10 Best Places for Families to Live: Did Your City Make the Cut?

Judging by school district and median home prices, ZipRealty has come up with a family-friendly ranking of major metropolitan areas in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of ZipRealty.com The Minneapolis area’s Delano Public School District is especially good, not only because of its 9.2 out of 10 rating, but because the median price per square foot in the area is $101. This three-bedroom, 1.5-bath home is for sale at $199,900.

When a family considers a move, there are probably two factors that take precedence over all others: home price and school district, and not necessarily in that order. So prominent online residential real estate brokerage ZipRealty.com recently did a study to find out which are the 10 Best Places for Families to Live. They measured this by analyzing the top school districts and housing prices in each area.

For the study, the highest-rated public school districts in 23 major metropolitan areas nationwide were considered alongside the median price per square foot for homes in those districts. This is the second year the study has been run, and it came as a bit of a surprise that Minneapolis, Austin, New York’s Westchester County and Portland all made the list for the second time. 

Minneapolis may be known for its cold winters and warm accents, but for now it's also be known as the best place in the U.S. for families to live. It came first on the list because the area’s Delano Public School District is especially good, with a high 9.2 out of 10 rating. Add that to the fact that the median price per square foot is only $101, and you have a place where families can afford nice homes and their children can get an excellent education without having to pay pricy tuition fees.

Photo courtesy of ZipRealty.com Coming in at a close second is Charlotte, N.C., especially in the Fort Mill School District, which gets a school score of 9.1 and median housing prices at only $102 per square foot. You can get an attractive, three-bedroom, three-bath home like this one for $289,900.

According to Delano Public Schools Superintendent Matthew Schoen. “If you stopped a young couple in downtown Delano and asked them why they moved here, you would find that 99% of the couples would say they moved here for the school district,” he says. These days, families find that it's not enough just to get a nice house at a low price — if that home is in a low-rated public school district, annual private school tuition costs can raise expenses to untenable levels.

Coming in at a close second is the Charlotte, N.C., area, especially in the Fort Mill School District, which gets a school score of 9.1 and has median housing prices of only $102 per square foot. The Dallas area, in the Lovejoy Independent School District is third — Lovejoy also gets a 9.1 rating, but median housing prices jump to $114 per square foot in that part of Texas. The largest city on the top 10 list, Chicago, comes in fourth, because of  St. Charles C.U.S.D. 303 receiving a 9.0 rating, and houses in that area with a median price of $122 per square foot.

To see if your city and school district rank on the list of 10 Best Places for Families to Live, flip through the photo gallery below. If you have children and are considering a major move, you might want to give these areas top consideration.

Zillow Real Estate Search


Home Exterior: Kapaa Home From HGTV's Hawaii Life

6 Lovely Homes From HGTV's Hawaii Life

Get a taste of island life by checking out our top six Hawaiian getaways from this HGTV series.

Fun Architecture

Lego Tour de France in Paris

25 Landmarks Made Out of Legos

Check out amazing replicas of the Arc de Triomphe, the Lincoln Memorial and other famous landmarks – made entirely of Lego building blocks.


Mediterranean Villa in Scottsdale, AZ.

FrontDoor's Top 50 Most-Pinned Photos

Take a look at the FrontDoor pics you couldn’t resist pinning.

See Also