Top 10 Cities For Raising a Family: Agree?

April 11, 2012
Last updated:
April 6, 2022
In This Article

Looking for a great place to raise a family? We have a list that may help you.

We’ve compiled and analyzed data from America’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, accounting for seven lifestyle factors including cost of living, commuting ease, school quality, crime density, and home affordability.

Our pick for the top 10 places to raise a family are as follows:

1. Seattle, WA

Seattle always makes the list of some of the best places to live in the US, and for good reason. Seattle is not only surrounded by gorgeous evergreen forests and an abundance of waterways, but it’s also a great place to work and raise a family.

Seattle residents earn above-average incomes compared to most other centers across the US. The median income within the city limits is approximately $102,500. And while home prices tend to be on the pricey side at an average of $932,382, home price appreciation has been on the rise for years, giving homeowners a great opportunity to build equity by owning property in Seattle.

According to city data, Seattle’s crime rate is 6.1 incidents per 100,000 people, which is the second-lowest it’s been in a decade. And Seattle Public Schools are among the more highly rated in the country.

2. Portland, OR

The website Livability recently ranked Portland as one of the top 10 places to raise a family. Things such as kid-friendly neighborhoods, affordable childcare, parklands, and cost of living were taken into account.

While the average home price in Portland is higher than the national average, the median income is healthy enough to afford it. Home prices in Portland are currently $574,291, according to Zillow, while the median household income is $95,998.

Portland schools are rated from good to very good, and NW and SW Portland, in particular, have newer and even higher-rated schools in the city.

3. Denver, CO

The ‘Mile High City’ is known for its natural beauty thanks to its perpetually blue skies and mountainous regions. Denver is a great place to live and raise a family for several reasons, not the least of which is its plethora of outdoor activities to take the kids to, like skiing, hiking, and camping, to name a few.

There are plenty of employment opportunities and ways to earn a healthy living in Denver. Right now, the median household income sits at $99,151, and the average home price is $608,955. Homeowners who already own property here have been taking advantage of an increase in equity as home values have increased 19.6% over the past year.

The crime rate is also relatively low at 4.7 per 1,000 residents, and the schools in the public school system are rated above average. The Denver Public School system is an excellent district that offers lots of diversity and well-qualified educators.

4. Boise, ID

Boise has recently been named the hottest city in the US because of its very active real estate market. Over the past 12 months alone, home prices in Boise have skyrocketed 24%. That means anyone who bought a home a few years ago has enjoyed a great deal in appreciation and increase in value in their homes. Right now, the average home price in Boise is $534,806.

Boise is a great place to live and raise a family for a number of reasons. For starters, the cost of living is relatively low, especially when considering other centers nearby. The median income is healthy at $82,424 per year, and employment opportunities are plentiful in the city.

Boise also boasts some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the country. The weather is also very pleasant, and the mix of rural and urban makes this a very unique city to dwell in.

Year after year, the Boise School District is named among the top-rated school districts in Idaho. Parents can send their kids to school with confidence knowing that their children will receive an excellent education in the public school system in Boise.

5. Bellevue, WA

Thanks to its high-quality schools, walkability scores, and tons of outdoor recreational activities, the city of Bellevue is consistently named one of the best cities in Washington and the country to live and raise a family. The Bellevue School District is a top-rated public school district in the city and boasts high proficiency in math and reading among its students.

The city also has a reputation of being safe, especially in comparison with other nearby centers. Employment is plentiful, and the median household income is hefty at $162,434 per year. That said, a healthy income may be needed to afford the high home prices in Bellevue, with the average home price currently sitting at $1,446,106.

6. Eugene, OR

Eugene is a fantastic place to live for the outdoorsy type thanks to all the places you can hike, bike, ski, kayak, and fish. The options to do all of these activities are seemingly endless. The city is family-friendly and offers plenty of incentive for parents to raise their children.

The public school district in Eugene is a highly-rated one, offering solid educational opportunities for children. And for parents, there are plenty of jobs to be had. And with the median income of $72,070, there’s plenty to go around, particularly when it comes to the relatively affordable average home price of $463,173 in Eugene.

7. Redmond, WA

Living in Redmond, WA offers residents a unique urban/suburban vibe that’s unique to the city. There are plenty of parks, restaurants, coffee shops, and entertainment venues to enjoy life in.

Many families and young professionals call Redmond home, and the public schools in the city are highly rated. Further, the crime rate in Redmond is lower than the national average, so parents can rest assured knowing that their children are being raised in a relatively safe city.

The average home price is a bit on the high side at $1,370,711, but with a median household income of $158,114, the average home prices are attainable.

8. Kirkland, WA

Kirkland is a fantastic place to reside in and raise children. Not only are the public schools highly-rated and boast high math and reading scores each year, but the city of Kirkland offers plenty for families to do, particularly outdoor recreation thanks to the waterfront. There’s also lots for the parents to do as well, such as enjoying the various wineries and taking advantage of great shops and restaurants.

The crime rate in Kirkland is also very low, which should put the minds of parents at ease. Crime rates are 6% lower than the US average, and violent crimes are 70% lower than the national average.

Kirkland residents earn a median income of $153,012 a year, which they’ll need to afford the average home price of $1,166,047 in the city.

9. Bend, OR

Not only is Bend, OR a popular destination for travelers, but it’s also an ideal place to live, work, and play. Outdoor recreation is at its finest in this city, and the people are very friendly. Bend has a unique small-town feel despite its size.

Families who wish to settle in Bend have plenty of opportunities for employment while having access to a highly-rated public school system. Plus, the crime rate is fairly low, with rates 17% lower than the national average.

The average home price in Bend is $735,896, and the median household income is $88,880 per year.

10. Gresham, OR

Gresham is a beautiful, safe, and vibrant city in Oregon and makes our list of some of the best cities to live and raise a family. People are active in their community and are always looking out for each other, which is a big reason why the crime rate is low and neighborhoods are maintained to preserve property value.

The average home price in Gresham is $456,926, and the median household income is $69,723 a year. Unemployment is low in the city, giving families security in their jobs and livelihoods. And when it comes to schooling, the education system in Gresham is top-notch, with students scoring high in math and reading.

Now, before you make a home-buying decision based on the Forbes report, remember that real estate is a local market and even city-wide statistics can be too broad to be helpful to everyday home buyers in Seattle. There are some neighborhoods that outperform in terms of home valuations and school quality, for example; and some areas from which a daily work commute may be more cumbersome.

For accurate, real-time housing data for any city or zip code in King county contact Michael Shane at 425-401-8787 for your free Real Estate Report.

Curious About Mortgages?

Do you have questions about mortgages? We can answer them. Are you ready to apply for a home loan? We can help. Sammamish Mortgage is a local, family-owned company based in Bellevue, Washington, and we currently offer many mortgage programs in all of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado. We’ve been in the business since 1992. Please contact us if you have any questions about mortgages or are ready to apply for a home loan!

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