Raising kids right

Houston earns bragging rights as one of America's most family-friendly cities

Houston earns bragging rights among most family-friendly cities

Houston park with skyline
One of the reasons Houston is tops for families? The parks. Sky Noir Photography by Bill Dickinson/Getty Images

Anyone who's grown up in Houston will say it's a great place to call home. Now a new survey confirms the city's bragging rights as one of the top spots in the country to raise a family.

Homes.com ranked the top 25 metropolitan areas in the U.S. based on their overall “family-friendliness” quotient. Houston comes in at No. 3 on the list. At the top of the list is Dallas (No. 1), and not far behind is San Antonio (No. 5).

Cities were chosen based on key considerations, including crime rate, cost of living, availability of child care services, average commute times, school (K-12) quality, and park acreage per capita. The markers were chosen for the ways they contribute to both a child’s development and a family's quality of life. A weight was assigned to each factor to value their relative levels of importance — school quality had the highest, while commute times had the lowest.

"The largest U.S. cities may be known for their unique attributes, but it’s not immediately apparent which of them are best for raising a family," the report says. "The decision of where to call 'home' is a critical decision for new parents and can have a significant influence on the lives of their children."

Houston scored an overall 37 out of 50 and earned a shining 5 out of 5 for its excellent parks (timely, given the just-announced $70 million gift for Memorial Park). H-Town also scored well for cost of living, quality of schools, and commute time, which outweighed its below average childcare services and middle-of-the-road crime rate.

Dallas, with an overall score of 38 out of 50, ranked particularly high in cost of living and park spaces. By comparison, San Antonio not only earned a perfect score for its parks but also for its short commute times and cost of living.

Other large U.S. cities that made the cut include Boston (No. 10); Orlando (No. 15); St. Louis (No. 20); and rounding out the list at No. 25, Miami.