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Top 10 best US cities for families

The most family-friendly cities are safe, affordable and offer access to good schools and fun activities. This list is useful for any family trying to figure out where to live next.
Emily Hales, Deseret News Modified: June 12, 2014 at 12:21 pm •  Published: June 14, 2014
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The United States is an extremely mobile country compared to most of the world. A Gallup survey in 2013 found that 24 percent of Americans reported moving in the last five years, putting the U.S. above nearly every other country.

According to the Census Bureau, 11.7 percent of the population moved between 2012 and 2013. And 30 percent of those who moved did so for "family-related reasons," the Wall Street Journal reported.

To assist families, both young and old, who are considering moving this year, Wallet Hub released a list ranking 150 U.S. cities on their levels of family-friendliness.

The report uses several factors to determine the rankings, including family fun, safety, affordability, education and child care and the social and economic environment of the city.

The top 10 best cities for families are:

1. Plano, Texas

Plano, in northeastern Texas, ranked first for both socio-economic environment and education, and seventh for both affordability and health and safety. As of 2012, it had a population of 272,068 and a median household income of $80,184, compared to a state median income of $49,392. The city has five libraries and a genealogical center, as well as nearly 100 recreation centers, including parks, pools, golf courses and art and culture centers. The Plano Independent School District has a total of 66 campuses to support over 50,000 students, and 23 campuses have received the National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence award from the Department of Education. According to the district's website, "Ninety-four percent of Plano … graduates pursue higher education."

2. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Sioux Falls, the largest city in South Dakota with a population of 238,000, is ranked second for affordability and third for socio-economic environment. Unemployment fell from 4 percent to 3.1 percent in 2013, according to the city website. (The national unemployment rate sits at 6.3 percent.) Forbes ranked the city as No. 1 on its list of "Best Small Places for Business and Careers," and reported that the cost of living is 5 percent below the national average. Sioux Falls also has a developing cultural center downtown, housing several festivals and art exhibits, and is the home of South Dakota's Great Plains Zoo.

3. Overland Park, Kansas

Overland Park, population 178,941, ranked fourth for education, sixth for affordability and seventh for socio-economic environment. Residents feed into four different public school districts, and one district, Blue Valley, recently launched an initiative to compete with other schools on a global scale. The district website says, "Students' scores in math and reading place Blue Valley seventh and fourth respectively, right behind Finland. Blue Valley's long-term goal is to be the best in the world. Blue Valley's short-term goal is to beat Finland." The city has a high rate of citizens with advanced degrees and is the location of the main corporate offices for Sprint, according to City-data.com.



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