When settling down and finding a place to live for your family, you have a host of factors to consider. You'll want to think about more than job prospects and cost of living. Families tend to seek out places with low crime rates and good education systems, as well as affordable real estate, so they can live somewhere with ample space for raising children. The best places for families to live combine the best of these factors into one spot.
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Eden Prairie, Minnesota, was named one of the nation's best small towns to live in by CNN Money's 2010 report, mainly for its family-friendly qualities. The economy is booming, with plenty of local jobs available, including major Fortune 500 companies. It offers plenty of public space, including 17 lakes that families flock to for recreation, and mile after mile of nature trails good for hiking, running and biking. In fact, Eden Prairie ranks as one of the healthiest towns in the country. Crime is low, and the education system is rated as excellent.
In 2006, Kiplinger named Austin as one of the smartest cities for families to live in. The state school system ranks among the best in the nation, so good that even the uppermost of the upper crust send their children to state schools. As of the 2006 report, real estate prices were reasonable compared to most other cities. Austin also offers plenty of family-friendly things to do, including living history lessons at the state Capitol and a toddler train at Zilker Park.
RelocateAmerica's 2010 list of best places to live ranked Huntsville, Alabama, at number one. Home to the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville's economy is faring well, with an unemployment rate far below the national average. Safety and education also rank very high, making Huntsville a desirable place to support and raise a family. Families in Huntsville have plenty to do, from attending any one of the city's EarlyWorks Museum complexes, to recreation and relaxation in the nearby Mountain Lakes region.
Newton, a suburb within easy driving distance of Boston, ranks highly on CNN Money's 2010 list of the best small cities to live in. Its high rank is due in part to its location. Newton residents can work and commute to Boston, reaping the benefits of its health care, education system, and government jobs, while enjoying the pedestrian-friendly, low-crime suburbs. The Boston area in particular is known for its top-notch education system and is home to many high-ranking colleges and universities.