Happy Families - The best states in the US to raise a family

Our families are the most important thing to a lot of us and many of us are in the very fortunate position of considering raising our own children here in the US. Ever wondered which state is the happiest place to raise a family? We looked at twelve factors important to anyone thinking of raising a family, covering economic well-being, education, health, and community, to analyze which states are the best to raise your kids in. 

The factors we included were: Life Expectancy; Median Household Income; Number of National Parks; School Quality; School Safety; Air Quality; Homicide Rates; Firearms Death Rates; Adult Obesity Rates; Child Obesity Rates; Typical House Pricing; and Cost of Living. A full list of sources can be found in the methodology at the bottom of this page. 

We created a combined family score for each of the 50 states to compare which had the best overall statistics for raising a family. Bear in mind that this just gives an overview of the locations which offer the best environment for raising kids, and doesn’t determine how well children are raised in these states. That's down to all of us, and how well we look after our kids. 

The most important thing for a lot of new parents is the safety of their kids, and this comes down to things like school safety, obesity rates, and community factors. There is much more you can do to ensure your child’s safety, such as educating them in health and safety. For babies, there are plenty of ways to ensure safety, such as cribs, strollers, and baby monitors

So, what states come at the top of our list for happiest families?

1. Minnesota - 7.07 Family Score

Minnesota, the 12th largest US state, ranks the happiest state to raise a family on our list, with a combined family score of 7.07. Minnesota consistently ranked highly across all our factors. Minnesota also has one of the highest life expectancies out of all the 50 states at 80.4 years. This is 1.6 years greater than the average life expectancy for the US as a whole. The average household income in Minnesota is also greater than the national average at $71,306. The US national average is $65,712, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As the sixth state for quality schools and the 22nd state for school safety, Minnesota is a prime location for educating your young ones. This state also demonstrates a very low child obesity rate of just 11.7%.

2. Washington - 6.94 Family Score

Our runner-up for happiest state for families is Washington, with a combined family score of 6.94. Washington, named after the first-ever US president, ranks within the top five for school safety and within the top ten for adult obesity rates. The median household income is $8,000 above the national average at $73,775, and the life expectancy in Washington is just above the national average. Washington is also home to three national parks, meaning there are many outdoor adventures to be had, and a brilliant location for keeping your children learning from and enjoying nature. Unfortunately, Washington also has one of the highest typical house prices on our list, but that doesn’t deter this state from being one of the happiest states for families in the US. 

3. Massachusetts - 6.87 Family Score

Home to the world-renowned Harvard University, Massachusetts is by far the best state for education, with the top rankings for both school quality and school safety. Not only is Massachusetts the best for education but it seems an excellent choice for family health and safety with one of the highest life expectancies of 80.4 and the second lowest adult obesity rates of 24.4%. To boot, Massachusetts has the lowest firearms death rates of all 50 states at 3.4 per 100,000 people and one of the lowest homicide rates of just 2.5 per 100,000 people. Where Massachusetts falls short is how expensive it can be to live there, with some of the highest housing prices and costs of living on our list. 

4. Nebraska - 6.70 Family Score

Once known as the Great American Desert, Nebraska is a state with outstanding natural beauty and some of the friendliest cities in the United States and is the fourth happiest state for families on our list. Nebraska has both the lowest average cost of living and lowest typical house price out of our top five, and with good ranks for both school quality and school safety, Nebraska might be the best budget option for families looking for the best education for their children. Nebraska has a life expectancy above the national average, one of the best air quality ratings in the US, and a low childhood obesity rate of 12.6%, also making it one of the healthiest places to raise a family. 

5. New Hampshire - 6.60 Family Score

Completing our top five happiest states for families is one of the original 13 colonies to have settled in the US. New Hampshire, with a combined family score of 6.6, ranks fifth on our list of happiest family states. New Hampshire has the lowest homicide rates of all 50 states and a relatively low firearms death rate. Ranking sixth for school safety and 16th for childhood obesity, New Hampshire is another member of the safest states to raise children according to our list. New Hampshire ranks 14th for both adult and child obesity and has a life expectancy above the national average, suggesting this state is also one of the healthier states in the US.

Methodology

The combined family score was calculated by ranking each state against our twelve factors. Data for all factors were retrieved on the 17th March 2022, from the following sources. 

Each state was given a normalized score out of ten for each of these factors before an average across all twelve scores was taken.

Best Sellers

Your product's name
  • 19.99
  • 9.99
Your product's name
  • 19.99
  • 9.99
Your product's name
  • 19.99
  • 9.99
Your product's name
  • 19.99
  • 9.99