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Living in Child-Friendly Places

You may raise good kids but it certainly has its cost.

BusinessWeek once again released its Best Places to Raise Kids list for the year with few changes from last year’s results. The site explains its method, “This year we are going state by state… we selected towns with at least 50,000 residents and a median family income between $40,000 and $100,000. We then narrowed the list of towns using the following weighted criteria: school performance; number of schools; household expenditures; crime rates; air quality; job growth; family income; museums, parks, theaters, and other amenities; and diversity. We weighted school performance and safety most heavily, but also gave strong weight to amenities and affordability.

Bear in mind with this list, the organizing principle was affordability. While the median household income varies by state, we purposely weighted the results to prevent pricing out most readers. That’s why, for example, Greenwich, Conn., with its good private schools, low crime, and abundance of cultural amenities, was left out. It simply costs too much to live there.”

Therefore, it’s a really safe category for the list. The team perhaps decided it would be best to narrow the selection to a middle class status to avoid expensive areas. But we thought of ranking the cities that won in each state and find out how much it would cost to reside and help nurture your children.

It turns out that based on the cost of living index, New Rochelle, NY is the most expensive child-friendly city based on BusinessWeek’s selection. This is followed by Honolulu, HI, Los Angeles, CA, Anchorage, AK and Edison, NJ. It should be noted that Edison has been consistent at the top of the state list for two years now. It may be a good city to raise kids but this should tell us that the costs are definitely above the national average of 100.

On the other hand, the most affordable area is Malden, MA followed by Lee’s Summit, MO and Rock Hill, SC. Here’s the complete child-places’ cost of living index list that we compiled by using the places listed by BusinessWeek and Cost of Living figures that we researched.

Place Cost of Living
New Rochelle, New York 169.8
Honolulu, Hawaii 165.0
Los Angeles, California 142.0
Anchorage, Alaska 125.0
Edison, New Jersey 124.3
Pembroke Pines, Florida 120.4
Burlington, Vermont 120.0
Gaithersburg, Maryland 119.1
West Haven, Connecticut 118.0
Nashua, New Hamsphire 116.0
Mount Prospect, Illinois 114.5
Bellevue, Washington 114.0
Portland, Maine 114.0
Virginia Beach, Virginia 110.0
Wilmington, Delaware 103.0
Pawtucket, Rhode Island 101.2
Ann Arbor, Michigan 100.0
Billings, Montana 100.0
Biloxi, Mississippi 100.0
Bismarck, North Dakota 100.0
Bend, Oregon 100.0
Casper, Wyoming 100.0
Columbus, Ohio 100.0
Orem, Utah 100.0
Paradise, Nevada 100.0
Phoenix, Arizona 100.0
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 100.0
Warner Robins, Georgia 100.0
Eagan, Minnesota 98.0
Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 95.0
Jacksonville, North Carolina 94.0
Boise City, Idaho 93.0
Bossier City, Louisiana 93.0
Eau Claire, Wisconsin 93.0
Fort Wayne, Indiana 93.0
Charleston, West Virginia 92.0
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 92.0
Rio Rancho, New Mexico 91.7
Euless, Texas 91.5
Fort Collins, Colorado 91.0
Huntsville, Alabama
91.0
West De Moines, Iowa 90.0
Overland Park, Kansas 89.3
Fayettville, Arkansas 89.0
Omaha, Nebraska 89.0
Lawton, Oklahoma 86.0
Murfreesboro, Tennessee 85.4
Rock Hill, South Carolina 83.8
Lee’s Summit, Missouri 80.0
Malden, Massachusetts 74.7

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