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View of Downtown Area Along a Canal.

Best Cities for Families in 2021

Are you moving in 2021? Finding the best place to live for your family is not an easy decision. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best cities to raise kids in the U.S. based on local school systems, home prices, crime rates, and other key statistics. Check out the 11 best cities for families in 2021!

  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • Boston, MA
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Green Bay, WI
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Portland, OR
  • Raleigh, NC
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA

Ann Arbor, MI

Aerial photograph over Ann Arbor, MI. Photo by Instagram User @tannnnnnxt

Photo via @tannnnnnxt

  • Population: 118,087
  • Home Price: $250,200 median purchase price; $1,114 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $57,697
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 44% of U.S. cities

Though it’s known as the home of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is much more than just a college town. Low crime rates, affordable home prices, and great public schools like Honey Creek Community School and the National Blue Ribbon School Award-winning Community High School make Ann Arbor one of the best cities for families in 2021! Families moving to the area will find that, despite the city’s steady population growth, it continues to feel like a much smaller city, thanks to its tree-lined historic streets and dozens of public parks. These natural features have earned Ann Arbor the nickname “Tree Town,” as many consider the city to be somewhat of an urban forest. As for family activities, you’ll find no shortage when living in Ann Arbor! The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum lets kids learn about science using all five senses and invites older kids and parents to join the fun, too! Meanwhile, elaborate playgrounds like the one at County Farm Park provide the perfect place for children of all ages to run, play, and explore.

Boston, MA

Cityscape photo of Boston during sunset. Photo by Instagram User @oscarealvarez

Photo via @oscarealvarez

  • Population: 658,279
  • Home Price: $423,200 median purchase price; $1,369 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $58,516
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 14% of U.S. cities

Parents moving to Boston can feel confident that their children will be enriched by the city’s many family-friendly activities and big-city amenities. In addition to well-rated Boston schools like Eliot K-8 Innovation School and Boston Latin School, the city has plenty of things to do for families like the The Franklin Park Zoo, where kids and adults alike can learn about exotic wildlife. Boston has also been named among the safest cities in the U.S., which, in combination with the city’s rank for the highest starting salary and its many cultural and historical sites, makes it a very desirable place to live for families. Families with older children will appreciate living in Boston as well, as the city has tons of higher education opportunities with schools like leading research institute Boston University and Ivy League school Harvard University.

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Colorado Springs, CO

Photo of snowy Downtown Colorado Springs and mountains. Photo by Instagram User @cityofcos

Photo via @cityofcos

  • Population: 448,759
  • Home Price: $222,100 median purchase price; $958 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $56,227
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.8%
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 10% of U.S. cities

Colorado Springs may not be as large as Denver, but this scenic mountain town about an hour south of the capital city certainly holds its own in terms of amenities and things to do for families. In fact, Colorado Springs is 12% more affordable and considerably safer than Denver. But a low cost of living isn’t the only thing leading families to think about moving to Colorado Springs. Schools in Colorado Springs like Broadmoor Elementary, Discovery Canyon Middle School, and The Classical Academy High School provide an engaging and purpose-driven education for local children. Living in Colorado Springs also means having access to museums, parks and hiking trails, and other things to do with kids. Meanwhile, parents will appreciate the city’s strong job market and affordable real estate. Given all these factors, on top of its high quality of life and great neighborhoods, it’s no wonder why Colorado Springs is one of the best places for families in 2021!

Des Moines, IA

  • Population: 212,859
  • Home Price: $119,800 median purchase price; $775 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $48,088
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.0%
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 6% of U.S. cities

Des Moines may be relatively small, but it has a lot to offer! Iowa’s capital city is one of the most affordable cities to live in 2021 and has been recognized as one of the safest places to live in the U.S.—two factors that also make it one of the best cities for families. Parents with children of all ages will find plenty of kid-friendly activities in Des Moines. The city hosts a lively performing arts scene, an interactive Children’s Museum, and a unique downtown district that holds events like the Downtown Farmers’ Market. Plus, there’s an abundance of green space, like that found in the John & Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. Des Moines’ schools are also a major attraction for families moving to this Midwest city, with institutions like Downtown School and Merrill Middle School offering high-quality education!

Green Bay, WI

  • Population: 104,951
  • Home Price: $125,100 median purchase price; $667 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $43,473
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.2%
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 22% of U.S. cities

Green Bay is perhaps best known for the Green Bay Packers (NFL), but this small Wisconsin city has so much more to offer than just a thriving sports scene. Thanks to its low cost of living, low crime rates, and many great public schools—including MacArthur Elementary, Aldo Leopold Community School, and John Dewey Academy of Learning—Green Bay is one of the best cities in the U.S. to raise a family. As for recreation, Green Bay has, of course, lots of green space and an excellent recreation area called Title Town. Colburn Park, the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, and the city’s many other outdoor recreation spots provide the perfect place for active families living in Green Bay to get some fresh air. There are also a number of annual events hosted in Green Bay like FIT Fest and Festival of Lights, so families will never run out of entertainment options!

