Top 5 Cities for Families to Live

Living in large cities can be expensive, in general. That’s especially true if you’re raising a family. Niche ranked US cities on several key factors, including public schools, diversity, crime and safety, as well as housing affordability and availability of nightlife. Here are the top five cities for families to live according to that data. 

 Naperville, IL


Approximately 45 minutes from Chicago, Naperville has highly rated public schools and a lively suburban downtown, where you’ll find an abundance of shops, coffeehouses, restaurants and parks. Add something like: Handled’s senior content writer, Jennifer Olvera, lives here and loves its picturesque riverwalk, bustling downtown and abundance of parks and wide, open green space, despite its size.

  • Population: 147,411
  • Median home value: $410,800
  • Median rent: $1,462
  • Public Schools: A+
  • Housing: A- 
  • Diversity: A-


The Woodlands, TX

Located 50 miles inland from the Gulf coast and just outside of Houston, The Woodlands is a rapidly growing area that includes 10 counties covering over 900 square miles. With highly rated public schools and an average commute time around 30 minutes, working professionals can easily access Houston for work, then retreat to The Woodlands for evenings with their families.

  • Population: 109,843
  • Median home value: $361,500
  • Median rent: $1,567
  • Public Schools: A+
  • Housing: A- 
  • Diversity: A-


Arlington, VA

A clean city with historic roots, Arlington ranked as the number one most educated, midsize city in America. Situated just outside of Washington, D.C., Arlington is home to numerous government agencies, a great public transportation system, restaurants, coffee shops, museums, plenty of parks and great public schools. Most residents in this kid-friendly city rent their homes.

  • Population: 231,803
  • Median home value: $669,400
  • Median rent: $1,936
  • Public Schools: A+
  • Housing: B- 
  • Diversity: A


Bellevue, WA

Surrounded by the Cascade mountain range in the Pacific Northwest, Bellevue is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. With a small-town vibe and a variety of entertainment and dining options, families have access to art museums, public parks and great public schools. Although the medium home value in Bellevue is more expensive than the other cities on this list, most residents here down own their homes.

  • Population: 142,242
  • Median home value: $737,000
  • Median rent: $1,855
  • Public Schools: A+
  • Housing: C+ 
  • Diversity: A


Columbia, MD

With good public schools, nearby amenities and plenty of space for children to run around, Columbia, MD, attracts a diverse community of families. Conveniently located 25 minutes from Baltimore and 45 minutes from Washington DC, working professionals can access both cities by car or public transportation.

  • Population: 103,663
  • Median home value: $372,000
  • Median rent: $1,687
  • Public Schools: A
  • Housing: B+ 
  • Diversity: A+

Searching for the perfect city to raise your family? These cities offer great public schools, family-friendly activities and plenty of parks to enjoy nature and the outdoors.

Want more tips about great cities nationwide? Visit our blog. It’s chock-full of ideas to get to know your way around town and to help you make your house, post-move, a welcoming home.


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