Another Top-10 List — Best (and Worst) Places to Raise a Family in 2017

Some places are simply better (and easier) to grow up in than others given all the factors impacting life and opportunities. As I had written last year:

I was very fortunate growing up in Montrose, Colorado. It was a safe town – with many people in those days not locking their doors to their homes and even putting the keys of vehicles on the sun visor. By no means was it a wealthy community. We received a great education and also learned life-long work skills and a strong work ethic. Just like the song for the TV show Cheers, it “was a place where everybody knows your name.”

So where are similar places today? To answer that question, WalletHub ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia for the best places to raise a family. Do understand that the factors used in the rankings are not the exclusive variables and that use of other factors would likely alter the outcome. Variables included in the study included:

Family Fun – 20 Points 3.33 Points Each

  • Number of Attractions
  • Fitness & Recreation Sports Centers Per Capita
  • Weather (WalletHub’s Weather Ranking Study)
  • Share of Families with Young Children
  • Average Commute Time
  • Arcades Per Capita

Health & Safety – 20 Points 2.50 Points Each

  • Air Pollution
  • Water Quality
  • Pediatricians Per Capita
  • Share of Children Lacking Health Insurance
  • Quality of Public Hospitals
  • Infant Mortality Rates
  • Violent-Crime Rate Per Capita
  • Property-Crime Rate Per Capita

Education & Child Care — 20 Points 3.33 Points Each

  • Quality of Public Schools
  • Public High School Graduation Rate
  • Day-Care Quality
  • Child-Care Costs
  • Parental Leave
  • Child Day-Care Services Per Capita

Affordability – 20 Points 2.22 Points Each

  • Housing Affordability
  • Median Credit Score
  • Credit Utilization
  • Debt delinquency
  • Mortgage debt
  • Non-Mortgage debt
  • Savings
  • Employer-Based Retirement Plans
  • Median Annual Family Income

Socioeconomics — 20 Points 1.82 Points Each

  • Separation & Divorce Rate
  • Share of Two-Parent Families
  • Share of Families Living Below the Poverty Level
  • Share of Families Receiving Food Stamps
  • Paid Family Leave
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Underemployment Rate
  • Wealth Gap
  • Foreclosure Rate
  • Job Security
  • Job Opportunities

So what are the best (and worst) states to raise a family given these metrics from WalletHub? The first of the following tables shows the top-10 and the second the lowest-10 ranking states.

1-22-17 table

 

To read the entire WalletHub report click https://wallethub.com/edu/best-states-to-raise-a-family/31065/

Where I grew up was a great place, but given these metrics it probably would not rank well. We had one bowling alley (it did have pinball machines), a miniature golf course (open in the spring, summer and fall) and one movie theater with one screen. Am fortunate to have grown up there.

Ted

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