Best Places to Raise your Kids – 2009

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Best Places to Raise your Kids – 2009

Some of my favorites on the list published on Businessweek for 2009

Alaska
Anchorage

Nearest city: Anchorage
Population: 281,070
Median household income: $80,927

Residents of Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, have a strong economy, teeming wildlife, low crime, and fresh air.
Runner-up: N/A*
*Only cities with at least 50,000 residents and a median family income between $40,000 and $100,000 were considered.

California
Arcadia

Nearest city: Los Angeles
Population: 56,394
Median household income: $81,417

Arcadia, about 20 miles from downtown Los Angeles, has some of the best schools in California. It is also home to Santa Anita Park racetrack and the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Peacocks now live in the neighborhood near the arboretum where they walk on lawns or cross the street and, for some, are a bit of a nuisance.
Runners-up:
Diamond Bar
Monterey Park

Colorado
Fort Collins

Nearest city: Denver
Population: 126,496
Median household income: $76,172

Fort Collins, home to Colorado State University, has excellent schools, low crime, and a vibrant downtown known as Old Town. It has miles of hiking and biking trails, 600 acres of parks, and 5,000 acres of natural areas.
Runners-up:
Aurora
Loveland

*My personal note: Everyone I’ve ever met from Colorado, I’ve liked.  Somehow, this state has just raised some of the best Americans that exist in society.

Connecticut
West Haven

Nearest city: New Haven
Population: 54,765
Median household income: $63,191

West Haven is home to the University of New Haven and is about five miles from Yale University. Families can spend a day at Bradley Point Park beach and Sandy Point bird sanctuary.
Runners-up:
East Hartford
Norwalk

*My notes: I’m not a fan of New York city or lots of the East coast, but I do like pockets here and there like Connecticut, Mass and the Northeast more than just the East.

Hawaii
Honolulu

Nearest city: Honolulu
Population: 382,983
Median household income: $70,849

Runner-up: N/A

There’s more to the capital of Hawaii than surfing, sunny weather, and sandy beaches. It also has a thriving arts scene, great ethnic restaurants, and hosts the NFL Pro Bowl and college football’s Hawaii Bowl each year.

Maine
Portland

Nearest city: Portland
Population: 65,821
Median household income: $60,836

Portland, Maine’s largest city, is culturally diverse and its progressive waterfront community is only a few hours’ drive north of Boston. The Old Port section of the city has cobblestone streets and great shops, restaurants, and bars.

Massachusetts
Malden

Nearest city: Boston
Population: 56,454
Median household income: $67,599

Malden is a racially diverse, relatively affordable, and well-connected city six miles north of Boston. The city is working to rejuvenate its downtown, a mix of shops and restaurants around the Malden Square.

Runners-up:
Cambridge
Weymouth

Michigan
Ann Arbor

Nearest city: Ann Arbor
Population: 118,194
Median household income: $87,061

Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan, is one of the best college towns in America. It has acres of parks, galleries, museums, restaurants, boutiques, and seven golf courses.

Runners-up:
Royal Oak
Shelby

Nevada
Paradise

Nearest city: Las Vegas
Population: 229,403
Median household income: $61,037

Paradise, a census-designated place, actually includes the Vegas Strip and many other places considered by most visitors to be part of Las Vegas. The area, which has become increasingly affordable thanks to falling home prices, is home to world-class restaurants and stores, and is a short drive from beautiful desert parks.

Runners-up:
Spring Valley
Sunrise Manor

Personal notes: Can’t say this is the best place to raise a family, but I would personally love to live there.

New Hampshire
Nashua

Nearest city:
Population: 90,984
Median household income: $79,063

Nashua, the state’s second-largest city, is known for its low crime and good schools. It draws shoppers from nearby Massachusetts who want to take advantage of the state’s lack of a general sales tax.

Runner-up:
Manchester

Oregon
Bend

Nearest city: Bend
Population: 69,349
Median household income: $62,868

The mountain town, on the eastern edge of the Cascade Range on the Deschutes River, is a popular destination for adventure tourists. Popular outdoor sports here include hiking, camping, rafting, fishing, skiing, and rock climbing.

Runners-up:
Hillsboro
Springfield

Rhode Island
Pawtucket

Nearest city: Providence
Population: 73,612
Median household income: $48,207

The mill city on the Blackstone River is becoming known as an artist enclave with the transformation of aging mills into artists’ lofts and studios.

Runners-up:
Warwick
Cranston

Utah
Orem

Nearest city: Salt Lake City
Population: 99,054
Median household income: $63,271

Orem, known by the moniker “Family City USA,” is about 40 miles south of Salt Lake City and next to Provo, home of Brigham Young University.

Runners-up:
Provo
Sandy

Vermont
Burlington

Nearest city: Burlington
Population: 38,358
Median household income: $56,879

Burlington, on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, is a walkable, cosmopolitan city that is a short drive from skiing and other outdoor activities.

Washington
Bellevue

Nearest city: Bellevue
Population: 75,868
Median household income: $56,695

Bellevue, across Lake Washington from Seattle, is the state’s fifth-largest city and one of its most diverse. The city has become a center for high-tech and retail jobs, its schools are top performers, and its attractions include a botanical garden and the Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art, which has one of the world’s largest collections of dolls.

Runners-up:
Shoreline
Federal Way

Personal notes: firsthand, I can vouch that this is one of the best places in the world if you can afford to live here.

**Final Notes: I excluded most Southern area cities minus those in California & Hawaii simply due to the future being very affected by global warming.  I feel California is a bit more proactive in dealing with that than places like Arizona or Florida.  Also, I should of included more of the Midwest, but just can’t say I know enough about places there to put them on my favorite list.  Of course, I’m biased.

For all the cities and some incredible pictures taken at each of these locations (they are so good, they look fake in many cases or TOO ideal): http://images.businessweek.com/ss/08/11/1110_best_places_for_kids

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