It’s old news that Colorado cities are growing hubs for millennials — but does that mean they are good places to raise a family, too?
According to a new report, it does.
Colorado Springs came in No. 9 in WalletHub’s annual study of the “Best & Worst Places to Raise a Family,” which looked at the 150 most-populated cities in the U.S.
And Denver really climbed the ladder — it popped into the No. 15 spot this year, up from the 42nd spot in the 2015 report.
To compile the report, the Washington, D.C-based financial analysis site ranked the 150 cities across 36 metrics in five categories:
- Family fun, which included metrics like number of playgrounds and other recreational spots, as well as percentage of families with children and commute times.
- Health & safety, which included air and water quality, number of pediatricians and hospitals, infant mortality rates and crime rates.
- Education & child care, including graduation rates, school system rankings, day care quality, child care costs and parental leave policies.
- Affordability, which included cost of living and housing costs.
- Socioeconomic environment, including divorce rates, percentages of two-parent families and families living at or below the poverty line, as well as unemployment rates and wealth gaps.
Denver scored relatively high for “family fun,” at No. 10 overall, as well as for “education & child care,” at No. 17 overall. The city scored fairly low for its “”socioeconomic environment,” at No. 84.
But it was closer to the middle of the pack for “healthy & safety,” at No. 33, and “affordability,” at No. 41. Denver’s affordable housing issue has been a hot topic among business leaders and council members, who this month will vote on a proposal that would raise $156 million over the next decade by levying an additional half-mill of property tax on property owners.
Colorado Springs scored 41st for “family fun,” 45th for “healthy & safety,” 13th for “education & childcare,” 23rd for “affordability,” and 24th for “socioeconomic environment.”
Aurora was also ranked in the report. It landed the 35th place overall, ranking particularly low — at No. 145 — for “family fun,” and near the middle for ‘health & safety” and “affordability” — at No. 56 and No. 52, respectively. Aurora did rank relatively high — at No. 17 — for education & child care, and didn’t fare too badly for its “socioeconomic environment,” where it scored 31st overall.
In March, Centennial ranked best in Colorado in a report that looked at 473 U.S. communities’ family-friendliness.
By: Caitlin Hendee