Sustainability Infrastructure

Here are the most family-friendly cities in the country

A new report from StorageCafe found Plano, Texas is the most family-friendly city in the United States.
Texas flag.

Story at a glance

  • The analysis was based on multiple factors including public school ranking, income and cost of living, environmental concerns and community amenities. 

  • Of the top 20 family-friendly cities, five were located in Texas, and 10 spanned the southern region of the United States.

  • Pacific Northwest cities like Portland, Ore., and Boise, Idaho were also ranked in the top 20. 

Five of the top 20 most family-friendly cities in the country are in Texas according to a new report from StorageCafe, with Plano, Texas coming in at the number one slot. 

Virginia Beach, Va; Lincoln, Neb; Boise, Idaho; and Raleigh, N.C., rounded out the top five. 

The rankings are based on a series of metrics including public school ratings, safety, recreation opportunities, home prices and shares of families with children, among others.

Around half of the top 20 cities included in the list were mid-size, with populations ranging from 200k to 300k. 

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The 100 most populous cities in the country were included in the analysis, while those in the southern portion of the United States stood out for family-friendly measures. 

“Large or small, what they all have in common is that they combine affordability, excellent schools, overall safety, outdoor recreation, entertainment venues and more – all essential for a  rich and fulfilling lifestyle for the entire family,” authors wrote. 

Arlington, Va; Lexington, Ky; Chesapeake, Va; Austin, Texas and Lubbock, Texas were also included in the top ten cities. 

Due to insufficient data, Indianapolis; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Fort Wayne, Ind, were excluded from the list.

Plano, Texas, ranked the highest for public schools, followed by Austin, Texas, and Scottsdale, Ariz. The graduation rate in Plano is around 96 percent while around 60 percent of residents aged 25 and older hold a bachelor’s degree. 

Although home prices in Plano were above average at around $533k, the median household income in Plano is one of the highest in the United States at around $166k/year. 

The rate of playgrounds per 10,000 residents is also above average and the city has around five health care centers per 1,000 residents. 

Despite five of the top 20 most family-friendly cities being located in Texas, some of the state’s recent policies have come under fire for being discriminatory toward LGBTQ youth.

Virginia Beach’s seventh-lowest crime rate in the country bumped it near the top of the list. The city also ranked sixth for best air quality. Previous research has underscored the detrimental health effects of poor air quality on teenagers and children alike

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