Top 7 Best states to raise a family in the US with the Best quality of life – 2024

When looking forward to moving as a parent in the United States, your headache begins when you ponder things like the safest places to live, top-notch school ratings, and child-friendly neighborhoods, in addition to planning moving tasks. These places aren’t just about having what you need; they’re about making life great for families. From calm neighborhoods to lively cities, each place on our list offers a special way for kids to grow, learn, and have fun.

We need to make moving decisions that assist us in raising our kids with ease and peace of mind. Sometimes, moving can be inevitable, and the need for a stable and secure environment comes with moving kids. Are you looking for a place where families can build a happy and fulfilling life with comfort, convenience, and lots of good times? MovingWaldo listed the Top 7 Best states to raise a family in the US with the Best quality of life – 2024.

Methodology

Due to “Best” being a subjective word, below is our methodology to compile the best states for families in the US with the best quality of life in 2024.

Using our existing ranking of the safest and cheapest states to live in the USA, we based our ranking on three criteria: safety, affordability plus quality of life, and top-notch school.

To ensure accuracy, we calculated the average number of various crimes per 100,000 people. The data was gathered from” the (UCR or any state/city related government website) covering the recent data. 

Top-notch schools refer to the overall quality of education in a specific place. An academic institution with reasonable fees and strong financial aid programs may be considered more accessible and inclusive, ensuring that education is not prohibitively expensive for families.

Affordability takes into account the median cost of buying a property and a median cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment. Statistics come from Rockethomes’s median cost of buying a property and Zillow’s median cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment. 

The “Best quality of life” aspect is measured based on feedback from real people who have moved to this area in our database or real people from trusted online forums. More specifically, we look for positive feedback on job opportunities, quality of education, quality of healthcare, feeling of safety, public transportation, the environment (cleanliness), as well as the availability of recreational facilities and parks.

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1. Maine

1. Maine - Safest States in America
  • Crimes: 201.49 crimes per 100,000 people
  • Median 1-bedroom apartment rent: $2,000
  • Median property buying cost: $299,988

One of the best states to live in America is Maine, renowned for its natural beauty and rocky coastline. Residents enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, from hiking on the trails of Baxter State Park to swimming at Sand Beach. Living here is perfect for fresh seafood and maple syrup enthusiasts; however, note that getting around usually involves driving, and road quality can suffer in the muddy season.

The state is serious when it comes to education. In the year 2022 state rankings by US News & World Report, schools in Kennebunk, Limestone, Cumberland, and Cape Elizabeth emerged as top performers in Maine. These schools earned notable positions on the list, showcasing their commitment to academic excellence and student success, making Maine a suitable place for a family with children who want a good education.

As of November 2023, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,000, and the median property price is $299,988. With a population of 1,385,340, predominantly ranging from their mid-50s to mid-70s, Maine features a tranquil and highly secure pace of life. It has a low crime rate of 201.49 crimes per 100,000 people

Crime Data Explorer (Dec 2023), United States Census (Dec 2022), Zillow (Dec 2023), & Rockethomes (Nov 2023)

Maine

2. New Hampshire

6. New Hampshire - Best States to Raise a Family in the US - 2022
  • Crimes: 239.18 crimes per 100,000 people
  • Median 1-bedroom apartment rent: $1,800
  • Median property buying cost: $398,886

New Hampshire is renowned for its natural environment, offering opportunities for winter sports and hiking in places like the White Mountain National Forest and Mount Washington, as well as water activities in Lake Winnipesaukee and along its sandy beaches.

Home to 1,395,231 people spanning from their 20s to 70s, many find it attractive to live here due to the absence of state sales tax or income tax on wages. While the proximity to the prestigious institution Dartmouth College, an Ivy League school, makes it particularly appealing for the younger population.

As of November 2023, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,800, and the median property price is $398,886. New Hampshire has a reported number of 239.18 crimes per 100,000 people

Crime Data Explorer (Dec 2023), United States Census (Dec 2022), Zillow (Dec 2023), & Rockethomes (Nov 2023)

New Hampshire

3. Connecticut

9. Connecticut - Best States to Raise a Family in the US - 2022
  • Crimes: 291.05 crimes per 100,000 people
  • Median 1-bedroom apartment rent: $1,811
  • Median property buying cost: $339,838

Connecticut offers a blend of city and natural living for its residents, providing access to 101 state parks and lakes, perfect for hiking and fishing. Getting around the state is easy, and also convenient to travel to nearby cities like NYC and Boston, thanks to the network of highways, trains, and public transport.

Connecticut prioritizes education from K-12 to higher levels, with a legacy of excellent public schools, diverse private school options, and 38 colleges and universities. The state boasts the nation’s only unified technical high school system, emphasizing its commitment to developing a technology-savvy workforce for the future. This underscores Connecticut’s dedication to providing a comprehensive and skilled educational environment for residents and businesses.

As of November 2023, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,811, and the median property price is $339,838. Connecticut has a reported number of 291.05 crimes per 100,000 people. 

