The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Michigan For 2021

We used science and data to determine which cities in Michigan have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best cities for families in Michigan.

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You don't have to throw a dart at the Michigan mitten to find the best place for your family to live: HomeSnacks has created a list of the most family friendly places in the Great Lakes State for 2021.

But, before we let you in on Michigan's top ten best places for families, we should tell you a little bit about how we determined the state's most family friendly places.

First, we consulted the US Census on places in The Wolverine State with more than 10,000 residents. We looked at several factors including crime, education, family friendly activities, and the percent of households that currently have children. We then entered it into our snackability formula and ended up with 87 family friendly Michigan places.

Matter of fact, if you ask any Michigander, they will tell you that Michigan is the best and that their spot on the mitten is above the rest. They will also tell you that the state is great for families because Michigan has one of the highest median household incomes, so they have plenty of extra money to spend on the things that matter. Like, making their neighborhoods safe, their schools competitive, and their families happy, healthy, and entertained.

Speaking of family entertainment, when Michigan families are ready for some fun in the sun, there is plenty of family friendly fun to be had. We think the best family weekend in Michigan would go something like this: first, a trip to the freshest pasty (pronounced pah-sty) shop in Midland; then, a quick road trip to the center of the mitten to watch a football game at the University of Michigan in East Lansing; followed up by a lazy Sunday at Grand Haven Beach.

To learn more about our methodology and to see why Michigan's top ten best places to raise a family are truly the best of the best, read on.

The 10 Best Cities To Raise A Family In Michigan For 2021

  1. Rochester
  2. Birmingham
  3. South Lyon
  4. New Baltimore
  5. Clawson
  6. Ionia
  7. Troy
  8. Big Rapids
  9. Dearborn
  10. Berkley

Michigan does have beautiful, mild summers, but super snowy winters; so for many, the burning question is: what is it about Michigan that makes over ten million people -- 3.8 million families -- happy to call it home?

We'll tell you, point blank, it has a lot to offer. And this is especially evident in Michigan's number one best place to raise a family, Rochester.

If you want to see how Michigan's other amazing best places to raise a family faired, take a look at the list below. And if you don't see your favorite there, head to the bottom.

Check out some more reading about Michigan and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Michigan For 2021

Rochester, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 13,162
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 56
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 31.0%
More on Rochester: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Birmingham, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 21,201
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 34
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 29.9%
More on Birmingham: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

South Lyon, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,788
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 51
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 29.8%
More on South Lyon: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

New Baltimore, MI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,358
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 61
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 34.7%
More on New Baltimore: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Clawson, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,971
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 34
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 19.2%
More on Clawson: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Ionia, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,147
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 44
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 34.9%
More on Ionia: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Troy, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 83,989
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 58
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 33.2%
More on Troy: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Big Rapids, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,355
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 52
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 23.7%
More on Big Rapids: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Dearborn, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 94,701
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 71
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 37.3%
More on Dearborn: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Berkley, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,372
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 49
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 25.8%
More on Berkley: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

How do you determine which place is best for families in Michigan anyways?

To give you the places in Michigan which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what's family-friendly and what isn't.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Wolverine State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of Michigan, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 10,000 people. For Michigan, that meant a total of 87 cities. You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Best Places To Raise A Family In Michigan

If you're looking for a breakdown of cities in Michigan ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here's a look at the best cities for singles Michigan according to the data:

  1. Highland Park
  2. Muskegon Heights
  3. Grandville

For more Michigan reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Michigan?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Rochester, MI 13,162 40
2 Birmingham, MI 21,201 55
3 South Lyon, MI 11,788 55
4 New Baltimore, MI 12,358 51
5 Clawson, MI 11,971 53
6 Ionia, MI 11,147 53
7 Troy, MI 83,989 59
8 Big Rapids, MI 10,355 41
9 Dearborn, MI 94,701 54
10 Berkley, MI 15,372 56

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.