Best suburbs for raising a family in America

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September 29, 2020
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Best suburbs for raising a family in America

All across America, many families are choosing to forgo city life for more family-friendly suburbs. According to a recent survey from The Harris Poll, nearly one-third of Americans are looking to move from denser areas to more open spaces, with many citing the coronavirus as a primary concern. With space in urban districts already at a premium, many city dwellers are contemplating making the move to regions with a smaller population, larger lots for houses, and more room in general.

Health and safety aside, families are also deciding to move in order to enjoy a more family-friendly lifestyle, which can include enjoying the proximity to bigger cities without the added stress of city life, plus better public schools, walkable neighborhoods, and a stronger sense of community. Deciding which suburb might be the best one for a family can be a challenge, but The Simple Dollar has made that decision a little bit easier by putting together information on the best suburbs for raising a family in America.

Using rankings provided by Niche, The Simple Dollar compiled a list of 25 suburbs in America that are the best for raising a family. The population of the suburb, median home value, median rent, median household income, and Niche’s grade of public schools in that suburb are also included in each slide. Niche calculated the rankings by providing a comprehensive assessment of key factors —the quality of local schools, safety, affordability, and access to family amenities, in an attempt to measure the appeal of an area for families. Data was released in late 2019, and is updated as of 2020. Check out more information about Niche’s methodology here.

Continue reading to take a look at some of the best suburbs in the United States to consider calling home.

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#25. University Gardens, New York

- City: New York City
- Population: 4,202
- Median home value: $750,500
- Median rent: $1,552
- Median household income: $115,536
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

Located in Nassau County, University Gardens is a suburb of New York City, offering residents a suburban vibe while also being close to the urban amenities of the city itself. In addition to its ranking as being one of the best suburbs for raising a family, it also made the top five in Niche’s review of places with the best public schools in New York.

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#24. Rollingwood, Texas

- City: Austin
- Population: 1,569
- Median home value: $991,400
- Median rent: $3,501
- Median household income: $190,795
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

The small population of just 1,569 residents gives this little suburb of Rollingwood, Texas, a rural feel, yet it’s only about 5 miles away from downtown Austin. Originally incorporated in 1955 with just 28 homes, the area has since grown to include parks and green space, excellent schools, and a vibrant commercial district with restaurants, retail shops, and local businesses.

 

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#23. Short Hills, New Jersey

- City: Millburn
- Population: 13,134
- Median home value: $1,361,500
- Median rent: $2,588
- Median household income: $250,001
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

Short Hills, New Jersey, is one of the most affluent communities in the area, with average home prices hitting close to $1.5 million. Niche also ranked Short Hills #1 for suburbs with the best public schools in New Jersey, and #3 for best places to raise a family in New Jersey. Residents say the low crime rates and exceptional schools are just some of the reasons they love living here.

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#22. North Potomac, Maryland

- City: Potomac
- Population: 24,148
- Median home value: $663,300
- Median rent: $2,130
- Median household income: $159,232
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

North Potomac is located in Maryland, but is considered a suburb of Washington, D.C. In addition to its top-rated schools and tight-knit community, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy here, with nearby Seneca Creek State Park offering hiking, fishing, a playground, and disc golf. Those who are more inclined toward arts and culture won’t be disappointed, as the township has several museums and historic buildings, as well as seasonal festivals, concerts, and other events.

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#21. Okemos, Michigan

- City: Lansing
- Population: 23,912
- Median home value: $231,100
- Median rent: $965
- Median household income: $78,080
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

With a population of just under 24,000, this Lansing, Michigan, suburb is small enough to be homey, but not so small as to leave you feeling stifled. Schools here are some of the best, with residents citing myriad options in advanced placement classes, strong music and art programs, and plenty of cultural diversity within the schools and community.

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#20. Ardmore, Pennsylvania

- City: Philadelphia
- Population: 13,083
- Median home value: $328,800
- Median rent: $1,342
- Median household income: $89,923
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

This Philadelphia suburb isn’t just highly-rated for being a great place to raise a family, but also made the top five in Niche’s rankings of best places to live in Pennsylvania. Amenities in the community include outdoor parks and a public pool, as well as shopping, restaurants, and seasonal festivals.

