The Best Places to Raise a Family Methodology

The Best Places to Raise a Family ranking provides a comprehensive assessment of key factors that are meaningful for families. This grade takes into account key factors, such as the quality of local schools, safety, affordability, and access to family amenities, in an attempt to measure the appeal of an area for families. Learn where our data comes from.

Factors Considered

Public Schools Grade Based on the average Niche K-12 Overall Grade for every public school serving the area, where each school is weighted by the number of students it serves. Multiple Sources 20.0%
Higher Education Rate Percentage of residents who have received a bachelor’s degree or higher. U.S. Census 12.5%
Cost of Living Grade Based on the consumer price index and access to affordable housing. Multiple Sources 10.0%
Crime & Safety Grade Based on violent and property crime rates. Multiple Sources 10.0%
Housing Grade Based on home values, property taxes, housing costs, local schools, and more. Multiple Sources 10.0%
Family Amenities Grade Based on access to parks, libraries, cultural activities, and family-oriented amenities. Multiple Sources 7.5%
Composite Overall Score Niche survey responses scored on a 1-5 scale regarding the overall experience of the place. Self-reported by Niche users 5.0%
Diversity Grade Based on ethnic, generational and economic diversity. Multiple Sources 5.0%
Outdoor Activities Grade Based on weather, air quality, and access to parks and other recreational opportunities. Multiple Sources 5.0%
Percent of Households with Children Percentage of households with children under 18 years old. U.S. Census 5.0%
Walkability Grade Based on the proportion of residents that walk or bike, as well as the proximity of amenities and the density of development. Multiple Sources 5.0%
Children Below Poverty Percentage of the population under age 18 with income in the past 12 months below the poverty level by age group. U.S. Census 2.5%
Residents 17 Years Old and Under Percentage of residents between the ages of 0 and 17. U.S. Census 2.5%

The same methodology is used to produce the Good for Families Grade for each ranked place. Statistics are primarily obtained from the U.S. Census and represent the most recent data available.

For more details about how we calculate our rankings, click here.