In its May 2012 issue, Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine published the article "10 Great Cities to Raise Your Kids." In this article Kiplinger selected 10 safe family-friendly cities using a two-step approach. The first step identified areas with high incomes relative to living costs, a larger percentage of families with kids under 18 and low crime rates. They basically were looking for nice places to raise kids where earnings potential was deemed more than adequate to cover the costs of raising a family.
The 2nd stop was to find specific cities within the top 10 metropolitan areas identified based on education quality, availability of local parks, playgrounds and libraries, and average incomes. Lo and behold, our very own Thousand Oaks made the list at #4!
And here is what Kiplingers said (in italics):
City population: 126,683
Average family income: $138,313
Percentage of families with children: 33.4%
Metro-area spending per student: $5,947
Public playgrounds: 40
Thousand Oaks started life as a planned community -- an origin story you can see in the city's extensive park system and radiating subdivisions, each replete with arching driveways and in-ground pools. In fact, Thousand Oaks is one of the wealthiest cities in Ventura County, an area that also includes Oxnard, Ventura and the Conejo Valley.
Living here is pricey -- about 30 percent higher than the national average. But high salaries and good schools can more than make up for the expense. Kids can attend top-rated schools such as Lang Ranch, Colina Middle and Thousand Oaks High, which California ranks among the top 10% of schools in the state. Despite the city's proximity to Los Angeles, crime rates are low.
Congratulations, Thousand Oaks!
Here is the complete list:
- Omaha, Nebraska
- Richland, Washington
- Suwanee, Georgia
- Thousand Oaks
- East Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Appleton, Wisconsin
- Sunnyvale, California
- Middletown, New York
- Corona, California
- Stamford, Connecticut