This Midwestern city has earned the title for the second year in a row.

By Lauren Phillips
September 05, 2018

If you’re raising a family—or preparing to do so—it may be time to head to the Midwest. For the second year in a row, Overland Park, Kansas, has been named the best place in the United States to raise a family.

In personal finance site WalletHub’s annual ranking of the Best & Worst Places to Raise a Family, Overland Park (which has a population of around 191,278, according to the U.S. Census) took the top spot on a list of 182 U.S. cities.

For the ranking, WalletHub’s analysts compared cities based on 46 metrics across five categories (Family Fun, Health & Safety, Education & Childcare, Affordability, and Socioeconomics) considered to be essential to family-friendliness. Metrics such as the number of playgrounds per capita, median family salary (adjusted for cost of living), percentage of resident families with kids, violent crime rates, and more were considered in the study.

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Overland Park came in first, with Irvine, California; Fremont, California; South Burlington, Vermont; and Bismarck, North Dakota rounding out the top five on the list. At the bottom of the ranking—as in, the worst cities to raise a family, according to the study’s terminology—is Newark, New Jersey, followed by Detroit, Michigan; Miami, Florida; Cleveland, Ohio; and Hialeah, Florida.

As the ranking’s writer states, “While obviously not perfect—given personal preferences and the limitations of publicly available data—our findings will hopefully give movers a sense of the areas that offer the greatest opportunity to achieve Wallet Fitness and live a long and happy life.”

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As with any ranking—like places with the highest life expectancy—personal tastes (and aspects like proximity to family and career opportunities) take precedence. The Midwest may not be for you, and even the top ten cities on the ranking may not appeal to you, but you can still use the ranking to get some sense of which cities have the attractions, lifestyles, and more that are family-friendly and may be right for your family. Even if you don’t find your new dream town on the list, it may be fun to see where your hometown ranks.

Learn more about the methodology for WalletHub’s 2018 Best & Worst Places to Raise a Family.