The 10 Best States To Raise A Family In The United States For 2024

The best states to raise a family in the US are Vermont and Maine for 2024 based on Saturday Night Science.

Best States To Raise A Family In America Map

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In today’s America, people don’t stay in one place for too long.

With the economy doing so well lately, it seems Americans are moving more now than ever. Sometimes, it’s for retirement or to transfer jobs.

Where’s the best state in the United States to raise a family?

For the most part, we all want the same thing when we look for a place to move with the kids. These are the states that have good jobs for parents, and they’re safe, too. We also took into account several kid-friendly factors like school quality.

The states we’re going to talk about are the places where kids will have the best potential to thrive and where families will be most comfortable.

Does it matter where you raise your kids? You bet.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

The 10 Best States To Raise A Family In The United States For 2024

  1. Vermont
  2. Maine
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Nebraska
  5. Iowa
  6. Connecticut
  7. Wyoming
  8. Idaho
  9. Massachusetts
  10. North Dakota

Now that we have a top ten, what’s the best state to raise a family overall? Vermont ranks as the best state to raise a family based on data around affordability, things to do, and safety. The general assumption is that a great place for families would be safe, offer plenty of great schools, and have a lot of room for growth. We took that all into account and made some other assumptions as well.

So pack the toys, the Xboxes, and your old high school yearbooks up as we take you through America’s best states to raise kids. For exactly how we calculated these rankings, read on. Or, if the state where you live is just peachy keen, and you’re not moving an inch, check out:

The 10 Best States For Families In America For 2024

1. Vermont

Vermont|Vt, VT

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 643,816
Home Price: $384,154
Average Income: $74,014
Crime Rate: 0.01346
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 557
Households with kids: 24.1%
More On Vermont: Biggest Cities

Vermont has the best health and safety index ranking in America. Most families have health care coverage, and the doctor to resident ratio is really low. There aren’t any real natural disasters here – despite long periods of snowfall – things are relatively quiet.

Plus, Vermont is one of the safest states in America. Part of the reason people move from their home state is because of crime. You won’t find that here.

What’s odd about Vermont, though, is, despite the fact that on paper, it’s an amazing place to raise a family, it has the least number of households with kids at home. Why is that? Look, you can pick pumpkins and ride in tractors and golf! And there’s a great lake in which to boat! The kids won’t get into mischief living here, that’s for sure.

2. Maine

Maine|Me, ME

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 1,366,949
Home Price: $386,587
Average Income: $68,251
Crime Rate: 0.01249
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 851
Households with kids: 24.2%
More On Maine: Biggest Cities | Average Rent

We unpack our things in Maine, where it smells of pine needles. Why Maine, you say? After all, isn’t in the 4th most boring state in America? Yes, it is. Isn’t it fairly expensive you say? Not really, it’s about average.

What really makes Maine a great place to raise a family are the non-exciting things that a responsible parent pays attention to. There are hardly any violent crimes way up here, which makes sense – much of the chaos is way down the coast. Families have great health coverage in Maine, and life expectancy is really high. Air pollution is really low, and and water quality’s great. And schools are some of the most consistently solid in all the land.

3. New Hampshire

New-Hampshire|Nh, NH

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 1,379,610
Home Price: $448,250
Average Income: $90,845
Crime Rate: 0.01233
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 676
Households with kids: 26.6%
More On New Hampshire: Biggest Cities | Average Rent

Where’s the third best place in America in which to raise your family? Right next door in New Hampshire, that’s where.

Now, most of your family members couldn’t even point to New Hampshire on a map, much less explain to their friends what to expect when they move here, but you know what? Tough cookies. You’re the parent. They’ll make new friends.

New Hampshire and Vermont are just about tied in every category. There’s technically a few more things to do in New Hampshire for fun, and New Hampshire is a wee bit safer. Plus, you can say you’re from New Hampshire.

