Mental Floss
CITIES

America’s 25 Best Cities and Towns for Families

Ellen Gutoskey
Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Ann Arbor, Michigan. / JuwanGOAT, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0
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These days, more and more U.S. residents are matriculating into what’s known as the “sandwich generation”—a cross-section of mostly Gen Xers and older Millennials who are both bringing up children and caring for aging parents.

When it comes to deciding where to live, this demographic has quite a few factors to think about. For their kids, they might prioritize a good school system and colleges that aren’t too far or too expensive. For their parents, important considerations could include the quality of medical care, assisted living facilities, and/or home health care. Add those to broader metrics like safety and affordability, and it may start to seem like you need a degree in data analytics just to find a good spot for a multi-generational family.

Luckily, Fortune did all the data analytics for you. In an effort to focus on “places that offered high-quality amenities in communities with a hometown feel,” editors restricted the study to some 2000 areas with populations between 25,000 and 750,000. Then, using resources that ranged from Realtor.com and Caring.com to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the CDC, they assessed each place across five categories: education, aging resources, general wellness, financial health, and livability.

They factored in racial diversity by omitting places whose racial diversity fell short of state or national medians, and geographic diversity by limiting each state to two places in the top 25. (Additionally, each county or metro area could only have one spot on the list.)

According to Fortune’s analysis, America’s best spot for a family is Ann Arbor, Michigan, which boasts excellent schools, health care, and career opportunities, plus a thriving arts scene (not to mention the University of Michigan). The northern Detroit suburb of Novi took 10th place, making Michigan one of five states to hit the study’s two-place-per-state cut-off. The others include Texas (Wylie took second place and Sugar Land came in 17th), North Carolina (Morrisville and Statesville), New Jersey (West Windsor and Parsippany–Troy Hills), and California (Tustin and San Marcos).

See the rest of the top 25 below, and check out Fortune’s full study to explore what each entry has to offer its residents.

  1. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  2. Wylie, Texas
  3. Olathe, Kansas
  4. Mason, Ohio
  5. Morrisville, North Carolina
  6. Clearfield, Utah
  7. Gaithersburg, Maryland
  8. Leesburg, Virginia
  9. West Chicago, Illinois
  10. Novi, Michigan
  11. West Windsor, New Jersey
  12. Tustin, California
  13. South Portland, Maine
  14. Woodbury, Minnesota
  15. Parsippany–Troy Hills, New Jersey
  16. Brookline, Massachusetts
  17. Sugar Land, Texas
  18. Iowa City, Iowa
  19. Maryland Heights, Missouri
  20. San Marcos, California
  21. Walla Walla, Washington
  22. Sarasota, Florida
  23. Fountain, Colorado
  24. Statesville, North Carolina
  25. Mauldin, South Carolina
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