Where’s the best place to raise a family? Hint: It’s not Austin

What does Overland Park, Kan., have that Austin doesn’t have? It’s the best place to raise a family, according to a Wallet Hub survey that looked at family fun, economics, child care and education, health and safety, and affordability.

The crowds arrived in record numbers to participate in the Fourth of July firework celebration in 2016 at Auditorium Shores and the Long Center. JOHN GUTIERREZ/ FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Austin came in 33rd. Shockingly, according to Wallet Hub, we do well in affordability (12th), but only 45th in family fun? And if we’re affordable, why is it that for socio-economics, we’re 75th? We also were 66th and 70th in health and safety, and education and child care.

In Texas, Plano ranked third in the country with a high rank for health, safety and economics and affordability.

Austin was the next highest city in Texas. Amarillo came in 43rd,  Grand Prairie  47th, Irving 65th, Fort Worth 71st, El Paso 82nd, Arlington 86th, San Antonio 89th, Garland 98th, Lubbock 100th, Corpus Christi 104th, Houston 107th, Dallas 110th, Laredo 119th, and Brownsville 121st.

The top 10 overall were

  1. Overland Park, Kan.
  2. Madison, Wis.
  3. Plano
  4. Seattle
  5. Fremont, Calif.
  6. Minneapolis
  7. Virginia Beach, Va.
  8. Sioux Falls, S.D.
  9. Irvine, Calif.
  10. Lincoln, Neb.

My challenge though is for anyone in Sioux Falls, Lincoln and Overland Park to come to Austin and see where you’d rather raise your family. We’re betting that our lack of cold weather, our music scene and our queso will make you want to pack up the family and head south to Austin.


Author: Nicole Villalpando

Nicole Villalpando writes about families in the Raising Austin blog and the Raising Austin column on Saturdays. She also offers a weekly and monthly family calendar at austin360.com/raisingaustin. She tweets at @raisingaustin.

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