Best Places to Raise your Kids – 2009
Some of my favorites on the list published on Businessweek for 2009
Nearest city: Anchorage
Median household income: $80,927
Residents of Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, have a strong economy, teeming wildlife, low crime, and fresh air.
*Only cities with at least 50,000 residents and a median family income between $40,000 and $100,000 were considered.
Nearest city: Los Angeles
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.
Nearest city: Denver
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.
*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.
Nearest city: New Haven
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.
*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.
Nearest city: Honolulu
Median household income: $70,849
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.
Nearest city: Portland
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.
Nearest city: Boston
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.
Nearest city: Ann Arbor
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.
Nearest city: Las Vegas
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.
Personal notes: Can’t say this is the best place to raise a family, but I would personally love to live there.
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.
Nearest city: Bend
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.
Nearest city: Providence
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.
Nearest city: Salt Lake City
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.
Nearest city: Burlington
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.
Nearest city: Bellevue
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.
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