The cost of living continues to go up across the board, and it is getting harder and harder to make ends meet for us millennials. We are faced with school districts getting budget cuts, increased crime rates, and housing issues. When you have children, this can be a bleak outlook on the future. So what do you do?
You obviously want your children to have the best opportunities available to them. When it comes to the best places to live that allow for work-life balance and a great community for raising a family, here are the most affordable cities in the US for millennials to live.
Before talking about the cities, though, I wanted to touch on some factors you should consider when searching for a new place to move your family. When you pick a hometown, you need to make sure the school district is up to par.
Not all children learn the same, and if your child has a learning disability, you need to know those needs will be addressed. Simply doing some research on the best schools throughout the nation can give you details on decent places to lay down roots, but that’s not always enough.
What kind of life do you want to lead? What kind of living do you enjoy? Keep these in mind when checking out the following cities and suburbs.
1. Lincoln, NebraskaOne of the reasons Lincoln, Nebraska is a worthwhile place to call home would be the sense of community you will find here. The small town setting is heightened with a number of recreational activities, decent education from places like the University of Nebraska nearby, and a lot of cultural sites.
Oh, and did I mention that just in Lincoln alone there are over 125 parks to check out? You are never going to get bored. But aside from all there is to do in this cheerful community, the low employment rate of 2.7 percent and affordable median rent of $667 makes this an ideal location for starting up both business and home.
2. Palo Alto, CaliforniaIf you have a serious amount of wiggle room with your budget, then you should really check out Palo Alto, California. Yes, the housing costs are amongst the highest in America. But you are getting what you pay for, for once.
First, let’s have a look at the Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) which is a top-rated school district that serves 12,000 students. There is also an Adult Education school for personal development and career advancement.
Then, there is the sheer volume of amenities to contend with: museums, zoos, proximity to San Francisco, libraries, and a vast amount of green space to take into consideration. It is kind of like a Walgreens commercial. But real.
3. Sioux Falls, South DakotaPhoto: pinterest.com
Presently, Sioux Falls is undergoing something of a renaissance. A number of people have moved in, bringing with them job opportunities and an increasing amount of white-collared jobs. This is good news for people looking to move.
Millennial parents will also find the parks like Falls Park, skiing opportunities, zoos, festivals, and quirkiness of the city to be a wonderful environment for raising children. Sioux Falls also has low rent comparable to Lincoln, Nebraska at $669 a month.
4. Portland, OregonI personally know a lot of people who rave about Oregon. Portland is a quirky place to live – perfect for hipster and hippie families who want an outrageously fun homestead. I mean, the city’s slogan is “Keep Portland Weird.”
Scattered throughout the city are microbreweries, microdistilleries, pop-up food trunks, and a number of cultural attractions for families to discover together.
Portland also has wonderful air quality and is one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the USA right now. Crime rates are low. Potential is high with an unemployment rate of 7 percent. And the median rent cost? $813.
5. Knoxville, TennesseeA lot of people forget about Tennessee when deciding where to settle down. Knoxville, though, is a wonderful place for families to grow. There are 81 parks in the city alone, and you have the splendor of the Blue Mountains right outside your window.
Holiday attractions are also plentiful, meaning no school day off will be spent in boredom. Currently, the unemployment rate is around 3.4 percent, and the median rent for an apartment is around $750. This makes Knoxville quite reasonable for families just getting off the ground.
6. Homewood, AlabamaPhoto: pinterest.com
Not many Americans think Alabama is a place of opportunity, but you would be wrong. Homewood is a suburb of Birmingham and has award-winning schools, an array of parks, and a great location on the map.
The school system is small, but every grade has received national recognition, especially for music. Additionally, there are a number of top-ranking universities within several miles of Homewood.
The community is diverse, and African-American families can enjoy a rich representation of their history throughout the area, such as the Negro Southern League Museum, Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame and more. All families are encouraged to make use of the Homewood parks, which have things like Easter egg hunts, Fourth of July festivals, and Christmas parades.
7. Columbus, OhioThe main draw to Columbus would be this beautiful fact: it has one of the lowest costs of living in the entire US. The median rent is a little higher than some other places on the list at $753, but when you pair that with the low unemployment rate of 6.1 percent and affordable pricing, living here is certainly doable.
The economy is also rather diverse thanks to industries in energy, aviation, banking, and education scattered throughout the city. You should not have any trouble setting up a financially stable life here for you and your children. Another spark would be the green space, recreational activities, and schooling all within your reach.
8. Bowling Green, OhioPhoto: pinterest.com
Cultural and arts amenities are abound in Bowling Green, which is a 30 minute drive from Toledo. This means that while your family can enjoy the quieter life Bowling Green has to offer, you can also enjoy attractions available to Toledo, like the zoo, Imagination Station children’s museum, and Fossil Park in Sylvania. Bowling Green families can also participate in a number of community events throughout the year.
The city is packed with amenities that make life here pleasant. Despite the luxuries, Bowling Green is also affordable. The average home costs around $129,000, which is below the national average. The cost of living is also lower than average, and the usual commute times are low, too.
9. Fort Wayne, IndianaWhat makes Fort Wayne, Indiana special is the opportunities you have here. It has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation – currently at 2.7 percent. No wonder it is often called “the city that saved itself” throughout history.
Indeed, there are a number of historical parks and attractions for you to explore on your days off, like the Fort Wayne’s Children’s Zoo, the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art.
Fort Wayne also has an urban tree canopy of 29 percent, which is double the national average! There are festivals and sports held throughout the year too, and it really brings the entire community together. No wonder NBC News Affiliate WNDU reported the city was named number one for raising a family.
10. St. George, UtahDo you love nature and want to raise a family in a place of blue skies, forests, mountains, and a temperate climate? Enter St. George, Utah, a land surrounded by the gorgeous Zion National Park, the Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness area, and the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area.
The region also gets around 300 days of sunshine. Another reason St. George is attractive to families would be the schools. There are many choices, and all of them are available for attendance, regardless of what zone you are in. Furthermore, St. George boasts low commute times and unemployment is less than four percent.
11. Newton, MassachusettsPhoto: pinterest.com
With a close proximity to Boston, historic neighborhoods, safe communities, and nationally ranked schools, Newton, MA is certainly a respectable choice. The city has actually ranked several times in recent years by Livability as one of the Best Cities for Families in 2014 and one of the best places to live in both 2014 and 2016. The quality of life here is different from many places in America.
Though the real estate is quite high, the median household income is $167,000, which is double both statewide and national averages. Newton also boasts a small town feel despite the population of over 85,000 people, because there are unique communities that are home to ethnic restaurants, cultural attractions like museums and ballet, coffee shops, and shopping opportunities.
These eleven cities and suburbs throughout the United States of America are some of the best places for millennial families to settle down with their children or to start a family.
Not only are the school districts and universities in these areas known to be top-notch, but the communities, cost of living, and other incentives put them above other places around the States. Any one of these locations is sure to make your days from here on out fulfilling and fun.