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Ranking List: Top 100 US Cities for Families, Washington DC, Austin, Boston, St. Paul, Des Moines, Madison, Honolulu, St. Louis

Ranking List: Top 100 US Cities for Families, Washington DC, Austin, Boston,  St. Paul, Des Moines, Madison, Honolulu, St. Louis

You want the best for your family, and that includes great schools, affordable homes, low crime rates, plenty of jobs, and lots of parkland. So we crunched more than 8,000 bits of data in 84 categories to determine this year's top places to raise kids.

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Washington D.C. took the No. 1 spot in Parenting Magazine's latest list of the Top U.S. Cities for Families, the publication said on Wednesday.


The U.S. capital replaced nearby Arlington, Virginia, which tumbled to No. 70 as a result of changes in the way cities were judged this year.

Austin, Texas, took the No. 2 spot and Boston claimed No. 3 on the magazine's list, which considers a variety of factors -- including school quality, housing availability, employment rates, and the number of registered sex offenders -- when ranking municipalities.

St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota; Des Moines, Iowa; Madison, Wisconsin; Honolulu, Hawaii; Omaha, Nebraska; Seattle, Washington; and Louisville, Kentucky, rounded out the Top 10 list, which also weighs health- and child- care availability, commuting times and air quality.

A number of cities that ranked high last year slipped this year because the magazine added a "charm and culture index" to its considerations, which editors said in a statement "skewed the rankings higher for cities with more museums, kid-friendly restaurants, performing arts venues."

The biggest loser as a result of the change was Scottsdale, Arizona, which went from No. 8 last year to No. 91 this year.

The city ranking last on the list was Anaheim, Calif., home -- ironically -- to the iconic Disneyland family theme park.

Five other California cities -- Riverside, Bakersfield, Long Beach, Fresno and Los Angeles -- joined Anaheim in the bottom 10 of the list, along with Las Vegas, Nevada; Mesa, Arizona; Arlington, Texas; and Scottsdale.

Recession-battered Detroit, Michigan, ranked No. 90.