 

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#19. Mountain Lakes, New Jersey

- City: Mountain Lakes
- Population: 4,274
- Median home value: $849,100
- Median rent: $1,430
- Median household income: $216,250
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

Aptly named, Mountain Lakes has no less than nine lakes encompassing its 3.2-mile borough. This planned development was originally founded more than 100 years ago, and its combined natural beauty and urban conveniences continues to entice new residents. Mountain Lakes has also been ranked in the top five by Niche for best place to raise a family in New Jersey, and best suburb to build a house in New Jersey.

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#18. South Kensington, Maryland

- City: Kensington
- Population: 8,769
- Median home value: $736,300
- Median rent: $2,164
- Median household income: $181,941
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

South Kensington has a population of just under 9,000 and has been ranked not only as a great place to raise a family, but also earned #1 spots in Niche’s rankings for best places to live in Maryland, best places to raise a family in Maryland, and best places to retire in Maryland. Median home values here are just over $730,000, with 90% of the residents owning as opposed to renting.

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#17. Upper Montclair, New Jersey

- City: Montclair
- Population: 11,744
- Median home value: $751,500
- Median rent: $1,830
- Median household income: $195,560
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

Upper Montclair, located within the larger community of Montclair, is a small suburb with just over 11,000 residents. Its public school system is a big draw for families, as the Montclair School District employs an award-winning magnet system, upward of 25 advanced placement classes for high schoolers, and a wide range of language learning opportunities for grades K-12. In addition to being ranked as one of the best suburbs to raise a family in America, Niche gives Upper Montclair a #1 ranking for best suburbs to live in New Jersey.

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#16. Syosset, New York

- City: New York City
- Population: 19,559
- Median home value: $642,500
- Median rent: $2,256
- Median household income: $159,375
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

This New York suburb manages to maintain a rural feel despite having a population of nearly 20,000. Schools here are highly-ranked, placing in the top five for best public schools in New York, and the community is also rated as one of the best places to raise a family in New York.

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#15. Carmel, Indiana

- City: Indianapolis
- Population: 90,163
- Median home value: $330,600
- Median rent: $1,199
- Median household income: $116,867
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

Carmel, Indiana, not only ranks high on the list of best suburbs to raise a family, it also takes the #1 spot for best places to live in Indiana. Located on the northern border of Indianapolis, the town has nearly 100,000 residents, with amenities that include a vibrant arts district, 200 miles of biking trails, golfing, and several museums. People who live here mention the highly-rated school system and the strong community feel as just two of the reasons they love it.

 

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#14. Buffalo Grove, Illinois

- City: Chicago
- Population: 41,329
- Median home value: $324,600
- Median rent: $1,599
- Median household income: $111,435
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

Located about 33 miles from Chicago, Buffalo Grove has a population of just over 41,000. The community has plenty of restaurants and shopping, as well as parks and playgrounds, disc golf, a skate park, and a public pool. Buffalo Grove is also ranked in the top five for best places to live in Illinois.

 

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#13. Kensington, New York

- City: New York City
- Population: 1,184
- Median home value: $1,360,600
- Median rent: $2,583
- Median household income: $171,250
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

Founded in the early 1900s, Kensington is a small suburban community with about 1,100 residents. Average home prices can surpass the $1 million mark, but crime is very low and the public schools are some of the best in the state. Kensington is also ranked in the top five for best places to raise a family in New York, and made the top 10 for best places to live in New York.

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#12. Holly Hills, Colorado

- City: Denver
- Population: 2,909
- Median home value: $426,500
- Median rent: $2,634
- Median household income: $136,176
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

Low crime, great schools, and a community feel are a few of the reasons people want to raise their family in Holly Hills, Colorado. This Denver suburb not only has plenty of its own restaurants, shops, and cultural activities, it’s also near the RTD light rail system, making it easy to commute to Denver’s metro area.

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#11. Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

- City: Philadelphia
- Population: 6,304
- Median home value: $410,100
- Median rent: $1,169
- Median household income: $109,648
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, is the home of Swarthmore College, and approximately 1,300 of its 6,000-plus residents are actually students at the school. While the college pride is evident here, the town retains a family-friendly feel. Niche also ranks Swarthmore in the top five for best places to live in Pennsylvania.

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#10. Madeira, Ohio

- City: Cincinnati
- Population: 9,091
- Median home value: $281,100
- Median rent: $986
- Median household income: $112,513
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

A suburb of Cincinnati, Madeira has some of the top schools in the state, with many recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as Blue Ribbon Schools. Community activities and events abound, such as a year-round farmer’s market, annual art fair, holiday festivals, and concerts in the park. In addition to its top 10 ranking for best suburbs for raising a family in America, Niche also ranks Madeira as #1 for best place to live in Ohio, best place to raise a family in Ohio, and best suburb to live in Ohio.

