10 Brilliant Cities To Raise Your Family In

They aren’t flashy. Most don’t draw throngs of tourists or boast an enviable night life. But then again, that’s not what most families are looking for, is it?

Most families today are looking for the basics—they just want to be where crime rates are low, educational prospects are solid and where they can afford the daily essentials.

In pursuit of the perfect place to raise a family in the U.S., Kiplinger.com recently narrowed down all of the cities that possess positive job growth, healthy economies and vibrant local culture. The search criteria was then refined to include important family traits like number of kids in the area, quality of public schools, low crime rates and of course, parks and recreation. What they found were some top-notch family places.

And the winners are:

1. Ellicott City, Maryland

City population: 56,397
Mean family income: $138,793 (nat. avg. = $82,719)
Median home value: $548,400 (nat. avg. = $192,400)
Employment growth: -0.1% (2005-2007, Baltimore Metro)
City school rating: 9 (on a scale of 1 to 10)
Violent crimes per 100,000 residents: NA

2. Ann Arbor, Michigan

City population: 114,797
Mean family income: $108,892
Median home value: $245,000
Employment growth: 0.3%
City school rating: 8
Violent crimes per 100,000 residents: 256 (455 is nat. avg.)

3. College Station, Texas

City population: 83,200
Mean family income: $84,306
Median home value: $165,300
Employment growth: 4.7%
City school rating: 8
Violent crimes per 100,000 residents: 299

4. Kennewick, Washington

City population: 67,953
Mean family income: $67,799
Median home value: $150,000
Employment growth: 1.0%
City school rating: 6
Violent crimes per 100,000 residents: 373

5. Huntsville, Alabama

City population: 165,464
Mean family income: $81,754
Median home value: $138,400
Employment growth: 3.6%
City school rating: 6
Violent crimes per 100,000 residents: 707

6. Madison, Wisconsin

City population: 223,895
Mean family income: $93,006
Median home value: $219,700
Employment growth: 0.6%
City school rating: 4
Violent crimes per 100,000 residents: 385

7. Pocatello, Idaho

City/Metro population: 90,273
Mean family income: $60,620
Median home value: $119,000
Employment growth: 5.6%
City school rating: 6
Violent crimes per 100,000 residents: 337

8. Rochester, Minnesota

City population: 101,659
Mean family income: $97,178
Median home value: $167,000
Employment growth: 6.2%
City school rating: 8
Violent crimes per 100,000 residents: 162

9. West Hartford, Connecticut

City population: 63,908
Mean family income: $49,036
Median home value: $195,300
Employment growth: 1.6%
City school rating: 8
Violent crimes per 100,000 residents: 172

10. Raleigh, North Carolina

City population: 367,959
Mean family income: $94,975
Median home value: $200,900
Employment growth: 6.4%
City school rating: 7
Violent crimes per 100,000 residents: 578

Tell us, what do you think are some of the best cities to raise a family in?

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