These Are the Top 15 Cities For Families, According to One Study

published Sep 4, 2022
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Credit: Minette Hand

Finding the perfect place to live isn’t easy, especially when you start a family. Kids come with a whole new set of needs, from access to good schools and public parks to overall safety.

To help parents find the best place to raise their little ones, Opendoor compiled a list of the top 15 U.S. cities and towns for families. To do so, the online real estate company analyzed and average the number of OpenStreetMap “family friendly” tags within three miles of each city, including phrases like community center, museums, park, playground, school, and supermarket.

Coming in first is Cambridge, Massachusetts. Home to Harvard University and MIT, the city was also ranked the second-best city to live in’s 2022 Best Places to Live Rankings. The city received an A+ for being “good for families,” as well as an A for its public schools and diversity. The city is also notable for its short commute time to Boston, a plus for working parents.

Taking second place is Cliffside Park, New Jersey, a suburb of New York City. OpenDoor notes that areas with a small-town appeal and big city amenities nearby scored uniformly high on this list. Cliffside Park is located just across the Hudson from Upper Manhattan, providing easy access to all the museums and educational opportunities that the Big Apple has to offer. Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that housing prices in Cliffside Park are considerably more affordable than those in the city.

Third place goes to Arlington, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. Opendoor broker and consumer trends expert Beatrice de Jong told local publication ARL Now that the city ranked highly on the list thanks to its “highly rated” public schools, good public transportation, the impressive range of small businesses, and its array of high-quality museums and parks.

Coming in fourth is Chandler, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. Apart from its proximity to the big city and highly-rated schools, Chandler provides easy access to plenty of outdoor activities for the whole family. Research from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services shows that kids who play outdoors have lower stress levels, play more creatively, and develop stronger immune systems. The sunny city of Chandler certainly fits the bill — it has 60 nearby parks, where parents can take their children hiking, horseback riding, rafting, and more.

Still curious about the best family-friendly cities? Here’s Opendoor’s full list:

  1. Cambridge, MA
  2. Cliffside Park, NJ
  3. Arlington, VA
  4. Chandler, AZ
  5. Tracy, CA
  6. North Richland Hills, TX
  7. Denver, CO
  8. Portland, OR
  9. Boulder, CO
  10. Anaheim, CA
  11. Coral Gables, FL
  12. Kent, OH
  13. Ann Arbor, MI
  14. Mission, KS
  15. Avondale Estates, GA