Livability, which explores and ranks the most livable small and medium-sized cities in the United States, has released its 10 Best Places to Raise a Family rankings for 2018.
Data scientists and editors of the website searched the country to look for the absolute best places to raise a family.
In a press release published by Business Insider,Livability said that the list was created by cross-referencing the 2018 population estimates from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, Institute of Museum and Library Services, the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division with data from Great Schools, and the Center for Neighborhood Technology.
Livability data scientists analyzed all U.S cities with populations between 20,000 and 30,000, and removed places with low Great Schools scores and high costs for childcare. Several criteria were also used.
Data scientists and editors analyzed more than 2,000 cities for measures of children's health, quality of public school, cost of childcare, number of potential playmates, affordability of housing and transportation options; walkability and other factors linked to the physical environment, as well as the number of parks, libraries and daycare options. They also considered the number of candy stores.
"To really get at the heart of what makes these communities so exceptional, we chatted with true local 'experts' — kids from each city — about why they love growing up there," Livability said in a statement. "We even factored in the number of nearby candy stores. In fact, this is Livability's most kid-centric list ever."
Moscow, Idaho, which has a population of about 25,000, made it to the top of the list. Besides taking the top spot in the Best Places to Raise a Family in 2018, it also racked up impressive rankings on the 10 Best Affordable Places to Live and Top 100 Best Places to Live this year.
Moscow, which is located along Idaho's western border with Washington, is home to the University of Idaho. The University of Idaho Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Latah Trail Bike Path, and 17 city parks provide a good venue for children's outdoor activities.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, took the second spot. It has 159 parks, plus other outdoor places to explore, which include the Dexter-Huron Metropark. The school district here has an impressive student-to-teacher ratio of 17:1.
Other places that made it on the list were Beaverton, Oregon; Fort Collins, Colorado; Bloomington, Indiana; State College, Pennsylvania; Oak Park, Illinois; Fayetteville, Arkansas; Morgantown; West Virginia; and Bozeman, Montana.