4. Nebraska

Nebraska|Ne, NE

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 4.0

Population: 1,958,939
Home Price: $249,973
Average Income: $71,722
Crime Rate: 0.02219
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 691
Households with kids: 30.7%
More On Nebraska: Biggest Cities | Average Rent

If you already live in Nebraska, you know – this is a great place for families. It’s practically all butterflies and rainbows around these parts when it comes to pace of life. And Nebraska is second only to Iowa when it comes to cost of living. There would be lots of other kids to play with, too – Nebraska has the most number of families with children of any other state on this list. As long as you’re not moving to Nebraska to start a farm, your kids would have plenty of playmates.

Omaha and Lincoln each have plenty of family friendly stuff going on, so you won’t completely die of boredom. But, mom and dad, you’re likely going to lose that beach body at some point – Nebraskans aren’t necessarily the healthiest people in the land. Perhaps, it’s the long winter months indoors, or all the bread pudding, cornhuskers’ casserole and fried tenderloins.

You’ll be happy, pudgy proud parents sitting on your porches, watching the fireflies.

5. Iowa

Iowa|Ia, IA

Source: Wikipedia User | GFDL

Population: 3,188,836
Home Price: $210,484
Average Income: $70,571
Crime Rate: 0.01986
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 1312
Households with kids: 28.9%
More On Iowa: Biggest Cities | Average Rent

Do you like wide open spaces? How about small town life? Enjoy meat and potatoes? Then Iowa is a place you and your family would LOVE.

Here, families earn the 5th highest incomes, per capita, relative to cost of living. Which means, Iowans aren’t necessarily ballers, but they bring home more than enough bacon to cover their mortgages and car payments. Iowa has the most affordable housing costs in all the land, too. Iowa is also really safe – so you wouldn’t have to worry about the ghetto crap you see in large urban areas.

For fun – meeeh. It’s not South Dakota boring, but you’d have to lower your standards if you’re used to all the big city hootin and hollerin. It’s a different kind of fun – you learn to take pride in your small town lifestyle here.

6. Connecticut

Connecticut|Ct, CT

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY 2.0

Population: 3,611,317
Home Price: $381,629
Average Income: $90,213
Crime Rate: 0.0172
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 831
Households with kids: 29.1%
More On Connecticut: Biggest Cities | Average Rent

Connecticut has a lot going for it. Outside of Hartford, Waterbury, and Bridgeport, many people think it’s a wonderful place. And the data backs it up. Connecticut ranks in the top 20 for every single category measured. It’s not the most boring place in the nation by any stretch, the hospitals and schools are pretty great — and Connecticut socio economics rank is actually one of the highest in America, taking into account family value type measurements like divorce rates, quality of jobs, and family incomes.

Connecticut is the 5th safest state to live. And there’s a lot of money and success here, too. Meaning your kids would have a lot of opportunities – especially if they want to be bankers.

7. Wyoming

Wyoming|Wy, WY

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 577,929
Home Price: $338,887
Average Income: $72,495
Crime Rate: 0.01859
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 272
Households with kids: 28.9%
More On Wyoming: Biggest Cities | Average Rent

While the long, dusty expanses of Wyoming might make your kids want to stab their eyeballs out of boredom. The kids won’t be happy about it, but they’ll adjust.

Now, there’s not as much ‘fun’ stuff for kids to do here as in other places, but overall, Wyoming rocks when it comes to the stuff parents care about. There are great hospitals here, especially children’s hospital – so when you get sick, you don’t have to worry about long lines and other BS as much as you do in states like California. In terms of affordability, Wyoming will let your savings account head in the right direction – up. As you may know, homes cost a lot less here than they do in places like Florida.

For fun, the kids will just have to learn to love sledding, ice skating and getting in snowball fights. What’s wrong with that? There isn’t a state within 200 miles where you’d find a better combination of safety, great schools and happy, healthy homes.

8. Idaho

Idaho|Id, ID

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 1,854,109
Home Price: $442,087
Average Income: $70,214
Crime Rate: 0.01335
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 365
Households with kids: 32.2%
More On Idaho: Biggest Cities | Average Rent

Idaho keeps showing up on our lists this year, breaking into the top ten left and right. In this case, it ranks as the eighth best state to raise a family for 2024.