2011 Ranking List by


1.         Washington, District of Columbia

2.         Austin, Texas

3.         Boston, Massachusetts

4.         St. Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota

5.         Des Moines, Iowa

6.         Madison, Wisconsin

7.         Honolulu, Hawaii

8.         Omaha, Nebraska

9.         Seattle, Washington

10.       Louisville, Kentucky

11.       St. Louis, Missouri

12.       San Antonio, Texas

13.       Portland, Oregon

14.       Kansas City, Missouri

15.       Colorado Springs, Colorado

16.       New Orleans, Louisiana

17.       Richmond, Virginia

18.       Lexington, Kentucky

19.       Lincoln, Nebraska

20.       Wichita, Kansas

21.       Salt Lake City, Utah

22.       Columbus, Ohio

23.       Dallas, Texas

24.       New York, New York

25.       Atlanta, Georgia

26.       Buffalo, New York

27.       Denver, Colorado

28.       Boise, Idaho

29.       Indianapolis, Indiana

30.       Jacksonville, Florida

31.       Little Rock, Arkansas

32.       Nashville, Tennessee

33.       Syracuse, New York

34.       Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

35.       Norfolk, Virginia

36.       Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

37.       Baltimore, Maryland

38.       Tulsa, Oklahoma

39.       Orlando, Florida

40.       Tampa, Florida

41.       Wilmington, Deleware

42.       Topeka, Kansas

43.       Ann Arbor, Michigan

44.       Albuquerque, New Mexico

45.       Miami, Florida

46.       Tucson, Arizona

47.       Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

48.       Cincinnati, Ohio

49.       Anchorage, Alaska

50.       Milwaukee, Wisconsin

51.       Spokane, Washington

52.       El Paso, Texas

53.       Virginia Beach, Virginia

54.       Houston, Texas

55.       Billings, Montana

56.       Grand Rapids, Michigan

57.       Raleigh, North Carolina

58.       Fort Wayne, Indiana

59.       Providence, Rhode Island

60.       Sioux Falls, South Dakota

61.       Hartford, Connecticut

62.       Charlotte, North Carolina

63.       San Francisco, California

64.       Cleveland, Ohio

65.       Tacoma, Washington

66.       Birmingham, Alabama

67.       Fort Worth, Texas

68.       Baton Rouge, Louisiana

69.       Corpus Christi, Texas

70.       Arlington, Virginia

71.       Durham, North Carolina

72.       Memphis, Tennessee

73.       Chicago, Illinois

74.       Phoenix, Arizona

75.       Greensboro, North Carolina

76.       San Diego, California

77.       Aurora, Colorado

78.       St. Petersburg, Florida

79.       Mobile, Alabama

80.       Chesapeake, Virginia

81.       Fort Lauderdale, Florida

82.       Augusta, Georgia

83.       Montgomery, Alabama

84.       San Jose, California

85.       Winston-Salem, North Carolina

86.       Newark, New Jersey

87.       Toledo, Ohio

88.       Akron, Ohio

89.       Sacramento, California

90.       Detroit, Michigan

91.       Scottsdale, Arizona

92.       Los Angeles, California

93.       Arlington, Texas

94.       Mesa, Arizona

95.       Las Vegas, Nevada

96.       Fresno, California

97.       Long Beach, California

98.       Bakersfield, California

99.       Riverside, California

100.     Anaheim, California


2010 Ranking List by



Our list was compiled by using a list of the top 100 cities by population, adding in well-known smaller cities too, and removing cities so close to other large cities that they would have similar data.  For more information on all of the cities we profiled, check out our slide show of the Best Cities for Families 2010.

1. Arlington, Virginia
2. Austin, Texas
3. Madison, Wisconsin
4. Ann Arbor, Michigan
5. Lexington, Kentucky
6. Portland, Oregon
7. Spokane, Washington
8. Scottsdale, Arizona
9. Omaha, Nebraska
10. Raleigh, North Carolina
11. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
12. Lincoln, Nebraska
13. St. Paul, Minnesota
14. Virginia Beach, Virginia
15. Des Moines, Iowa
16. Billings, Montana
17. Boise, Idaho
18. Minneapolis, Minnesota
19. Colorado Springs, Colorado
20. Augusta, Georgia
21. El Paso, Texas
22. Dallas, Texas
23. Topeka, Kansas
24. Little Rock, Arkansas
25. San Diego, California
26. Honolulu, Hawaii
27. Durham, North Carolina
28. Seattle, Washington
29. New York, New York
30. Boston, Massachusetts
31. Albuquerque, New Mexico
32. Fort Wayne, Indiana
33. San Antonio, Texas
34. Aurora, Colorado
35. Mobile, Alabama
36. Charlotte, North Carolina
37. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
38. Tulsa, Oklahoma
39. Denver, Colorado
40. Newark, New Jersey
41. Providence, Rhode Island
42. Louisville, Kentucky
43. Richmond, Virginia
44. Phoenix, Arizona
45. Chesapeake, VA
46. Wichita, Kansas
47. Houston, Texas
48. Corpus Christi, Texas
49. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
50. Hartford, Connecticut
51. Anchorage, Alaska
52. Tucson, Arizona
53. Fort Worth, Texas
54. San Francisco, California
55. Indianapolis, Indiana
56. Montgomery, Alabama
57. Winston-Salem, North Carolina
58. Salt Lake City, Utah
59. Greensboro, North Carolina
60. Arlington, Texas
61. Columbus, Ohio
62. Mesa, Arizona
63. San Jose, California
64. Tacoma, Washington
65. Nashville, Tennessee
66. Norfolk, Virginia
67. Anaheim, California
68. Kansas City, Missouri
69. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
70. New Orleans, Louisiana
71. Washington, District of Columbia
72. Syracuse, New York
73. Buffalo, New York
74. Cleveland, Ohio
75. Jacksonville, Florida
76. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
77. Baltimore, Maryland
78. Los Angeles, California
79. Riverside, California
80. Wilmington, Deleware
81. Tampa, Florida
82. Cincinnati, Ohio
83. Long Beach, California
84. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
85. Bakersfield, California
86. Atlanta, Georgia
87. St. Louis, Missouri
88. Akron, Ohio
89. Toledo, Ohio
90. Chicago, Illinois
91. Memphis, Tennessee
92. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
93. Orlando, Florida
94. Birmingham, Alabama
95. Grand Rapids, Michigan
96. Miami, Florida
97. St. Petersburg, Florida
98. Fresno, California
99. Sacramento, California
100. Las Vegas, Nevada
101. Detroit, Michigan





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