Best TX Cities to Raise a Family

A new report ranks Plano as one of the nation’s best cities to raise a family.

The report, compiled by WalletHub, examined more than 180 cities and described some of the best and worst places to raise children. Plano came in fourth nationally, while other metroplex cities ranked much lower, with Fort Worth finishing at No. 86 and Dallas at No. 141. Austin was the only other Texas city to crack the top 20, finishing at No. 19.

“Finding the best place to raise a family is difficult, between balancing an affordable cost of living with good educational opportunities, safety and enough recreation to keep children busy. In addition to all these factors, people often want to raise their children close to their extended family. Therefore, current or future parents can benefit from narrowing their choices to a few of the top cities that are within a reasonable distance of their families,” said Cassandra Happe, WalletHub analyst.

To compare cities, the report looked at 45 different metrics, divided into five main categories: family fun, health and safety, education and childcare, affordability and socio-economics.

The top five places to raise a family in the United States in 2024 are:

  1. Fremont, California
  2. Overland Park, Kansas
  3. Irvine, California
  4. Plano, Texas
  5. Seattle, Washington

Plano landed with an overall score of 68.05. By comparison, the top city of Fremont received a score of 73.55. Fremont was highlighted mainly for its high median household income, which, adjusted for the cost of living, is almost $122,000. The city also has the third-lowest share of food stamp recipients, and 50.5% of families have children under the age of 18, one of the highest in the country.

Plano’s impressive ranking was due to three specific categories.

  • Seventh best city for affordability.
  • Fifth best city for health and safety.
  • Fourth best city for socio-economics (i.e. unemployment rate, debt per median income, share of two-parent families, etc.).

Plano was recently ranked as the second happiest city in the US

A total of 16 Texas cities rank in the top 180:

4. Plano

19. Austin

63. Great Prairie


77. Brownsville

80. Amarillo

86. Fort Worth

93. El Paso


99. Arlington

107. Lubbock

111. Sling

134. Corpus Christi

138. San Antonio


145. Houston

Here’s a look at how Dallas ranks among other cities in each category:

  • Family Fun: No. 93
  • Health and Safety: No.141
  • Education and childcare: no.121
  • Affordability: No. 138
  • Socio-economics: no.116

In addition to Plano’s impressive ranking, other Texas cities also performed well in individual categories. El Paso ranked No. 12 in family fun, Brownsville No. 3 and Laredo No. 16 in education and child care, Austin No. 9 in affordability and Irving No. 9 in socioeconomics .

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