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


We used science and data to determine which cities in Missouri 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 Missouri.

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Did you know that Missouri is home to the world's largest arch in St. Louis, the University of Missouri Tigers in Columbia, and some pretty cool family friendly places to call home.

That's right, the Show Me State knows how to keep families safe, educated, happy, healthy, and entertained. And lucky for you, HomeSnacks has found all of those qualities and rolled them into the top ten best places for families in Missouri for 2021. How did we determine Missouri's most family friendly places? We consulted the US Census on places in this Midwest state with more than 10,000 residents. We looked at several factors: crime, education, family friendly activities, and the percent of households that currently have children. We ended up with 44 family friendly Missouri places that any family would be lucky to call home.

Missouri currently has 2.1 million families, and that number is expected to increase over the next ten years; and that folks, is because the state has a ton of awesome "Missouri" stuff to do. Like, biking the world class trails in Springfield, visiting one of the state's 240 farmers' markets, or spending the day at Branson's Silver Dollar City. And parents, Missouri has 90 Blue Ribbon schools, and local colleges like Truman State University in Kirksville are showing up on U.S. News' 'Best College' lists year after year.

So, if you're looking for safe, family friendly cities and neighborhoods, amazing schools, large green spaces, and just overall good family friendly fun, keep reading.

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

  1. Maryville
  2. Jackson
  3. Neosho
  4. Harrisonville
  5. Bolivar
  6. Marshall
  7. Mexico
  8. Ferguson
  9. Washington
  10. Moberly

Missouri has a ton of family friendly places for every budget. There are places like Kirkwood for the outdoorsy family, and places like Jackson for families just starting out. But, the number one most family friendly place in Missouri is, Maryville.

To learn more about our methodology and to see why Missouri's top ten best places to raise a family are truly the best of the best, take a look below. And if you don't see your favorite there, head to the bottom.

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

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

Maryville, MO

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,696
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 58
Closest Major City: Omaha
Households with kids: 19.9%
More on Maryville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Jackson, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 14,872
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 66
Closest Major City: St. Louis
Households with kids: 34.4%
More on Jackson: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Neosho, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 11,990
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 44
Closest Major City: Tulsa
Households with kids: 39.2%
More on Neosho: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Harrisonville, MO

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 10,043
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 49
Closest Major City: Kansas City
Households with kids: 34.2%
More on Harrisonville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Bolivar, MO

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,880
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 65
Closest Major City: Kansas City
Households with kids: 38.1%
More on Bolivar: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Marshall, MO

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 12,949
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 45
Closest Major City: Kansas City
Households with kids: 30.1%
More on Marshall: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Mexico, MO

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 11,543
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 67
Closest Major City: St. Louis
Households with kids: 30.6%
More on Mexico: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Ferguson, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 20,738
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 55
Closest Major City: St. Louis
Households with kids: 37.2%
More on Ferguson: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Washington, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 14,014
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 57
Closest Major City: St. Louis
Households with kids: 30.5%
More on Washington: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Moberly, MO

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 13,707
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 45
Closest Major City: Kansas City
Households with kids: 30.9%
More on Moberly: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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

To give you the places in Missouri 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 Show Me 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 Missouri, 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 Missouri, that meant a total of 44 cities. You can download the data here.

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

If you're looking for a breakdown of cities in Missouri 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 Missouri according to the data:

  1. Branson
  2. Raytown
  3. St. Louis

For more Missouri reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Missouri?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Maryville, MO 11,696 43
2 Jackson, MO 14,872 70
3 Neosho, MO 11,990 61
4 Harrisonville, MO 10,043 50
5 Bolivar, MO 10,880 64
6 Marshall, MO 12,949 48
7 Mexico, MO 11,543 53
8 Ferguson, MO 20,738 35
9 Washington, MO 14,014 54
10 Moberly, MO 13,707 67

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.