Apartment List has compiled its annual ranking of the country’s most family-friendly cities, and Texans should be proud. Very proud, as the Lone Star State not only grabs four spots in the top 10 but locks in first and second place with two Dallas-Fort Worth suburbs: Flower Mound and Frisco.
So what makes a city desirable for families? Apartment List used four weighted factors to compile an overall letter grade: safety, housing affordability, education quality, and childhood friendliness. Safety data was pulled from FBI statistics and ranked each city by the number of crimes per 100,000 residents. Housing affordability was measured by the city's lowest percentage of median gross income spent on rent.
High school graduation rates determined education quality, and to draw a conclusion about child friendliness the site deemed cities with higher populations of children under 18 as more family friendly.
The results: Flower Mound lands the No. 1 spot overall, claiming fourth for safety and second for affordability. Frisco is second overall, coming in fourth for education and second for child-friendliness. These are both jumps from last year's rankings, in which Allen claimed the top spot.
Cedar Park, near Austin, finds itself at No. 6, and the Houston suburb of Pearland comes in at No. 10. All told, Texas boasts 13 spots in the top 50, with Allen (No. 11), Plano (No. 19), Missouri City (No. 23), Round Rock (No. 26), Lewisville (No. 36), McKinney (No. 38), and Irving (No. 42) making a strong showing.
Though Dallas and its B grade are all the way down at No. 173, it does win second-best when you whittle the list down to just the nation's 25 biggest cities. The true winner, though, is No. 90 El Paso, which is awarded an A- and takes the top spot for largest cities.