Taking a look at the data, there are two main reasons that Idaho ranks so high. First, the crime rates are some of the best in the country. Property crimes and violent crimes are both in the ten lowest for the most recent reporting year. That means that you can leave the door unlocked when you go the park in the morning and no one will break in.

The other factor contributing to Idaho’s ranking is the high percentage of households with kids. When a large number of households have children, then people tend to share the same values, interests, and sense of community. All of those things come together to make an excellent place to raise a family.

9. Massachusetts

Massachusetts|Ma, MA

Source: Public domain

Population: 6,984,205
Home Price: $589,253
Average Income: $96,505
Crime Rate: 0.01344
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 1553
Households with kids: 28.4%
More On Massachusetts: Biggest Cities | Average Rent

We unpack our moving truck in the ninth state on our list, Massachusetts. Hope we remembered to pack the snow boots, because it’s gonna be cold again this winter. What makes Massachusetts such a good place to raise kids? A lot of things, actually.

Massachusetts ranks third in both health and safety and in education and child care. This means the quality of the schools is super, there are plenty of day cares in the state, and health care is just about as good as you’ll get. Now, Massachusetts is one of the few states on our list today that’s considered ‘fun.’ Everyone’s definition of fun is different, but we’ll assume that states where there’s a bunch of other kids running around is ‘fun’ as are states with attractions like amusement parks, recreational leagues, and parks.

Not that kids these days leave the damn couch. All they do is stare at their phones anymore.

10. North Dakota

North-Dakota|Nd, ND

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY 3.0

Population: 776,874
Home Price: $251,027
Average Income: $73,959
Crime Rate: 0.02417
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 416
Households with kids: 27.8%
More On North Dakota: Biggest Cities | Average Rent

Good news everyone! We’re here at our new home in North Dakota. Time to get out of this godforsaken moving truck once and for all.

If you thought South Dakota is a state full of vim and vigor, wait until you experience the stimulating state of North Dakota! Okay, seriously, the wife and kids will probably never talk to you again if you move them here, but at least YOU get to experience all the cost savings and peace of mind of living in the Roughrider State.

Cost of living wise, North Dakota is the best on this list, which is the main reason hardly anyone here lives in poverty. That’s also one big reason North Dakota has the nation’s lowest divorce rate, outside of Utah. There are many other factors that make North Dakota a great place to raise your family. The quality of the schools is great – and the schools are a big part of families’ lives in North Dakota – more so than most other places you could call home.

People in North Dakota live there because they like the peace and quiet. So no late night parties in these parts, mister.

How We Determined The Best States to Raise A Family in The US For 2024

When we analyze the best states for families, we use Saturday Night Science to compare demographics, crime, and school data across every state.

For this analysis we took into account theU.S. Census’s 2018-2022 ACS data on jobs and healthcare, FBI crime data for safety, NCES data on school quality. The Census compiles the best geographical data set for populations in each state.

We combined the data to reach the following set of items:

  • Number of colleges nearby
  • Population density
  • Quality of education
  • Crime
  • Healthcare
  • Jobs (or lack of them)

These are the qualities you’d argue with friends over what makes a state great for families. We then ranked each state for each one of the categories from 1 to 50. We averaged the rankings out to create a “Family Index.” What state came out the best for families? Vermont.

We updated this article for 2024. This report is our tenth time ranking the best states for families in America.

There You Have It — The Best States in America to Raise a Family For 2024

After measuring almost every category we could think of to decide which states are best, it’s clear – the Northeast and Midwest are awesome places to raise kids and settle down. If you already live in one of these states, consider yourself lucky. These are your best starting points if you’re considering moving for a job or getting a fresh start.

The best states for families in the United States are Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Iowa, Connecticut, Wyoming, Idaho, Massachusetts, and North Dakota.

What else do these states have in common? They are the least diverse states, too. So, if you want your kids to grow up in a community with varying viewpoints, then you should take them to places like California or Texas.

While it’s good news for the states we mentioned, we have to throw some love at the worst states to raise a family in America. If you live in Florida, Arizona, or South Carolina, you have some great areas. But overall, there’s a lot to be desired.

But it could be worse. You could live in Alaska.

