Best Places To Raise A Family In Michigan For 2020


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.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth 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 2020.

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 86 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.

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 2020

Rochester, MI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 13,130
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 31.5%
More on Rochester: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Rochester is a city on the north side of the Detroit Metropolitan Area, in Oakland County, in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 12,711 at the 2010 census.

New Baltimore, MI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 12,365
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 39
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 34.8%
More on New Baltimore: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

New Baltimore is a city and a historic, coastal resort community in Macomb County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 12,084 at the 2010 census. New Baltimore is in Metropolitan Detroit.

Owosso, MI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 14,604
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 32.0%
More on Owosso: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Owosso is a city in Shiawassee County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 15,194 at the 2010 census. The city is located on the eastern side of Owosso Township, but is politically independent. The city was named after Chief Wasso, an Ojibwa leader of the Shiawassee area.

Birmingham, MI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 21,066
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 34
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 28.9%
More on Birmingham: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Birmingham is a city on the north side of Metro Detroit in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 20,103.

South Lyon, MI

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 11,786
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 57
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 30.2%
More on South Lyon: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

South Lyon is a city in Southwestern Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan, in Metro Detroit. The population was 11,327 at the 2010 census. The city is part of the South Lyon-Howell-Brighton Urban Area, which had a population of 106,139 according to the 2000 census. South Lyon is located in Oakland County's Lyon Township, near the Livingston County and Washtenaw County lines. The city is 19 miles north of Ann Arbor, 45 miles west of Detroit and 58 miles east of Lansing.

Ionia, MI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,187
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 47
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 35.5%
More on Ionia: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Ionia is the largest city in, and the county seat of, Ionia County, Michigan, United States. The population was 11,394 at the 2010 census. Every late July it hosts what is said to be the world's largest free-admission fair. The city is mostly within Ionia Township, with small portion extending into Easton Township and Berlin Township, but is politically autonomous of the townships.

Monroe, MI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 19,947
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 73
Closest Major City: Toledo
Households with kids: 30.6%
More on Monroe: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Monroe is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan located on the western shore of Lake Erie. The population was 20,733 at the 2010 census. It is the largest city and county seat of Monroe County. The city is bordered on the south by Monroe Charter Township, but both are politically independent.

Big Rapids, MI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,392
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 57
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 24.8%
More on Big Rapids: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Big Rapids is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 10,601 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Mecosta County. The city is located within Big Rapids Township, but is politically independent. Big Rapids is home of the main campus of Ferris State University, a four-year public university, well known for its College of Pharmacy and the Michigan College of Optometry, as well as its NCAA Division I hockey team, the Bulldogs.

Clawson, MI

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 12,029
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 37
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 19.2%
More on Clawson: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Clawson is a city in Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is part of the Detroit metropolitan area. At the 2010 census, its population was 11,825.

Troy, MI

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 83,881
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 48
Closest Major City: Detroit
Households with kids: 33.8%
More on Troy: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Troy is a city located in Metropolitan Detroit's northern suburbs in Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 80,980 at the 2010 census, making it the 11th-largest city in Michigan by population, and the largest city in Oakland County. Troy has become a business and shopping destination in the Metro Detroit area, with numerous office centers and the upscale Somerset Collection mall.

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 86 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. Sault Ste. Marie

For more michigan reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Michigan?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Rochester, MI 13,130 39
2 New Baltimore, MI 12,365 45
3 Owosso, MI 14,604 65
4 Birmingham, MI 21,066 63
5 South Lyon, MI 11,786 61
6 Ionia, MI 11,187 54
7 Monroe, MI 19,947 69
8 Big Rapids, MI 10,392 65
9 Clawson, MI 12,029 61
10 Troy, MI 83,881 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.

0 thoughts on “Best Places To Raise A Family In Michigan For 2020

  1. Of the 10 wealthiest cities in Michigan…. Way off the mark…. You failed to list Bloomfield Hills which everyone in Michigan KNOWS has the highest median income… You also left out West Bloomfield ! Not sure where you gather stats….. Before you make claims as to wealthiest, look again.

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