2017 Best Counties to Raise a Family Methodology

The 2017 Best Counties to Raise a Family ranking provides a comprehensive assessment of key factors that are meaningful for families at the county level. This grade takes into account key factors, such as the quality of local schools, safety, affordability, and access to family amenities, in an attempt to measure the appeal of an area for families. Learn where our data comes from.

Factors Considered

Factor Description Source Weight
Public Schools Grade Based on the average Niche K-12 Overall Grade for every public school serving the area, where each school is weighted by the number of students it serves. Niche 20.0%
Crime & Safety Grade Based on violent and property crime rates. Niche 12.5%
Higher Education Rate Percentage of residents who have received a bachelor’s degree or higher. U.S. Census 12.5%
Cost of Living Grade Based on the consumer price index and access to affordable housing. Niche 10.0%
Family Amenities Grade Based on access to parks, libraries, cultural activities, and family-oriented amenities. Niche 10.0%
Housing Grade Based on home values, property taxes, housing costs, local schools, and more. Niche 10.0%
Outdoor Activities Grade Based on weather, air quality, and access to parks, and other recreational opportunities. Niche 7.5%
Residents 17 Years Old and Under Percentage of residents between the ages of 0 and 17. U.S. Census 7.5%
Composite Overall Score Niche survey responses scored on a 1-5 scale regarding the overall experience of the county. Self-reported by Niche users 5.0%
Diversity Grade Based on ethnic, generational and economic diversity. Niche 5.0%

This ranking assesses 2,770 counties in the U.S. The same methodology is used to produce the Good for Families Grade for each ranked county as well as additional places. Statistics are primarily obtained from the U.S. Census and represent the most recent data available.

For more details about how we calculate our rankings, click here.