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Worcester Ranks #50 for Raising a Family in United States

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

 

A new study ranks Worcester as the 50th best place to raise a family -- the study evaluated 150 cities across the United States. "...the average American can expect to move an estimated 11.4 times during his or her lifetime. Moving can be a sign of opportunity — perhaps a new job or long-term wealth accumulation — or of instability such as foreclosure or job loss. The key in either case is to choose an area conducive to economic prosperity and the overall pursuit of happiness," reports WalletHub.

For Worcester, the ranking is the highest for a New England city - boston ranks 53 and Providence 96.

Overall, Overland Park, Kansas is ranked #1 and Birmingham, Alabama is ranked last at #150.

"WalletHub’s analysts compared the 150 most populated U.S. cities based on 41 key metrics that take into account essential family dynamics, such as the cost of housing, the quality of local school and health-care systems, and the opportunities for fun and recreation," said the report.

Source: WalletHub

"While obviously not perfect — given the intrinsic value of each city, personal preferences and the limitations of publicly available data — our findings will hopefully give prospective movers a sense of the areas that offer the greatest opportunity to achieve WalletFitness™and, of course, live a long and happy life. You can check out the results, additional insight from experts and our detailed methodology below."

Methodology

In order to determine which cities are most conducive to family life, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 150 most populated U.S. cities across five key dimensions: 1) Family Fun, 2) Health & Safety, 3) Education & Child Care, 4) Affordability and 5) Socio-economics.

We evaluated those categories using 41 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for family life. Data for metrics marked with an asterisk (*) were available at the state level only. For metrics marked with two asterisks (**), we calculated population size using the square root of the population in order to avoid overcompensating for minor differences across cities.

Finally, we determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its total score and used the resulting scores to rank-order the cities in our sample. Our sample considers only the city proper in each case and excludes cities in the surrounding metro area.

Family Fun – Total Points: 20

Playgrounds per Capita**: Full Weight (~1.48 Points)
Ice Rinks per Capita**: Half Weight (~0.74 Points)
Skate Parks per Capita**: Half Weight (~0.74 Points)
Parkland Acreage per Capita: Half Weight (~0.74 Points)
Walkability: Full Weight (~1.48 Points)
Bike Score: Full Weight (~1.48 Points)
Number of Attractions: Full Weight (~1.48 Points)
Note: “Attractions” include, for instance, zoos, museums and theaters.
Recreation-Friendliness: Double Weight (~2.96 Points)
Sports-Fan-Friendliness: Double Weight (~2.96 Points)
Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Best Sports Cities” ranking.
Ideal Weather: Full Weight (~1.48 Points)
Share of Families with Young Children: Double Weight (~2.96 Points)
Note: “Young children” include the population aged 0 to 17.
Average Commute Time: Full Weight (~1.48 Points)

Health & Safety – Total Points: 20

Air Quality: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
Water Quality: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
Pediatricians per Capita: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
Share of Uninsured Children: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
Note: “Children” include the population aged 0 to 17.
Public Hospitals Ranking: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
Infant Mortality Rate: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
Pedestrian-Fatality Rate: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
Driving Fatalities per Capita: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
Violent-Crime Rate per Capita: Double Weight (~3.33 Points)
Property-Crime Rate per Capita: Double Weight (~3.33 Points)

Education & Child Care – Total Points: 20

School-System Quality: Double Weight (~8.00 Points)
Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “States with the Best & Worst School Systems” ranking.
High School Graduation Rate*: Half Weight (~2.00 Points)
Day-Care Quality*: Half Weight (~2.00 Points)
Child-Care Costs*: Half Weight (~2.00 Points)
Note: This metric was adjusted for the median family income.
Child Day-Care Services per Capita: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
Parental-Leave Policy Score: Half* Weight (~2.00 Points)
Note: This metric is based on the report card from Expecting Better: A State-by-State Analysis of Laws That Help Expecting and New Parents.

Affordability – Total Points: 20

Cost of Living: Full Weight (~6.67 Points)
Note: This metric was calculated as follows: Median Annual Family Income / Cost-of-Living Index.
Housing Affordability: Full Weight (~6.67 Points)
Note: This metric was calculated as follows: Median Annual Family Income / Housing Costs (accounts for both rent and home-sales prices).
Wallet Wellness: Full Weight (~6.67 Points)
Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Best & Worst Cities for WalletFitness™” ranking.

Socio-economics – Total Points: 20

Share of Two-Parent Families: Full Weight (~2.11 Points)
Separation & Divorce Rate: Full Weight (~2.11 Points)
Share of Families Living Below Poverty Level: Full Weight (~2.11 Points)
Share of Families Receiving Food Stamps: Full Weight (~2.11 Points)
Unemployment Rate: Full Weight (~2.11 Points)
Underemployment Rate: Full Weight (~2.11 Points)
Debt per Median Earnings: Full Weight (~2.11 Points)
Wealth Gap: Full Weight (~2.11 Points)
Foreclosure Rate: Half Weight (~1.05 Points)
“Social Ties” Ranking: Full Weight (~2.11 Points)

 
Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Center for Education Statistics, Child Care Aware of America, Environmental Protection Agency, County Health Rankings, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Council for Community and Economic Research, The Trust for Public Land, Sharecare, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Housing and Urban Development, National Partnership for Women & Families, TripAdvisor, Walk Score, Renwood RealtyTrac, Chmura Economics & Analytics, TransUnion, Yelp, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and WalletHub research.

 

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