When starting a family, there's a lot to consider, and a new study might help answer one of the biggest questions: Where should we live?
Apartment List analyzed more than 500 U.S. cities to find the best places for young families in 2019. The site considered safety, rent affordability, education quality (high school graduation rates among public schools), and child friendliness, ultimately naming two Dallas-Fort Worth towns at the top of the list: Flower Mound (No. 4) and Mansfield (No. 9).
Flower Mound shines with an A-plus rating (weighted score of 92.76), performing best in high school graduation rate (97.4) and safety (97.3), and faring well in rent affordability (87.5) and child friendliness (81.3). Mansfield stands out with an A rating (weighted score of 89.54), earning its highest marks for safety (95) and child friendliness (90.7), while having good standing for its high school graduation rate (88.2) and rent affordability (83.9).
In all, four of the top 10 spots go to Texas cities, with Cedar Park near Austin at No. 7 and League City near Houston at No. 8.
Texas' largest cities, however, don't look so hot compared to the other 500-plus studied, scoring especially poorly in safety and high school graduation rates. Dallas ranks No. 205, with a weighted score of 54.86 and a B. Fort Worth, also earning a B, lands further down the list with its No. 240 ranking and weighted score of 51.82. Between them is Austin, No. 208, with a score of 54.62 and a B. Houston ranks No. 400, with a score of 37.55 and a C, and San Antonio isn't that far off, ranking No. 450, with a score of 31.91 and a C.
But those rankings shift significantly in a second list that compares the 50 largest cities in the country, for families only eyeing urban areas. Four Texas cities place in the top 10 of that list, too: El Paso (No. 2), Dallas (No. 5), Austin (No. 6), and Fort Worth (No. 8).
On the overall list, the top two spots go to Fishers and Carmel, Indiana. On the other end of the spectrum, Santa Cruz, California, ranks worst, with abysmal scores for high school graduation rate, safety, rent affordability, and child friendliness.