magazine looked for medium-size towns with good schools, low crime, green space, financial stability and affordable housing.
Here’s the 2013 list of the 10 Best Towns for Families, compiled annually by Family Circle.
The magazine decided a medium-size town was best, so it looked at towns with populations of 10,000 to 150,000. The researchers winnowed the selection down to towns with a high concentration of median incomes between $55,000 and $100,000, plus affordable housing, quality schools, green space, financial stability, low crime and access to health care. Then the editors selected the top 10 towns.
Family Circle's list is totally different from the list compiled by Coldwell Banker of the top 10 "booming suburbs," which looked at employment, schools and services, as well as other factors.
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The Family Circle editors didn’t rank the towns from 1 to 10. This is the list, in alphabetical order:
- Allen, Texas: This suburb of Dallas has seen its population more than triple in the past 20 years, to 83,731. The high school now has 5,000 students. One innovative program: The Foundation for Allen Schools provides grants to public school teachers for creative projects, as well as awarding scholarships. Median home price is $213,515.
- Boulder City, Nev.: This Las Vegas suburb has 15,618 residents and lots of recreational venues, including Lake Mead and White Rock Canyon. Median home price is $163,000.
- Madison, Ala.: Just west of Huntsville, Madison has a population of 43,932. Its high-tech industry makes for a town of brainiacs and a lot of emphasis on science education, residents say. Median home price is $199,591.
- Marion, Iowa: This suburb of Cedar Rapids has a population of 34,902. Residents talk about how friendly and hospitable their neighbors are, as well as praising the quality of the schools. Median home price is $139,750.
- Morton, Ill.: This suburb of Peoria has a population of 16,494. The town is known for its annual Pumpkin Festival, and local businesses can 85% of the world's pumpkins. Median home price is $167,000.
- Rio Rancho, N.M.: This growing town outside Albuquerque, with a population of 93,091, is the third largest city in New Mexico. Its population has grown 70% since 2000. Median home price is $166,451.
- Suwanee, Ga.: This Atlanta suburb has a population of 15,279, and 49% of residents have children. One feature is the Suwanee Creek Greenway, which connects about 400 acres of woods and wetlands. Median home price is $201,900.
- Troy, Mich.: More than 80 languages are spoken in this diverse Detroit suburb of 79,838 residents. That gives city events an international flavor. The median home price is $180,000.
- Upper Arlington, Ohio: This suburb of Columbus, home to Ohio State University, has 33,956 residents. It’s a July 4 tradition for volunteers to drive through town reminding residents to come to the big parade in a unique commemoration of Paul Revere’s ride. Median home price is $280,000.
- West Hartford, Conn.: This suburb of Hartford, the state capital, has a population of 63,583. "It's an engaged community," resident Earl Exum, an aerospace executive and father of three, told Family Circle. "If people see a need, they fill it." Median home price is $279,500.