When people with kids need to move, a common question is “is this a good place to raise a family?” Sometimes that can be hard to define or nail down, but a new study seeks to address that. But, be warned, New Jersey’s largest city doesn’t come out looking very good.

The research and analysis was done by Wallet Hub; they looked at 182 large cities and ranked them across 5 categories within which are multiple metrics.

The categories are:

⚫ Family Fun….including things like playgrounds, ice skating rinks, and skate parks per capita. Bike score, attractions like zoos and museums, weather, average commute time and share of families with young children.

⚫ Health and Safety…air quality, water quality, access to healthy foods; also, number of pediatricians, driving fatalities, various crime rates, and homelessness.

⚫ Education and Child Care…quality of schools, graduation rates, child care availability, parental leave policy, and summer learning opportunities.

⚫ Affordability…cost of living and housing affordability

⚫ Socio-Economics…share of two-parent homes, divorce rate, poverty rate, unemployment rate, and foreclosure rates, among others.

Family eating dinner
Hemera Technologies

So, how did New Jersey do? Not well; the two Garden State cities on the list were Jersey City, which ranked 73rd, and Newark. The state’s largest city was near the bottom. Of the 182 cities in the analysis, Newark ranked 178th.

Newark was dinged for not having many playgrounds and a below-average median annual salary, along with having a high number of families living below the poverty line.

The absolute worst city to raise a family, at least according to this survey, is Cleveland, OH, and the best is Fremont, CA, which is just north of San Jose.

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