The 3 Best Cities For Raising a Family & No, My Town Was Not on the List - Is Yours?


Forbes has come out with their new list of the Best Cities to Raise a Family and surprise, surprise, my city is not on the list. In fact our local NBC affiliate recently did a story called, “Children, Families Fleeing San Francisco.” It breaks my San Francisco native heart to hear that, especially since my girl is the third generation to be raised here.  I have more to say on the topic, but I’ll save that for another (much more heartfelt) post.

So, what cities DID make the list?

The top three are:

No. 1 Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Rankings (of 100 largest metros):
Median Income: 65 Cost of Living Index: 6 Housing Affordability: 7 Commuting: 22 Pct. Owning Homes: 5 (75%) Crime: 27 Education: 35″

They also note that, “President Gerald Ford’s hometown is home to several furniture makers. The public school system is supplemented by several charter schools.”

No. 2 Boise, Idaho
“Rankings (of 100 largest metros):
Median Income: 64 Cost of Living Index: 44 Housing Affordability: 34 Commuting: 23 Pct. Owning Homes: 29 (69%) Crime: 5 Education: 1″
They added, “Life is good for many families in the Pacific Northwest’s third largest city, with lower costs and less crime than the region’s two biggest metros, Seattle and Portland. And there’s the local powerhouse football team, the Boise State Broncos.” Plus their ranking for education is frickin’ 1!

No. 3 Provo, Utah

“Rankings (of 100 largest metros):
Median Income: 33 Cost of Living Index: 10 Housing Affordability: 54 Commuting: 34 Pct. Owning Homes: 59 (65%) Crime: 1 Education: 11″
They added that, “housing is relatively expensive, but the overall cost of living isn’t. And no major metro has a lower crime rate.”

An interesting thing that bonds these cities? How white they are. For example: Grand Rapids’ racial makeup of the city is 64.6% white, which is more diverse than America as a whole (the figure is about 66% white) . But the others? Boise, Idaho is 91.5% white and Provo is  84.8% white. Race or cultural diversity – of course – doesn’t play into the facts and figures that Forbes or others use, but living in a melting pot like San Francisco, this factor stands out.

Yes, Grand Rapids is far more a melting pot than Boise, Idaho but one wonders that although they may be the “best places to raise families,” they should get points deducted for not being more international and culturally diverse.

You can check out the rest of the top ten cities for raising a family here.

Where do you think is the best place to raise a family?

Image: iStock

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