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When it comes to finding the perfect place for raising a family, there are numerous factors to consider. 

From affordability and employment prospects to access to green spaces and quality schools, each factor plays a significant role in determining the overall liveability of a city. 

Based on research and analysis, Pheabs has compiled a list of the best small cities in America to raise a family. These cities have been selected out of an initial list of 600. The cities were carefully evaluated using key data points and index scores to provide you with valuable insights for making an informed decision.

The majority of our data comes from the U.S. Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 

Methodology

 
To create this list, we considered several essential factors that contribute to a family-friendly environment. 

These factors include affordability, employment prospects, access to green spaces, quality schools, and overall liveability. Each factor was assigned an index score, ranging from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest score. 

These index scores were determined through a combination of data analysis, rankings, and expert opinions. It’s important to note that the index scores are subjective and represent a general assessment based on available information. Individual preferences and circumstances may vary, so it’s recommended to conduct further research and consider personal priorities when selecting a city.
 

Best Small Cities In America for Raising a Family

 

1. Boise, Idaho

 

  • Affordability: 9/10
  • Employment Prospects: 8.5/10
  • Access to Green Spaces: 9/10
  • Quality Schools: 9/10
  • Overall Liveability: 9/10

Boise, Idaho, stands out as an exceptional small city for families, boasting remarkable index scores across multiple categories. 

With an impressive 9 out of 10 for affordability, families can enjoy a financially stable lifestyle. The city’s robust job market also offers numerous opportunities for career growth. 

Boise’s commitment to green spaces provides ample outdoor recreation for families. High-quality schools also ensure excellent education for children. With an overall liveability score of 9 out of 10, Boise creates a nurturing and enriching environment. 

Its welcoming community, vibrant culture, and thriving economy contribute to its allure as one of the best small cities to raise a family. Families in Boise can enjoy a high quality of life while also having access to affordable living, great job opportunities, beautiful green spaces, and top-notch education.
 
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2. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

 

  • Affordability: 9.5/10
  • Employment Prospects: 8/10
  • Access to Green Spaces: 8.5/10
  • Quality Schools: 8/10
  • Overall Liveability: 9/10

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, stands out as an exceptional small city for families. With a remarkable affordability score of 9.5 out of 10, families can enjoy a comfortable and cost-effective lifestyle. 

The city’s solid employment prospects (8/10) provide stability and opportunities for career growth. Access to green spaces (8.5/10) allows families to immerse themselves in nature and outdoor activities. While quality schools score 8 out of 10, they still provide a strong educational foundation for children. 

With an overall liveability score of 9 out of 10, Sioux Falls offers a welcoming community and a high quality of life. Families in Sioux Falls can enjoy a family-friendly environment, affordable living, promising job prospects, access to green spaces, and a strong sense of community.
 
siroux-falls-best-small-cities-to-raise-a-family
 

3. Fargo, North Dakota

 

  • Affordability: 9/10
  • Employment Prospects: 8/10
  • Access to Green Spaces: 8.5/10
  • Quality Schools: 8.5/10
  • Overall Liveability: 8.5/10

Fargo, North Dakota, stands out as an excellent small city for families seeking a balanced and affordable lifestyle. With a remarkable affordability score of 9 out of 10, Fargo offers a cost-effective living environment.

Access to green spaces allows families to enjoy outdoor activities and embrace a healthy lifestyle. Fargo’s commitment to quality education is evident with a notable score of 8.5 out of 10 for quality schools. 

With an overall liveability score of 8.5 out of 10, Fargo offers a welcoming community, promising employment prospects, access to green spaces, and excellent education. Families in Fargo can enjoy a high quality of life, affordable living, ample recreational opportunities, and a strong sense of community.
 
fargo-dakota-best-small-cities-to-raise-a-family (1)
 

4. Rochester, Minnesota

 

  • Affordability: 8/10
  • Employment Prospects: 9/10
  • Access to Green Spaces: 8/10
  • Quality Schools: 9/10
  • Overall Liveability: 8.5/10

Renowned for its exceptional healthcare system, Rochester, Minnesota emerges as an appealing small city for families seeking a high quality of life. With a score of 7.5 out of 10 for affordability, Rochester offers relatively affordable living costs. 

