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Best Cities to Raise a Family in the US

Posted in City Guides on January 9, 2024

In the quest for the best cities to raise a family in the US, one discovers a plethora of choices, each brimming with unique child-friendly amenities and community spirit. Cities like San Jose, with its tech-driven environment, and Des Moines, known for its affordability, offer varied but equally enriching experiences for family life. Rely on our guide for valuable info about these cities in the USA.

What are the best places to raise a family in the US? San Jose stands out as a tech hub offering a myriad of activities for families. Green Bay is renowned for its safe, family-oriented neighborhoods. Des Moines appeals with its affordable housing and cost of living. In Albany, families benefit from a balance of urban life and family-friendly cultural and educational opportunities. Grand Rapids excels with accessible healthcare and childcare services, crucial for family wellbeing. Lastly, Pittsburgh offers educational excellence and a variety of school choices.

Why Should You Live In One of the Best Cities to Raise a Family?

Deciding where to move with kids is a pivotal decision for any family. The best cities to raise a family offer a unique blend of amenities, safety, educational opportunities, and affordability that can significantly enhance the quality of life for both parents and children.

These cities, such as San Jose, with its family-friendly tech culture, and Green Bay, known for its community-oriented neighborhoods, provide environments where families can thrive and grow together. Moreover, living in these cities allows you to relocate efficiently, ensuring a smoother transition for your family.

From the affordable housing and low cost of living in Des Moines to the rich cultural and educational experiences in Albany, each city offers distinct advantages that cater to the diverse needs of families. Take a pick from our list of the best cities to raise a family in America.

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#1 San Jose, CA – The Family-Friendly Tech Hub

San Jose, often hailed as the epicenter of Silicon Valley, presents an ideal blend for families planning to move to a new city. Those who want to relocate for a job in the tech industry would find many opportunities here.

It is not only a beacon of innovation with over 6,000 tech companies like Cisco and PayPal but also a haven for family life. Its urban core is complemented by tranquil suburban areas, offering top-notch schools and tranquil surroundings. San Jose is a city where the future is tangible, seamlessly integrating the fast-paced tech world with the comforts and necessities of family living.

Enjoy San Jose’s Child-Friendly Amenities and Activities

Making friends in this city is a breeze, thanks to its plethora of family-oriented amenities and recreational activities. The city caters to families with attractions like The Tech Interactive. Here, science and technology come alive in an engaging, hands-on environment, complete with a state-of-the-art IMAX Dome Theater.

For younger explorers, the Children’s Discovery Museum offers interactive exhibits that are both educational and entertaining. Outdoor activities include the larger-than-life Monopoly in the Park and the delightful Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, perfect for a day of family fun.

For a historical outing, Emma Prusch Farm Park and History Park provide a glimpse into the region’s past, making San Jose a destination where family adventures and learning go hand in hand.

View of San Jose from air
San Jose is included in our list of the best cities to raise a family in the US

#2 Green Bay, WI, Offers Family-Oriented Communities

Green Bay, nestled in the heart of Wisconsin, is celebrated for its historical richness, welcoming atmosphere, and authentic Midwestern charm, making it an ideal city for families.

The city is home to several exceptional neighborhoods, each offering a distinct quality of life and an array of activities to enjoy.

Green Bay takes first place in the 2024 ranking of best places to live in the USA

Peaceful areas are known for their strong sense of community, scenic beauty, and family-friendly amenities, providing a perfect backdrop for families. If you want to unwind after going through relocation stress, make Green Bay your home.

You’ll Find Safe and Family-Oriented Neighborhoods in Green Bay

Green Bay is one of the most safe cities for families. It’s known for its low crime rates and award-winning public schools, providing a secure and nurturing environment for families. These attributes are complemented by reputable higher education institutions, enriching the community’s educational landscape. Key neighborhoods that exemplify Green Bay’s family-friendly ethos include:

  • Astor Park,
  • De Pere,
  • Suamico,
  • Hobart,
  • Howard,
  • Bellevue,
  • Allouez.

