A lot goes into raising a family. Whether you’re a mom- or dad-to-be, or deep in the throes of parenthood, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that some places are better equipped than others to provide its youngest residents with happy, healthy childhoods.
On a quest to identify which U.S. cities are best for raising children, WalletHub set out to analyze 182 cities based on 46 key metrics that “consider essential family dynamics, such as the cost of housing, the quality of local school and health-care systems, and the opportunities for fun and recreation.” These include number of playgrounds, divorce rates, availability of affordable housing, crime, and a whole lot more.
For many American families, the results were a surprise.
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For the second year in a row, Overland Park, Kansas, was named the best place in the nation to raise a family, followed by Irvine and Fremont in California. The only Southern city to break the top 10 was Plano, Texas, which earned a sixth-place ranking. Other Southern cities that came in towards the top of the list include Columbia, Maryland in 11th place, and Charleston, South Carolina, in 26th.
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As for what makes Overland Park such a great place? According to WalletHub’s study, the Kansas City suburb has the highest median family income when adjusted by cost of living, and the second most affordable housing. It also has the second-lowest percentage of families living in poverty among the more than 180 cities analyzed.
Head over to WalletHub.com to see the full list and find out how your home sweet home fared.