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View of Downtown Area Along a Canal.

Best Cities for Families in 2022

Thinking about moving with your family in 2022? We’ve put together a list that can help you find the best place to live with your family, based on a variety of factors like local school systems, home prices, and other key statistics. Check out the 11 best cities for families in 2022!

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 50% of U.S. cities

Though it’s known as the home of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is more than 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 places to raise a family in 2022! Even with its steady population growth, Ann Arbor still has a small-city feel, thanks to historic streets, dozens of public parks, and an urban forest vibe, which is what inspired the city’s nickname of “Tree Town.” Meanwhile, other activities cater to childhood fun, too, like meeting all types of animals, including alpacas and rabbits, at The Petting Farm, rock climbing for kids of all ages at Planet Rock, and learning about Greek and Egyptian history at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology. The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum lets kids learn about science using all five senses and offers fun for the whole family by inviting older kids and parents to join in, too.

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Arlington, VA

  • Population: 226,092
  • Home Price: $623,300 median purchase price; $1,861 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $108,706
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.6%
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 75% of U.S. cities

Originally a part of the nation’s capital, and situated just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, Arlington, VA is considered to be one of the best places to live in the U.S.—especially for families. You’ll be able to choose from a variety of family-friendly Arlington neighborhoods to call home. And with area schools like Yorktown High School, Swanson Middle School, and Arlington Traditional Elementary School—which is one of the best elementary schools in Virginia—you don’t have to go far for top-notch education. Kids can enjoy places like The Wonder, an indoor children’s playground which promotes an immersive color experience and hands-on learning. Or go to one of the many Arlington parks, like Mosaic Park, which features an interactive water feature and a colorful climbing wall surrounded by more than 100 newly planted trees. Families also have easy access to Washington, DC, where you’ll find rich history and even more kid-friendly activities, like the National Children’s Museum or Nationals Park, where the Washington Nationals (MLB) play!

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 15% of U.S. cities

Recently ranked among the safest cities in the U.S., Boston is one of the best places to live for families! Parents moving to Beantown can feel confident their children will have access to enriching family-friendly activities without sacrificing on big-city amenities. Boston’s safe, affordable neighborhoods offer access to many cultural and historical sites, and stellar schools like Eliot K-8 Innovation School or Boston Latin School. Families with older children will appreciate living in Boston as well, as the city has plenty of higher education opportunities from leading research institutions like Boston University and Ivy League school Harvard University. Fun attractions like the New England Zoo, Franklin Park Zoo, and Stone Zoo provide entertainment for kids and adults alike. If your family loves sports, take advantage of Boston’s thriving sports scene by catching live games from teams like Boston Red Sox (MLB), Boston Celtics (NBA), Boston Bruins (NHL), New England Patriots (NFL), and the New England Revolution (MLS).

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Columbia, MD

  • Population: 103,439
  • Home Price: $364,900 median purchase price; $1,604 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $102,899
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 40% of U.S. cities

Considered the safest city in America and one of the best suburbs of Baltimore, Columbia, MD is also full of family fun, making it a great place to raise a family. The city is a mix of urban and suburban living that was specifically designed to help its citizens thrive. Columbia schools like Atholton High School, Hammond High School, and Wilde Lake High offer great education and encourage students to embrace diversity. Meanwhile, you can find plenty of parks to explore, Columbia gardens to tend, and Maryland geocaching sites to find, which is perfect kid-friendly outdoor recreation. As for indoor children’s play options, kids will have a blast at places like Hyper Kidz, which has ball pits and tube slides, as well as DoodleHATCH, an interactive art museum offering unique exhibits and kid’s classes. And with more family fun found at places like the Columbia Art Center, Hobbit’s Glen Golf Club and Merriweather Post Pavilion, you’ll always be able to find something to do with your family in Columbia!

Irvine, CA

Birdseye view taken from drone of Downtown Irvine and Corona del Mar in California

Photo via @zakkortman

  • Population: 246,992
  • Home Price: $718,800 median purchase price; $1,997 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $93,823
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 66% of U.S. cities

Safety is important to consider when choosing where to live while raising a family, and Irvine is one of the safest cities in the U.S. Many Irvine neighborhoods, like Oak Creek and Woodbridge, are safe and affordable places for families to settle down. And with the inclusive Irvine Unified Public School District, you’ll find diversity at highly-rated Irvine schools like University High School, Venado Middle School, and Santiago Hills Elementary. Plus, it’s full of kid-friendly activities like Knott’s Berry Farm, California’s original theme park well-known for its boysenberry menu items and interactive experiences. Other can’t-miss things to do with kids in Irvine include the Irvine Spectrum Center‘s ferris wheel and ice rink, Tanaka Farms, and King Arthur’s Carnival at the Boomers Parks, which also has mini-golf!

Madison, WI

Skyline of Madison, Wisconsin taken from John Nolen Drive during a spring sunset

Photo via @aschultzphoto

  • Population: 246,034
  • Home Price: $217,000 median purchase price; $959 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $56,464
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 27% of U.S. cities

Living in Madison means you’ll be a resident of one of the U.S.’s best mid-size cities, with access to plenty of family fun and activities, including the Madison Children’s Museum and Henry Vilas Zoo. Mad Town’s other outdoor entertainment options include fishing, boating, and swimming on Madison’s lakes or watching the Madison Radicals (AUDL) play a professional ultimate disc game at Breese Stevens Field! Residents of Mad City love that it’s booming with arts and culture, with institutions like the Children’s Theater of Madison and Madison Museum of Contemporary Art easily accessible by car. Living in Madison also means you’ll have your pick from many safe and affordable neighborhoods, along with great schools for the kids. In fact, the Madison Metropolitan School District is the second largest in Wisconsin and has exceptional education options at Madison schools like Shorewood Hills Elementary School, Velma Hamilton Middle School, and West High School.

