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

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.

Author: Nicole Villalpando

Nicole Villalpando writes about families in the Raising Austin blog and the Raising Austin column on Saturdays. She also offers a weekly and monthly family calendar at She tweets at @raisingaustin.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s