Forget the big cities.
Madison, Wisc. ranked first on a list of best places for a family because of its population of young adults, a strong local economy, and low crime and high-school dropout rates, according to Zumper, a site for finding apartment and house rentals. Second was Lincoln, Neb., followed by Lexington, Ky. The rest were also in the Midwest or South.
The Northeast didn’t make the list. Syracuse, N.Y. came the closest to the top, ranking 25th. Even though many of the cities in the Northeast have young populations, the high cost of housing and infant care, as well as longer commuters, hurt their scores.
Zumper used 10 factors in its analysis: cost per additional room in a home, percentage of income spent on rent or mortgage, median household income, current unemployment rate, infant-care costs, percentage of the population under 45, high-school dropout rate, average commute time and violent-crime rate.
|8||Des Moines, Iowa||83.5||B+|
Other cities, especially major hubs like Washington, D.C. and New York City, could cost parents well into the six figures to raise a family, according to a separate report by the nonprofit think tank Economic Policy Institute.
San Francisco was the most expensive metro area for families, with a basic budget of more than $148,000 for a family of four. That study looked at 611 metro areas and based the cost of living on housing, child care, food, transportation, health care and other necessities like school supplies and taxes.
The Northeast may not be a budget-friendly area to raise a family, but it does make for a healthy and happy home. New Hampshire ranked first, followed by Massachusetts and Vermont, in a list of states that benefited a child’s overall well-being, conducted in 2017 by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a Baltimore, Md.-based private philanthropic group.