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Last updated: September 23, 2021 • Lifestyle

Best Small Towns to Raise a Family

Deciding if and when to have a family is a difficult decision. There just never seems to be the ideal time. By the time you get to that decision you’re probably in a serious relationship, married, are living comfortably financially or just have a deep-rooted desire to become a parent. Whether the decision to raise a family is carefully planned or if it just happens, naturally once you do decide some things that you didn’t think of before will become more important. 

When you become a parent your priorities might shift. You will find yourself thinking about school district rankings, childproofing your home and/or your cities safety statistics much more than you did before. The neighborhood in which you lived during your young adult life may have a lot of things going for it, but those things aren’t as important for family life. Once you become a parent you no longer plan for yourself but for your family. 

There is a saying that goes like: it takes a village to raise a child, meaning that community involvement is a benefit when raising children. It might be a change that you did not anticipate but as you think about the needs of your family, of your children you could find yourself thinking about the best small towns to raise a family. These might be suburbs near the big city where you work or small towns that are closer to close relatives. Small towns generally have a tight-knit community where everyone knows everybody and people wave to each other while driving down the street because it’s common courtesy. A large city does not have that and nor does it have the innate sense of security that comes with that tight-knit community.

There are many things to take into consideration when looking for the best small towns to raise a family. A priority is education, followed closely by safety as well as the overall livability of a small town. These might also be on your scope as you look at the small towns to raise a family. It’s also what we looked at when we made up the following list that covers some of the best small towns to live in the USA.

The rankings are based on Niche’s analysis which is why you might notice that some cities are 3rd on our list and the 8th rank is also mentioned below.

1. Frisco, TX

new downtown frisco texas

Population: 215,000

Median home value: $ 416,000

Median household income: $121,000

School rates: 9.5 out of 10

Safety: 8 out of 10

The city of Frisco, TX is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan area and works as a suburb for Dallas, TX, located 32 minutes away from the commercial and cultural center of Texas. Frisco, however, is a major commercial hub on its own that keeps growing as many companies moved their headquarters here. This city combines the small-town feel that is perfect for family life with exciting sporting events and other amenities that can almost rival Dallas.

In regards to education, Frisco, TX schools are among the best in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area as well as among the best in all of Texas. With an educational model that focuses on a smaller learning environment that reaches and fulfills every student’s potential, the Frisco Independent School System attracts many Texan families as well as families from other states. Some of the best small town colleges in Frisco, TX are Collin College and UNT that focus on both undergraduate and graduate programs to better suit their student body. 

  • The Best public schools in Collins County

Being among the best small towns to raise a family in the county, metro area as well as the state, just by looking at the safety statistics you’ll see that Frisco, TX is safer by 43.53% than the national average. It is considered one of the safest cities in Texas as well as a great place to live. For those seeking to start a new life here the local real estate agents in Frisco, TX will provide all the information you need.

  • The Best suburb to raise a family in Collins County

2. Alexandria, VA

river at night in alexandria

Population: 166,000

Median home value: $551,000

Median household income: $93,000

School rates: 9 out of 10

Safety: 8 out of 10

As a city filled with history, Alexandria, VA is not only perfect for history buffs. Among the streets that hold taverns that have been gathering places for the founding fathers, you will walk past residents that have among the highest rates of high school and college education in the country. With an ethnic and economic diversity, the city of Alexandria, VA has crime rates well below the nation’s average and great amenities for family-life. Close-by you have the nation’s capital as well as Arlington, VA (you’ll find it later in this list) both places with great educational attractions.

With its proximity so close to Washington, D.C., the city of Arlington attracts many young professionals that may decide to remain as residents once they decide to raise a family. With military jobs as well as governmental opportunities in Washington, D.C. Barely 20 minutes away, the capital offers many job openings and with the education available in the area Alexandria is a great place to live.

  • 3rd best suburb for young professionals in Virginia

The same proximity offers Alexandria, VA educational opportunities that many other cities can’t have. Aside from the astounding school districts available within Alexandria, Washington, D.C. opens up many other opportunities in regards to colleges and universities. As many others before you, you might be looking close to D.C. as a possible home for your next step in life and realtors in Alexandria, VA are more than willing to provide you with all the support you need.

  • 22nd best city to raise a family in America

3. Plano, TX

view at oak point plano texas

Population: 289,000

Median home value: $345,000

Median household income: $93,000

School rates: 9 out of 10

Safety: 8 out of 10

Slightly closer to Dallas, TX than Frisco (the first city on our list), Plano, Texas draws our attention as it is considered not only one of the best small towns to raise a family in Texas, but in all of the country. With access to great public schools and a rising economy, the fact that the cost of living is relatively affordable makes the city of Plano, TX all the more attractive. As relocation might be in the cards it is also good to know that Plano is the fourth-best city in the country to purchase a house. Why wouldn’t you want to live somewhere where you’ll feel safe, where your children will have access to the best school district in the state and where the cost of living is affordable.