#3 Des Moines, IA – Home of Family-Centric Living

When families have to pick a city to live in, Des Moines stands out as a compelling choice. Known for its blend of historic charm and modern amenities, Des Moines offers an inviting mix of elegant early 20th-century homes and superb downtown living spaces. The city’s suburbs are continually expanding, with new developments catering to family needs.

Beyond its diverse housing, Des Moines is a cultural hub with events, unique shops, and outdoor activities like biking and lakeside recreation. The metro area of about 700,000 residents has a community feel, where neighbors are familiar and welcoming. This is a place where neighbors bump into each other while shipping and then host backyard barbecues together. So, without further ado, prepare for a move to another state by hosting a moving away party and set off to Iowa.

Des Moines Offers Affordable Housing and Cost of Living

In Des Moines, the affordability of housing and the overall cost of living are significant attractions for families getting organized to move. Buying a home here or renting an apartment is far more economical than in many other parts of the country.

Housing costs in Des Moines are 32% lower than the national average, making it an attractive option for those looking to settle down without breaking the bank. Additionally, daily expenses, from utilities being 14% less expensive to groceries costing about 6% less, contribute to a cost-effective lifestyle. Even healthcare and entertainment, often significant expenses, are more affordable here.

Des Moines, Iowa, skyline
If you're planning on moving cross country, Iowa might be the right place for you

#4 Albany, NY – Balancing Urban and Family Life

Albany, New York’s capital city, expertly balances the energy of urban living with the comforts of family life, making it an appealing choice when moving a family to another state. Situated on the Hudson River, Albany is a midpoint between the scenic Hudson Valley and the majestic Adirondack Mountains.

This historic city, part of the Tri-City Area, including Troy and Schenectady, is perfect for those considering moving to a big city but seeking a more intimate community feel. Its downtown, rich in culture and commerce, complements the quaint charm of its turn-of-the-century brownstones and historic landmarks like the Empire State Plaza. Albany’s manageable size and unique character provide a family-friendly urban experience unlike any other.

Cultural and Educational Opportunities

Albany’s cultural and educational offerings are significant reasons to move to this lively capital city. The downtown area is a hub of cultural activity, with various events that cater to both adults and children. One of the major educational centers that draw the majority of people is the Albany Center for Education. It offers college-level courses and career training programs.

Families can explore the historic state capitol building, engage with interactive exhibits at the New York State Museum, or enjoy performances at The Egg, a distinctive venue for the arts. The proximity to New York state’s Finger Lakes wine region and the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts adds to the list of benefits of moving here.

Panorama of Albany, New York
When moving across country, hire reputable long-distance movers

#5 Grand Rapids, MI, Offers Big City Convenience and Small Town Affordability

Grand Rapids is one of the best small cities in America to raise a family. It strikes a perfect balance between the allure of big-city living and the cost-effectiveness of a small town. This is especially appealing for those considering relocating on a low budget. The city’s dynamic public art scene and top-tier craft breweries showcase its urban appeal, while affordable family living and a robust job market cater to practical needs.

Grand Rapids is a scenic gem along the Grand River, where outdoor activities abound, making it an ideal destination for both leisure and lifestyle. The active neighborhood associations and community events, like the vibrant Eastown Street Fair, underscore the city’s small-town warmth.

Expect Accessible Healthcare and Childcare Services

In Grand Rapids, the fear of relocating due to healthcare concerns is significantly mitigated thanks to its accessible and affordable medical services. Residents here spend 31% less on healthcare costs compared to the national average. The city is served by 12 hospitals, including three nationally ranked ones.

The abundance of primary care physicians and dentists further enhances the healthcare landscape. Despite a small segment of the population being uninsured, the overall health outcomes are positive, with residents enjoying a longer lifespan than many across the nation.

