Our second annual collaboration with BusinessWeek to find the best cities to raise kids is out today. The 2010 Best Places to Raise Your Kids list selected one town (and occasionally two runners up) from each of the 50 states for parents looking to give their kids a great education and strong community within modest financial means.
The methodology gave the greatest weight to affordability, safety, and school test scores. Towns with populations above 45,000 and median incomes between $40,000 and $125,000 were considered for the top cities list. BusinessWeek also considered the cultural grain of the communities when picking top towns - meaning diverse cities with lots of museums, parks, theaters, and other amenities were given high marks.
Our team created an index based on low crime, high test scores, diversity, population and cost of living thresholds to use as a screening method to help determine the 50 Best Places according to the additional BusinessWeek criteria.
The highest rated score was a town of 600,000 just outside of Chicago. Tinley Park, Illinois was touted by editors and residents alike for its affordability, access to Chicago, connectedness, and top notch schools.
"Most of the towns we chose are new to the list," said real estate writer Prashant Gopal, noting a few returners to the Best Places list.
The strong reactions from readers last year prompted BusinessWeek to encourage online discussion in the story's comment section. Have a look at the results and be sure to let us know how your state's winner stacks up in your mind.
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