Because of its location, the northern part of Plano, TX benefits from Frisco’s Independent School System. It is why the location is always important when moving to a new city. This makes Plano’s educational rating to go higher than they would otherwise, actually being in the top best school districts in the county.

  • 2nd best public schools in Collins County

It isn’t easy to find a city that is ranked as high nationally for raising a family. We took note of more factors when making this list, but as Plano, TX is listed as the 8th best city to raise a family, we settled for 3rd best small town to raise a family in the USA. You can also raise your family in this lovely Lone Star states small town as real estate agents in Plano, TX can give you the current listings available.

  • 8th best city to raise a family in America

4. Bentonville, AR

bentonville arkansas us

Population: 56,000

Median home value: $258,000

Median household income: $79,000

School rates: 9 out of 10

Safety: 8 out of 10

As the smallest city from our list in regards to the city of Bentonville, AR we’ll have to say that small-town life has its own particular kind of benefits when it comes to raising children. They provide safety and a tight-knit community with people that can create connections around their children and family values. With amazing mountain surroundings and streets that are safe at any hours of the day, this Little gem located next to Beaver Lake offers amazing outdoor activities for the whole family.

With its sparse suburban feel and plethora of amazing parks, Bentonville, AR is among one of the best small cities to live in the USA, but we have to make room for it on our list. As it provides safety and a great cultural backbone for its residents. This small town continues to develop and the direct beneficiaries of that are the residents. Its almost non-existent crime presence only adds to the city’s attraction.

  • The Best place to live in Arkansas

There is also tremendous support for the educational system, which in return makes it the third-best suburb for its public school system in Arkansas. The art and cultural presence in the city of Bentonville, AR enhances the educational experience of small children and it connects them with an open-minded environment. This helps children develop into well-rounded individuals with a creative spark. For access to all these amazing benefits just get in touch with realtors in Bentonville, AR.

  • Voted the Best place to raise a family in Arkansas

5. Arlington, VA

rosslyn arlington

Population: 232,000

Median home value: $751,000

Median household income: $112,000

School rates: 9 out of 10

Safety: 8 out of 10

Across the Potomac River from Washington D.C., we can already see the great benefits of this tight-knit community. Arlington, VA has been rated the best places to live in America for the many job opportunities available so close to the capital as well as the greatly interconnected community that seems to contradict it’s larger population numbers. Something to know about Arlington, VA is that it doesn’t matter where you’re from as you can become a voice in your community through many community involvement programs where you can implement change or make others listen to your opinions.

Similarly to Alexandria, VA, many young professionals find themselves coming to Arlington, VA for quick access to D.C.’s job opportunities. However, residents in Arlington manage to have higher salaries than the nation’s capital which makes it even more attractive. The one factor that wins people over the most is this lovely community’s safety ratings, which rank much better than those of Washington, D.C.

  • The Best city to live in America

As the 10th best area in America for public school, Arlington, VA ranks 3rd place in Virginia for school ratings. The proximity to Washington, D.C., however, adds to its value simply because of the convenience to the colleges and universities that are present in the capital. There is also a calmer nightlife scene which means that Arlington, VA allows for a much more peaceful way of life than its neighboring bigger sibling. For those seeking a more relaxing way of life, you can get in touch with realtors in Arlington, VA to help you find the perfect home for your future family.

  • 3rd best city to raise a family in America


We made this list to try and explain what makes some cities better than others when it comes to raising a family. Of course, the fact that a city may or may not appear on this list doesn’ directly mean that it isn’t a good place to raise a family. The information we gathered is based on the most important elements that are taken into consideration when picking a small town to raise a family. Some might say that New York or Los Angeles are good areas to raise a family but we decided to limit our list to the best small towns to raise a family as the community has its own merit. 

Let us know in the comments below which of these cities seem to be more inviting for your family’s necessities. Like & Share this article with any friends or family that plan to start the next chapter of their life by welcoming children in a safe environment.


2 Responses to " Best Small Towns to Raise a Family "

  1. Garry Frie says:

    Having grown up in a rural area, I do have a bias towards country living. Raising a family outside of suburbia (and the city centres) does have its challenges. It is easier if there are other children around and opportunities for summer jobs. A decent internet connection is a “must-have” for many. Rural living might not be for everyone, but it is for me.

    • Andrei Geist says:

      You hit the nail on the head. Rural living is not for everyone, but for those who enjoy it, there’s no better life.

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