Grand Rapids skyline
One of the best cities in America to raise a family, Grand Rapids offers diverse outdoor activities

#6 Pittsburgh, PA, Is an Example of Family-Focused Urban Living

Pittsburgh, once known as Blitzburgh and Steel City, is now a beacon for families, even those moving without a job, thanks to its burgeoning job market. This reinvention city, shedding its steel industry past, is cleaner, offering an energized lifestyle.

Pittsburgh’s nearly 2,000 acres of city parks, along with county, state, and riverfront parks, provide ample green spaces for families. The city’s tech and education sectors are drawing major corporations, creating a hub of opportunities.

Pittsburgh stands out for its affordable housing market compared to other large cities, making it a practical choice for people seeking urban living without the high costs. Its strong sense of community further enhances the appeal, embodying the new spirit of Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh’s Educational and School Choices Are Top-Tier

The educational landscape in Pittsburgh, enriched with various public and private schools and renowned colleges, provides a solid foundation for academic growth. Pittsburgh’s education system offers a range of top-tier choices for families, including:

  • Pittsburgh Colfax K-8,
  • Pittsburgh Greenfield K-8,
  • Pittsburgh Montessori K-5,
  • Peters Township High School,
  • Mt Lebanon High School,
  • Hampton High School,
  • Carnegie Mellon University,
  • The University of Pittsburgh,
  • Duquesne University.

Take Your Pick and Hire Cross Country Movers to Relocate You Smoothly

Are you drawn to the innovative environment of San Jose, the community spirit of Green Bay, and the affordability of Des Moines? Maybe you are more interested in the cultural richness of Albany, the balanced urban life of Grand Rapids, or the educational excellence of Pittsburgh. The bottom line is that there’s a perfect place for everyone.

If you’re ready to make a move, contact us at Cross Country Movers. As a leading long-distance moving company, we specialize in cross-country moving services, ensuring a smooth and stress-free relocation. Our packing services can minimize the chaos of relocating a whole family. Our expert team is here to assist you every step of the way.


What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing a City to Raise a Family?

When choosing the best family cities in the US, consider factors such as the quality of education, cost of living, and safety of the neighborhoods. Access to family-friendly amenities like parks, recreational activities, and cultural events is also crucial. Additionally, evaluate the job market and healthcare services to ensure a stable and healthy environment for your family.

Are There Specific Neighborhoods in These Cities Known for Being Family-Friendly?

Searching for the safest place to raise a family? San Jose’s Willow Glen, Green Bay’s Astor, and Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill are popular among family-friendly neighborhoods for their blend of amenities and community spirit. These neighborhoods offer a supportive environment for family life, with access to parks, cultural events, and strong neighborhood associations.

What Educational Opportunities Are Available in Top Cities for Families?

In the top cities for children’s education, families benefit from a variety of high-quality schooling options, including public, private, and specialized magnet and charter schools. Cities like San Jose offer STEM-focused education due to their tech industry presence, while Pittsburgh is known for its strong higher education institutions. These cities provide a well-rounded educational environment.

What Are the Healthcare and Childcare Options for Families in These Cities?

Healthcare and childcare options in these cities, as well as in other family-friendly cities across the US, are typically extensive. Residents can access a range of healthcare services, including hospitals, clinics, and specialty care centers. Childcare facilities, including daycare centers and preschools, are also widely available, helping parents balance work and family life.

Are There Any Family-Oriented Events or Festivals to Look Forward To?

Yes, these family-friendly cities often host a variety of family-oriented events and festivals throughout the year. For example, San Jose’s annual “Christmas in the Park” transforms a downtown park into a winter wonderland with festive displays and activities.

Green Bay’s “Summer in the Park” series offers live music, food, and entertainment for families to enjoy. In Pittsburgh, the “Three Rivers Arts Festival” features art, music, and family-friendly activities along the city’s waterfront.

Madison Rogers

Born and raised in Houston Madison is a content writer who loves traveling. She has lived in different states and is always eager to share her knowledge with others.

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