If You Don’t Mind The Crime, DC Is The Best City In Which To Raise A Family

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Considering the state of its public schools, I’m just a tiny bit skeptical of the results of Parenting magazines top cities for raising kids. Washington, D.C. ranked #1. Perhaps they mean for wealthy families? I don’t know. It is a fabulous city, I must admit, with great museums (and the admission price is paid for already by taxpayer dollars!), walkable neighborhoods and plenty of family-friendly activities. We took our girls to a Nationals game last night and they’re still excited about it (even if our Cardinals lost).

Other cities to make the list include:

2.         Austin, Texas

3.         Boston, Massachusetts

4.         St. Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota

5.         Des Moines, Iowa

6.         Madison, Wisconsin

7.         Honolulu, Hawaii

8.         Omaha, Nebraska

9.         Seattle, Washington

10.       Louisville, Kentucky

I have to admit that crime seems to be a much lower concern for the writers at Parenting than for some parents. D.C., St. Louis, Richmond, Baltimore and Memphis all rank on the top 40. For me it’s a trade-off. We recently moved outside of Washington, D.C. to Alexandria, Va. We absolutely love both neighborhoods. And while crime is not non-existent here, it’s dramatically different. Major police activity used to be a weekly occurrence on our old block. Friends and neighbors were routinely mugged. That’s just not an issue we deal with here, and I have to admit I love it. When a police car rolls around, you actually notice it because it’s somewhat out of the ordinary as opposed to being one of the most common sights of the day.

Parenting specifically said the rankings were “based on great schools, affordable homes, low crime rates, jobs, and parkland.” But this year’s ranking included a “charm and culture” category that weighed the number of museums, performing arts venues, kid-friendly restaurants and such. DC pretty much rules the rest of the country combined when it comes to museums for families, after all.

And coming in at the end of the top 100?

96.       Fresno, California

98.       Bakersfield, California

Really? I grew up between these two cities and I’m sure there must be some kind of mistake.