Crime Data Explorer (Dec 2023), United States Census (Dec 2022), Zillow (Dec 2023), & Rockethomes (Nov 2023)

Connecticut

4. Rhode Island

  • Crimes: 330.99 crimes per 100,000 people
  • Median 1-bedroom apartment rent: $2,100
  • Median property buying cost: $406,540

Rhode Island, known as the Ocean State, is famous for its sandy beaches and delicious seafood. Residents enjoy summer days at Misquamicut State Beach, participating in water sports and biking, while taking in scenic ocean views from Mohegan Bluffs on Block Island. Residents claim that it is a friendly community with a cost of living lower than nearby large cities, and a convenient commuting time of 3 hours to NYC and 1.5 hours to Boston.

Three Rhode Island higher education institutions make the region’s top 10 on college rankings list. Brown climbs into national top 10 in 2024 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges. Education is highly valued in Rhode Island, so if you are seeking a good place to live, you might want to consider this place.

As of November 2023, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,100, and the median property price is $406,540. Rhode Island has a reported number of 330.99 crimes per 100,000 people.

Crime Data Explorer (Dec 2023), United States Census (Dec 2022), Zillow (Dec 2023), & Rockethomes (Nov 2023)

Rhode Island

5. West Virginia

West Virginia - Mountain view
  • Crimes: 418.83 crimes per 100,000 people
  • Median 1-bedroom apartment rent: $1,000
  • Median property buying cost: $214,446

West Virginia offers a slower pace of life and affordable cost of living. The state’s natural beauty and outdoor activities contribute to a family-friendly environment. Locals and its families can explore the New River Gorge National Park and Canaan Valley Resort State Park. The state also offers community projects like local fairs and festivals.

In the year 2022, West Virginia introduced the Hope Scholarship program, marking the state’s first and the country’s most expansive Education Savings Account (ESA) initiative. With 93 percent of K-12 students eligible, the program allocates approximately $4,300 per child annually, empowering families to utilize state-approved educational goods and services. This program will definitely help those families with financial difficulty. 

As of November 2023, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,000, and the median property price is $214,446. West Virginia has a reported number of 418.83 crimes per 100,000 people.

Crime Data Explorer (Dec 2023), United States Census (Dec 2022), Zillow (Dec 2023), & Rockethomes (Nov 2023)

West Virginia

6. Vermont

9. Vermont
  • Crimes: 425.87 crimes per 100,000 people
  • Median 1-bedroom apartment rent: $1,954
  • Median property buying cost: $339,970

About 647,064 people call Vermont home and enjoy its beautiful landscapes, mountain biking trails, hiking trails, downhill ski areas, and 100 historic covered bridges. Vermonters consider it a great hub for outdoor activities in any season, whether exploring the fall foliage in autumn or skiing in the winter. The average commute for a Vermont worker is 23 minutes, and it is just a 2-hour drive to big cities like Montreal and 3 hours to Boston.

The state’s education system is ranked third in the nation by Education Week, while child well-being places sixth according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In National Assessments, the state consistently ranks between first and eighth, varying by year and subject. 

As of November 2023, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,954, and the median property price is $339,970. Vermont has a reported number of 425.87 crimes per 100,000 people.

Crime Data Explorer (Dec 2023), United States Census (Dec 2022), Zillow (Dec 2023), Rockethomes (Nov 2023) & Vermont Gov (Jan 2024)

Vermont

7. Ohio

Columbus, Ohio - skyline
  • Crimes: 524.61 crimes per 100,000 people
  • Median 1-bedroom apartment rent: $1,250
  • Median property buying cost: $219,903

Ohio has diverse cities, and a range of educational opportunities. The state’s parks and recreational facilities contribute to a family-friendly lifestyle. Families can visit the Hocking Hills State Park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and can join some community projects such as local sports leagues and cultural events.

Approximately 30 to 40 percent of Ohio students reach the national standard for proficiency, just above the national average, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, Data Explorer (2022). Nationally, Ohio ranks between 11th and 20th in fourth and eighth grade math and reading, while Ohio’s national position has typically been between 10th and 20th for the past two decades. 

As of November 2023, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,250, and the median property price is $219,903. Vermont has a reported number of 524.61 crimes per 100,000 people.

Crime Data Explorer (Dec 2023), United States Census (Dec 2022), Zillow (Dec 2023), Rockethomes (Nov 2023), & Ohio by the Number (2022)

Ohio

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Conclusion

All the states listed above are some of the safest and most educated states as a whole. They all offer a dynamic economic market and lots of opportunities for growth for your children and the rest of your family, while each having a unique cultural life. Most of them have an affordable cost of living and solid housing options to consider.

Are you moving soon? It’s advisable to research the best moving companies in the USA ahead of time.

 

Last year’s ranking (2023)

  1. North Dakota
  2. Vermont
  3. Minnesota
  4. New York
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Connecticut
  7. New Jersey
  8. Utah
  9. Washington
  10. Massachusetts

 

Our rankings are meticulously curated, considering affordability and quality of life. It’s important to highlight that certain states were excluded from last year’s lists due to insufficient rental data. Moreover, entries with higher average housing prices in the previous year were excluded from the current rankings. We encourage readers to weigh these rankings in light of their individual needs and preferences for a more informed decision-making process.

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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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