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#9. Great Neck Gardens, New York

- City: New York City
- Population: 1,183
- Median home value: $941,800
- Median rent: Not available
- Median household income: $218,603
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

Great Neck Gardens is a suburb of New York City, with a population of just over 1,100 residents. Niche gives Great Neck Gardens public schools an “A+” ranking, and students enjoy an average student-teacher ratio of 11-to-1. Great Neck Gardens also has a median home price of just under $1 million, which is a rare find this close to the city.

 

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#8. Great Neck Estates, New York

- City: New York City
- Population: 2,841
- Median home value: $1,356,100
- Median rent: $1,884
- Median household income: $148,939
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

Also part of New York’s vast suburbs, Great Neck Estates is located approximately 20 miles from Manhattan, making it appealing for families who want a reasonable commute. Schools here are highly-rated, crime is low, and residents can enjoy plenty of shopping and dining, as well as Great Neck Estates Waterfront Park, which has an Olympic-sized pool, tennis and basketball courts, and a marina and dock area.

 

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#7. Clarendon Hills, Illinois

- City: Chicago
- Population: 8,711
- Median home value: $561,700
- Median rent: $985
- Median household income: $126,500
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

The Village of Clarendon Hills, part of DuPage County and a suburb of Chicago, is home to nearly 9,000 residents and is a busy, close-knit community. It is also home to some of the top schools in the state, with its elementary schools consistently exceeding state achievement requirements, and its high school rated as one of the top schools in the nation. Residents cite the low crime rates, walkability, and friendly neighborhoods as some of the reasons they love living here.

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#6. Berwyn, Pennsylvania

- City: Philadelphia
- Population: 3,268
- Median home value: $478,300
- Median rent: $578
- Median household income: $108,000
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

Berwyn is a suburb of Philadelphia, situated about 23 miles from the city. With plenty of restaurants, retail shops, and parks, the area has a somewhat urban feel to it, while still offering a low-key, suburban lifestyle. Berwyn also made the top five in Niche’s rankings of places with the best public schools in Pennsylvania.

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#5. Jericho, New York

- City: New York City
- Population: 13,827
- Median home value: $772,900
- Median rent: $2,044
- Median household income: $161,771
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

With top-rated schools, low crime, and an approximate 30-mile commute to and from New York City, it’s not surprising that Jericho is ranked in the top five for best suburbs for raising a family. Most of the residents own their homes as opposed to renting, and median home prices are just under $800,000, which is lower than many other places near the city. Jericho also ranked #1 in Niche’s rankings of best places to live in New York.

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#4. Devon, Pennsylvania

- City: Philadelphia
- Population: 2,008
- Median home value: $600,200
- Median rent: $2,177
- Median household income: $183,333
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

Devon, which is located about 22 miles from Philadelphia, is considered an optimum place to raise a family, in part due to the public school system, which earns an all around “A+” rating from Niche. Niche also lists Devon in the top five for best public schools in Pennsylvania, as well as best places to raise a family in Pennsylvania.

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#3. Penn Wynne, Pennsylvania

- City: Philadelphia
- Population: 5,758
- Median home value: $366,200
- Median rent: $1,473
- Median household income: $131,161
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

Pennsylvania suburb Penn Wynne takes the #3 spot for best places to raise a family in America. The schools here are part of the Lower Merion School District, which are some of the best in the state. In 2020, the school district was named as one of the “Best Communities for Music Education” by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation, an honor it has held for several years running.

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#2. Long Grove, Illinois

- City: Chicago
- Population: 7,978
- Median home value: $657,200
- Median rent: $2,688
- Median household income: $208,250
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

Long Grove is located about 37 miles northwest of Chicago and is a well-established suburb with a population of just under 8,000. The community was founded in the 1800s and retains much of its historic charm, with a downtown area full of shops and restaurants, seasonal festivals and events, and lots of open spaces.

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#1. Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania

- City: Philadelphia
- Population: 4,714
- Median home value: $312,800
- Median rent: $1,813
- Median household income: $119,010
- Public schools Niche grade: A+

The Philadelphia suburb of Chesterbrook is ranked #1 for best suburbs for raising a family, in part because of the public schools, which offer advanced placement classes and college prep at the high school level and gifted programs at the elementary and middle school levels. Niche also ranks Chesterbrook as being #1 for best places to live in Pennsylvania.

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