Searching for the right place to bring up a family throws up so much choice that sometimes it is hard to know where to begin. Parents wanting the best for their children look for cities that have high educational standards and low crime rates, as well as a good supply of affordable homes.
Good outdoor spaces and plenty of opportunities for taking part in sports and cultural activities are also important attributes to make a city an attractive place to settle, and after that it comes down to personal preferences as to climate and proximity to beaches or mountains.
One of the country’s oldest and finest cities, Boston had the first public school in the United States, making education an important driving factor in the city’s development. The ratio of teachers to students is very good, and attainments in math and reading get consistently high scores. Boston also has everything a big city offers, with a great sporting and cultural mix and lots of wide-open spaces to explore. Median property prices are around the $500,000 mark, and there are plenty of homes available for considerably less than this.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
A good quality of life is what attracts families to the Fort Lauderdale area, and the closeness to beaches and to many of Florida’s huge amusement parks is another of its attractive features. Being Florida, the weather is warm year-round, so it can provide the ideal outdoor life for young and growing families. Crime is on the way down and property in Florida can be found at very reasonable prices. There is a wide choice of educational facilities, and areas such as Coral Springs, to the north-west, are popular.
Home of the University of Vermont, Burlington is a relatively small city that sits on Lake Champlain’s eastern shore and is between the Adirondack and Green Mountains. An outdoor life for families on the lakes, rivers and mountains is there for the taking, and unsurprisingly the city has an excellent education system in place, with a good teacher/student ratio. Crime figures are low, as is unemployment, though the cost of living is some 13% higher than the average nationally.
Surrounded by the sea with a mild climate and tropical scenery to match, Honolulu is a very attractive place to bring up a young family. Unemployment is low thanks to the likes of big employers in the defense and tourism industries, so after moving through the high-quality school system there are plenty of opportunities for jobs and careers. The cost of living is considerably higher than the national average, but there is clean air, great sporting and cultural opportunities and a low crime rate.
Set on the shores of Lake Mendota and Lake Monona, and only some 60 miles from Milwaukee and Lake Michigan, Madison is the home of the University of Wisconsin and has a good education system from elementary through to college. Crime rates are considerably lower than the national average, and there is a huge range of recreational activities, from walking or biking by the lakes to museums and art galleries for all the family.