The city’s robust job market provides ample opportunities for career growth and stability. Access to green spaces ensures families can enjoy outdoor activities and connect with nature. 

Rochester’s commitment to quality education is evident with a remarkable score of 9 out of 10 for quality schools. With an overall liveability score of 8.5 out of 10, Rochester offers a welcoming community, promising employment opportunities, access to green spaces, and top-notch education.
 
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5. Greenville, South Carolina

 

  • Affordability: 8/10
  • Employment Prospects: 8.5/10
  • Access to Green Spaces: 8/10
  • Quality Schools: 8.5/10
  • Overall Liveability: 8.5/10

Greenville, South Carolina, emerges as a highly desirable small city for families seeking an excellent quality of life. With a score of 8 out of 10 for affordability, Greenville offers a favorable cost of living, allowing families to maintain financial stability. 

The city’s robust job market, provides ample opportunities for career growth and economic security. Access to green spaces allows families to enjoy outdoor activities and bask in the natural beauty of the region. 

With an overall liveability score of 8.5 out of 10, Greenville offers a welcoming community, promising employment prospects, access to green spaces, and top-notch education. Families in Greenville can enjoy a well-rounded and enriching lifestyle, taking advantage of the city’s vibrant downtown, cultural attractions, outdoor recreation, and strong sense of community.
 
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6. Huntsville, Alabama

 

  • Affordability: 8/10
  • Employment Prospects: 9/10
  • Access to Green Spaces: 7.5/10
  • Quality Schools: 8.5/10
  • Overall Liveability: 8/10

Huntsville, Alabama is an appealing small city for families seeking a combination of economic opportunities and a pleasant living environment. With a score of 8 out of 10 for affordability, Huntsville offers relatively affordable living costs. 

The city’s robust job market provides a wealth of career opportunities, particularly in the aerospace and defense sectors. Access to green spaces allows families to enjoy outdoor activities, although with slightly fewer options compared to other cities. 

With an overall liveability score of 8 out of 10, Huntsville offers a welcoming community, promising employment prospects, quality education, and a favorable cost of living. Families in Huntsville can enjoy a comfortable and enriching lifestyle, benefiting from the city’s strong economy and supportive community atmosphere.
 
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7. Santa Fe, New Mexico

 

  • Affordability: 6/10
  • Employment Prospects: 7/10
  • Access to Green Spaces: 8/10
  • Quality Schools: 8/10
  • Overall Liveability: 8/10

Santa Fe, New Mexico, presents a unique blend of rich culture and natural beauty, making it an attractive small city for families seeking a distinctive lifestyle. 

The city’s employment prospects score 7 out of 10, providing a range of job opportunities with a focus on arts, tourism, and government sectors. 

Access to green spaces allows families to explore the breath-taking landscapes and outdoor recreational activities that the area has to offer. 

With an overall liveability score of 8 out of 10, Santa Fe offers a vibrant arts and cultural scene, picturesque surroundings, access to outdoor activities, and a welcoming community. Families in Santa Fe can enjoy a unique and enriching lifestyle, immersing themselves in the city’s rich history, diverse traditions, and natural wonders.
 
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The Data – Best Small Cities In America for Raising a Family

 
 

City Affordability Employment Prospects Green Spaces Quality Schools Overall Liveability
Boise, Idaho 9 8.5 9 9 9
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 9.5 8 8.5 8 9
Fargo, North Dakota 9 8 8.5 8.5 8.5
Rochester, Minnesota 8 9 8 9 8.5
Greenville, South Carolina 8 8.5 8 8.5 8.5
Huntsville, Alabama 8 9 7.5 8.5 8
Santa Fe, New Mexico 6 7 8 8 7.5

 

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Justine Gray

Justine Gray is a contributor to Pheabs, sharing more than 10 years of experience in the consumer finance industry across the US. Follow her guides for financial advice, money saving tips and more. Follow them on Linkedin and Youtube.