Best cities for families: What does Overland Park, Kansas, have that Austin doesn’t have?

Families and birds flock to Mueller Lake Park, but then they leave behind their trash.  LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
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Families and birds flock to Mueller Lake Park, but then they leave behind their trash. LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Wallet Hub’s Best and Worst Cities for Families study looked at the 150 most populous cities and took things like local schools, health care systems, family fun and recreation. How did Austin rank?

Families and birds flock to Mueller Lake Park, but then they leave behind their trash.  LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Families and birds flock to Mueller Lake Park. Why didn’t our parks help improve our scores?  LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Not, great, but not in the way you might think.

We ranked 33 over all, but 96 in family fun, 54 in health and safety, 42 in education and child care and 14 in affordability. What? I think we all could maybe understand the health and safety ranking and maybe the access to education and child care, but how much more fun for families can we get? We’re a fun city, right?

Also surprising is how well we ranked in affordability, when numerous studies have shown that families are moving out to Hays, Williamson and Bastrop counties because they can no longer afford Austin.

The top five cities?

1., Overland Park, Kan.

2. Madison, Wisc.

3. Plano

4. Sioux Falls, S.D.

5. Virginia Beach, Va.

The worst cities?

150. Birmingham, Ala.

149. San Bernadino, Calif.

148. Detroit

147. Hialeah, Fla.

146. Cleveland

How did other Texas studies rank?

Plano was No. 3.

Grand Prairie was 13.

Amarillo was 24.

Arlington was 37.

Garland was 44.

Irving was 46.

Lubbock was 52.

El Paso was 55.

Fort Worth 56.

San Antonio was 60.

Corpus Christi was 62.

Laredo was 87.

Dallas was 94.

Houston was 95.

Brownsville was 99.

At least Austin beat all the other big cities, but would you really want to raise a family in Plano, Grand Prairie or Amarillo? I would not.

See the study below:

Give us your ideas of what you’d like to see Austin do or new things Austin could open that would make us a better place to live for families.


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