Best TX Cities To Raise A Family

City of Plano logo | Image by City of Plano

A new report ranks Plano as one of the best cities in the country to raise a family.

The report, compiled by WalletHub, examined more than 180 cities and detailed some of the best and worst places for raising children. Plano placed fourth nationwide, while other metroplex cities ranked much lower, with Fort Worth finishing No.86 and Dallas finishing No.141. Austin was the only other Texas city that managed to crack the top 20, finishing at No.19.

“Finding the best place to raise a family is difficult, between balancing an affordable cost of living with good educational opportunities, safety and enough recreation to keep kids entertained. On top of all of these factors, people also often want to raise their children close to their extended family. Therefore, current or prospective parents can benefit from narrowing down their choices to a few of the best cities that are within a reasonable drive of their family,” said Cassandra Happe, WalletHub analyst.

To compare cities, the report looked at 45 different metrics divided into five key categories: family fun, health and safety, education and child care, affordability, and socio-economics.

The top five places to raise a family in the United States in 2024 are:

  1. Fremont, California
  2. Overland Park, Kansas
  3. Irvine, California
  4. Plano, Texas
  5. Seattle, Washington

Plano landed with a total score of 68.05. For comparison, the top city, Fremont, received a score of 73.55. Fremont was highlighted primarily for its high median family income, which, after adjusting for the cost of living, is nearly $122,000. The city also boasts the third-lowest share receiving food stamps, and 50.5% of families have children under 18, among the highest in the nation.

Plano’s impressive ranking was thanks to three particular categories.

  • Seventh best city for affordability.
  • Fifth best city for health and safety.
  • Fourth best city for socioeconomics (i.e., unemployment rate, debt per median earnings, share of two-parent families, etc.).

Plano recently ranked as the second happiest city in the U.S.

A total of 16 Texas cities ranked in the top 180:

4. Plano

19. Austin

63. Grand Prairie

72. Laredo

77. Brownsville

80. Amarillo

86. Fort Worth

93. El Paso

97. Irving

99. Arlington

107. Lubbock

111. Garland

134. Corpus Christi

138. San Antonio

141. Dallas

145. Houston

Here is a breakdown of how Dallas ranked among other cities in each category:

  • Family Fun: No.93
  • Health & Safety: No.141
  • Education & Child Care: No.121
  • Affordability: No.138
  • Socio-economics: No.116

Besides Plano’s impressive rankings, other Texas cities also did well in individual categories. El Paso ranked No.12 in family fun, Brownsville ranked No.3 and Laredo ranked No.16 in education and child care, Austin ranked No.9 in affordability, and Irving ranked No.9 in socio-economics.

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