Indianapolis, IN

  • Population: 846,674
  • Home Price: $120,400 median purchase price; $811 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $43,101
  • Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 2% of U.S. cities

Indianapolis is another one of the best cities for families in 2021! Indiana’s capital city is both one of America’s most affordable places to live and one of the country’s best places for jobs. Indianapolis’ schools are another one of its strong points, thanks to high-performing institutions like Center for Inquiry School 84, Speedway Junior High School, and Herron High School. Practical amenities aren’t the only thing families moving to Indianapolis will find, though. The amount of family-friendly activities available is another reason why Indy is one of the best places to raise kids in the U.S. There’s a long list of things to do for families in Indianapolis, but a couple stand-outs include the Indianapolis Zoo and Indianapolis Motor Speedway—the largest auto racetrack in the world!

Pittsburgh, PA

  • Population: 305,305
  • Home Price: $100,800 median purchase price; $844 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $42,450
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.8%
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 13% of U.S. cities

Between low crime rates, a high quality of life, and being one of the country’s best places to launch a career, Pittsburgh offers the stability families need when looking for a new city to call home. Like many of the country’s best cities for families, it has unique advantages, such as the presence of one of America’s top children’s hospitals, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Parents moving their family to Pittsburgh can also feel confident in the education their children will receive at schools like Peebles Elementary School and Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, the latter of which is the 12th best high school in the entire state. And when it comes to recreation, there are abundant things to do with kids in Pittsburgh. The Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens provides all-ages learning experiences and beautiful displays of exotic flora, while Carnegie Science Center has tons of exciting interactive exhibits on display that appeal to kids.

Portland, OR

Portland skyline on a sunny day. Photo by Instagram User @yumenogrden

Photo via @yumenogrden

  • Population: 620,589
  • Home Price: $319,400 median purchase price; $1,025 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $58,423
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.2%
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 9% of U.S. cities

Relocating to Portland is a smart move for any family, but especially those seeking an active lifestyle. One of the most bike-friendly cities in the country, Portland has plenty of trails and parks where parents and kids of all ages can get out and enjoy the Pacific Northwest scenery. Portland also has low crime rates, a thriving job market with low unemployment and high salaries, and a unique culture you won’t find anywhere else. Great schools are another major reason why Portland is regarded as one of America’s best places to raise a family. Skyline School, Winterhaven School, Grant High School, and other highly-rated Portland schools make this Oregon city a smart choice for families. As for things to do with kids, Portland is home to the Oaks Amusement Park, Washington Park, World Forestry Center Discovery Museum, and other kid-friendly attractions!

Raleigh, NC

Photo of Downtown Raleigh on a sunny day. Photo by Instagram User @elancitycenter

Photo via @elancitycenter

  • Population: 441,326
  • Home Price: $218,200 median purchase price; $966 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $58,641
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 43% of U.S. cities

Looking for a great place to find a job, buy a house, and raise your family all in one? Moving to Raleigh may be the perfect choice for you! This North Carolina city is one of the best cities for jobs, top spots for real estate, and best places for overall quality of life—but these practical amenities are only the beginning of what you can enjoy when living in Raleigh. Another reason why Raleigh is popular among families is its wide range of things to do, including family-friendly attractions like Marbles Kids Museum, Pullen Park, and Marsh Creek Park. Raleigh also has high-quality schools like Wake Early College of Health & Sciences, Envision Science Academy, and Quest Academy that offer learning environments focused on preparing children for the future.

San Francisco, CA

Skyline of San Francisco at sunset shot from Dolores Park. Photo by Instagram User @the415guy

Photo via @the415guy

  • Population: 850,282
  • Home Price: $858,800 median purchase price; $1,632 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $87,701
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 5% of U.S. cities

Though the city’s median home price is higher than some of the other top places to raise a family in the U.S., San Francisco is one of the nation’s best cities for jobs, with workers earning a significantly higher salary than the national average. These economic advantages make San Francisco a stable place to raise kids—and tons of family-friendly amenities, high-performing schools, and great year-round weather make the city an even more attractive option for those looking to move in 2021. Mission Preparatory School, Roosevelt Middle School, and Lowell High School are just a few of the available options for families living in San Francisco. And as one of California’s largest cities, SF has lots of things to do with kids, most notably the Bay Area Discovery Museum, Aquarium of the Bay, and incredible Muir Woods.

Seattle, WA

Seattle skyline with mountain in the background. Photo by Instagram User @raymondstiehl

Photo via @raymondstiehl

  • Population: 668,849
  • Home Price: $484,600 median purchase price; $1,266 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $74,458
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 9% of U.S. cities

Seattle‘s many safe, affordable neighborhoods and spacious homes are definitely an attractive feature for families moving to the Pacific Northwest, but they aren’t the only reason why this Washington gem is one of the best cities for families in 2021. The Emerald City also has a fantastic job market, abundant outdoor recreation, and some of the state’s best schools, including Roosevelt High School and Garfield High School. Between unique attractions like The Museum of Flight and the fun, educational Pacific Science Center, there are plenty of things to do with kids in Seattle. And for families who love being active, Mount Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park are close by, making for easy hiking, camping, and fishing trips!

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Considering moving to one of these family-friendly cities? Extra Space Storage has convenient storage facility locations all across the country to help your family’s transition go smoothly. Find self storage near you!

City statistics from AreaVibes

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