Naperville, IL

Skyline view with water passageway and businesses in brick building in Downtown Naperville, Illinois

Photo via @elldalie7

  • Population: 145,789
  • Home Price: $388,400 median purchase price; $1,360 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $110,676
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 90% of U.S. cities

Considered to be one of the best suburbs of Chicago, the city of Naperville is a vibrant community that’s been ranked as the safest city to raise a child and one of the best places to live in Illinois! One of the major draws for families living in Naperville is the education—Naperville is home to the best elementary schools in Illinois, like Meadow Glens Elementary School, plus other exceptional schools like Madison Junior High School and Naperville Central High School. Families looking for fun things to do in Naperville won’t be disappointed with attractions like Funtopia, where kids can climb and slide for hours, or city-favorite activity Whirlyball, which is a cross between lacrosse and bumper cars! Naperville also offers families outdoor activities to enjoy at places like Centennial Beach, and the Naperville Riverwalk, where families can stroll two miles of covered bridges and brick pathways with fountains.

Overland Park, KS

Drone image of Downtown Overland Park in Kansas

Photo via @kite4op

  • Population: 183,775
  • Home Price: $237,100 median purchase price; $1,040 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $74,789
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 44% of U.S. cities

One of the top cities to raise a family, the growing city of Overland Park is now home to more than 200,000 residents and is one of the best places to live in the Midwest. Children are able to receive a high-quality education in OP, which boasts many of the best schools in Kansas. In fact, Timber Creek Elementary School, Harmony Middle School, and Blue Valley North High School are all ranked as the top institutions for elementary, middle, and high schools, respectively. And with attractions like the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, the Children’s Corner, and Pinstripes, kids have plenty of options for entertainment. If you’re looking for fun for the whole family, Or check out the Overland Park Farmer’s Market and Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens for outdoor fun for the whole family. Plus, it’s easy to head to nearby Kansas City to catch a professional sports event, like a Kansas City Royals (MLB) or Kansas City Chiefs (NFL) game, or explore all of Downtown KC’s family-friendly options like Kaleidoscope or the StoneLion Puppet Theatre!

Plano, TX

Exterior drone photography of row of businesses in Downtown Plano, Texas

Photo via @camerax

  • Population: 279,088
  • Home Price: $248,800 median purchase price; $1,196 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $85,085
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 54% of U.S. cities

Plano, TX is a great place to raise a family, and ranks as one of the best cities for jobs in the country. The City of Excellence is home to major companies like Pizza Hut, JCPenny, and Frito-Lay, which collectively employ more than 400,000 people each year. Additionally, the Plano Independent School District is rated as one of the best school districts in Texas because of institutions like Wyatt Elementary School, Renner Middle School, and Jasper High School. The city is also enthusiastic about family health, encouraging healthy habits and lifestyles for residents of all ages through the city’s Connect4Health initiative. The Plano Parks & Recreation also provides recreational camps like dance, fitness, and aquatics each season, or kids can enroll in the World Olympic Gymnastic Academy, where some of the greatest young gymnasts have trained through camps, classes, and competitive teams! Unique annual events like the Plano Balloon Festival & Run, the Plano Christmas Market, and the Little Sweetheart Dance also help make Plano one of the best places to raise a family!

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 29% of U.S. cities

The City of Oaks is one of the best places for overall quality of life, including being a top spot for real estate. Families are drawn here because of high-quality schools like Wake Early College of Health and Sciences, Magellan Charter School, and Quest Academy, which offer learning environments focused on preparing children for the future. Additionally, highly-rated universities in the area including University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University offer both young adults and parents the opportunity to further their education. One of the best cities for jobs, Raleigh is part of the largest research park in North America, the Research Triangle, which boasts more than 300 businesses focused on technology, medicine, and more! With major employers like National Power, Red Hat, and WakeMed Health & Hospitals, the Triangle offers plenty of Raleigh jobs to current and incoming residents. If that wasn’t enough reason to move to Raleigh, the family-friendly city provides a wide range of things to do, including activities like Marbles Kids Museum, Pullen Park, and Marsh Creek Park. And being home to the Carolina Hurricanes (NHL) and professional ultimate disc team Raleigh Flyers (AUDL) helps ensure there’s always something to do in Raleigh!

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 7% of U.S. cities

Home to some of the best schools in Washington, including Roosevelt High School and Garfield High School, Seattle is considered one of the best places to raise a family for a variety of reasons. The Emerald City has many safe, affordable neighborhoods that are great for families, with spacious homes being an attractive feature for families moving to the Pacific Northwest. The city also offers a fantastic job market, with some of the country’s most well-known employers, including Amazon, Starbucks, and Nordstrom, calling Seattle their headquarters. With abundant outdoor recreation in places like Mount Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park nearby, residents can spend their mild winters and comfortable summers doing recreation like hiking, camping, and fishing trips. Or, between the Seattle Seahawks (NFL), Seattle Mariners (MBL), Seattle Kraken (NHL), Seattle Sounders FC (MLS), and Seattle Storm (WNBA), there’s always a family-friendly event going on!


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City statistics from AreaVibes

Skyline view with skyscrapers and river at mid-day