What makes a good place to raise a family? It all depends, right? Good schools are a must, obviously. A low unemployment rate means plentiful jobs. An abundance of pediatricians, low crime rates and decent air quality are all great reasons for picking your child’s hometown. Accommodating to hipster parents, maybe? So who’s the best of the best?
(Or, for that matter, the worst of the best?)
Parenting magazine recently released its annual list of the 100 most family friendly cities in the U.S. They based their rankings on 8,000 bits of data in 84 categories to come up with this grand and glorious list. But if your awesome hometown didn’t even break the top 25, consider this: the 2001 No. 1 city was ranked 71st last year. Last year’s No. 1, Arlington, Va., is now No. 70. Parenting editors explained they added a “charm and culture index,” (think: free museums and kid-friendly restaurants), which is likely responsible for the massive reshuffling.
Parenting magazines 10 Most Family Friendly U.S. Cities for 2011
And the 10 Worst Cities for Raising Families of 2011.
Washington, D.C. 1 of 10The Metro, government jobs, all those free Smithsonian Museums! This family city benefited from Parenting's new "culture index". Photo: Ben Shuman via wikipedia
Austin, Texas 2 of 10Even if you think you could never live in the Lone Star State, Austin will change your mind. Outdoors year round, great food and music. Tech and government jobs. Photo: mskogly via flickr
Boston 3 of 10Talk about an abundance of doctors! Boston also gets points for museums, all around American history and great food for the family. Photo: bpende via flickr
Minneapolis-St. Paul 4 of 10Not just the greatest city for hipster parents, but also a great place to raise kids, period. Sure, the winters are rough -- but the parks, affordable housing and access to pediatricians put this fine city in the Upper Midwest near the top. Photo: amymingo via wikipedia
Des Moines, Iowa 5 of 10Two kid-friendly words: State. Fair. Plus, cheap housing, good schools, clean air. Photo: Phil Roeder via flickr
Madison, Wisconsin 6 of 10Great schools, great housing, Great Lakes. Get through the cold winters and you can spend the rest of the seasons on outdoor trails. Photo: Charles Kenyon via wikipedia
Honolulu, Hawaii 7 of 10What's not to love? Nearly non-existent unemployment, clean air and some of the lowest obesity rates in the nation. Plus? It's Hawaii! Photo: Dan Zen via flickr
Omaha, Nebraska 8 of 10Not an obvious choice for most of us, but the housing is affordable (if not fairly suburban, see picture). But Parenting swears there's tons of art and culture, including a vibrant jazz scene. Photo: futuredirections via wikipedia
Seattle, Wash. 9 of 10It's Seattle. Enough said, right? Photo: bterrycompton via flickr
Louisville, Kentucky 10 of 10Um, horsies? Parenting promises lots of parks, affordable housing and great schools. Photo: merfam via flickr
MORE ON BABBLE
15 amazing birth photos from the delivery room
10 things you should NEVER say to your daughter-in-law
The 10 most useless baby products
20 most ridiculous mother and baby products…EVER
The 7 worst things you can say to your child