Putting down roots

New study names Houston the worst place in Texas to raise a family

New study names Houston the worst place in Texas to raise a family

Buffalo Bayou Partnership
Houston underperforms in affordability, education, and health. Photo by Slight Clutter Photography/Katya Horne

When choosing where to raise a family, economic stability, safety, and opportunities for children are at the top of the list. Based on that criteria, Houston may not be the place to put down roots, according to a new study.

Personal finance website WalletHub compared 182 U.S. cities to determine which are the best and worst places to raise a family in 2019. Houston places toward the bottom of the list — No. 140 overall — making it the worst place in Texas to raise a family and one of the worst in the nation.

Each city was graded across five major areas: family fun, health and safety, education and child care, affordability, and socioeconomics.

Houston scores best in family fun (No. 65) but could use some improvement in the other categories. It earns lower marks in education and child care (No. 109); affordability (No. 127); and socioeconomics (No. 137), a category that measures a city's share of two-parent families, separation and divorce rate, share of families living in poverty, unemployment rate, and other factors. The city also underperforms in health and safety (No. 149).

H-Town is no stranger to sobering reports from WalletHub, having just been named the most-stressed city in Texas, a title it also earned last year.

But where does the rest of Texas rank when it comes to raising families? The North Texas suburb of Plano stands tall among Texas cities, coming in at No. 4 overall and making it the best place in Texas — and one of the best in the nation — to raise a family. Austin is No. 24 in the U.S., and second-best city in Texas, followed by Fort Worth (No. 72), San Antonio (No. 110), and Dallas (No. 133).

A few spots up the list from Plano is Overland Park, Kansas, the best place in America to raise a family. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Detroit, the worst place in the country to raise a family right now.