April 25, 2018

Midsized Cities Best for Families

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Midsized Cities Best for Families

While large urban metropolitan areas boasting a variety of cultural amenities, good job opportunities, and high incomes continue to attract a young demographic, as well as those without children, a new report shows that midsized cities and suburbs are the best option for middle-class families.

Read more: Suburbs Draw Millennials Wanting More Space

The Best Cities for Middle-Class Families Index by the Chapman Center for Demographics and Policy looked at housing affordability, employment trends, migration patterns, income growth, and how long it takes to commute in U.S. metropolitan areas with a population more than 500,000 and determined that many of the top areas for middle-class families are midsize.

While many large metropolitan areas like New York and Boston offer young residents a good economic deal when they're younger, the study says that this economic "premium" tends to erode by the time city dwellers enter their late-30s." The lack of affordable single-family housing in many urban areas makes them unappealing options for many middle-class families.

While housing affordability and income growth were big factors in their ranking, this study also included subjective criteria like 'family friendliness' and which cities were easy for families to get around.

Their ranking of the top areas for middle-class families includes:

  1. Des Moines, Iowa
  2. Madison, Wisc.
  3. Albany, N.Y.
  4. Austin, Texas
  5. Raleigh, NC.
  6. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn/Wisc.
  7. Hartford, Conn.
  8. Washington D.C./Va./Md./W.Va.
  9. Omaha, Neb/Iowa
  10. Ogden, Utah

Source: "Where American Families Are Moving," New Geography (Jan. 7, 2016)