Here’s a quick look at the bottom of the list:

  1. South Carolina
  2. Florida
  3. Arizona

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best States To Raise A Family In America For 2024

Rank State Population Median Income Home Price Crime Rate Amenity Score
1 Vermont 643,816 $74,014 $384,154 0.01346 529
2 Maine 1,366,949 $68,251 $386,587 0.01249 858
3 New Hampshire 1,379,610 $90,845 $448,250 0.01233 664
4 Nebraska 1,958,939 $71,722 $249,973 0.02219 705
5 Iowa 3,188,836 $70,571 $210,484 0.01986 1297
6 Connecticut 3,611,317 $90,213 $381,629 0.0172 830
7 Wyoming 577,929 $72,495 $338,887 0.01859 266
8 Idaho 1,854,109 $70,214 $442,087 0.01335 391
9 Massachusetts 6,984,205 $96,505 $589,253 0.01344 1556
10 North Dakota 776,874 $73,959 $251,027 0.02417 404
11 Kansas 2,935,922 $69,747 $216,853 0.02604 965
12 South Dakota 890,342 $69,457 $293,181 0.02465 404
13 West Virginia 1,792,967 $55,217 $157,498 0.01747 439
14 Rhode Island 1,094,250 $81,370 $436,519 0.01426 302
15 Wisconsin 5,882,128 $72,458 $286,891 0.01794 1382
16 New Jersey 9,249,063 $97,126 $495,846 0.013 1165
17 Virginia 8,624,511 $87,249 $371,544 0.01659 1199
18 Alaska 734,821 $86,370 $349,554 0.03083 290
19 Kentucky 4,502,935 $60,183 $197,457 0.02027 695
20 Oklahoma 3,970,497 $61,364 $198,107 0.03172 779
21 Montana 1,091,840 $66,341 $447,821 0.02564 405
22 Minnesota 5,695,292 $84,313 $324,667 0.02386 939
23 Illinois 12,757,634 $78,433 $252,041 0.01959 1839
24 New York 19,994,379 $81,386 $452,476 0.01716 2116
25 Pennsylvania 12,989,208 $73,170 $256,703 0.02001 1751
26 Indiana 6,784,403 $67,173 $230,053 0.02132 1028
27 Ohio 11,774,683 $66,990 $218,216 0.02144 1496
28 Mississippi 2,958,846 $52,985 $174,931 0.02399 367
29 Hawaii 1,450,589 $94,814 $830,193 0.02585 253
30 Oregon 4,229,374 $76,632 $487,750 0.02959 766
31 Alabama 5,028,092 $59,609 $221,926 0.02535 793
32 Maryland 6,161,707 $98,461 $404,251 0.01975 735
33 Utah 3,283,809 $86,833 $510,835 0.02697 315
34 Michigan 10,057,921 $68,505 $233,858 0.01822 1529
35 Arkansas 3,018,669 $56,335 $199,259 0.03298 465
36 New Mexico 2,112,463 $58,722 $293,040 0.0361 502
37 Missouri 6,154,422 $65,920 $237,658 0.03072 1049
38 Georgia 10,722,325 $71,355 $319,165 0.02405 862
39 Delaware 993,635 $79,325 $373,328 0.02377 216
40 Washington 7,688,549 $90,325 $568,346 0.03028 899
41 Tennessee 6,923,772 $64,035 $309,795 0.03149 875
42 California 39,356,104 $91,905 $746,472 0.02582 1597
43 Colorado 5,770,790 $87,598 $531,605 0.03278 863
44 North Carolina 10,470,214 $66,186 $320,323 0.02679 1033
45 Texas 29,243,342 $73,035 $298,423 0.02702 1799
46 Louisiana 4,640,546 $57,852 $199,312 0.03527 565
47 Nevada 3,104,817 $71,646 $418,963 0.02413 240
48 Arizona 7,172,282 $72,581 $423,568 0.02807 625
49 Florida 21,634,529 $67,917 $392,904 0.02163 1299
50 South Carolina 5,142,750 $63,623 $287,064 0.03299 531

Family Places By State

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.