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Survey ranks the 10 best cities to raise a family in America

Virginia Beach comes in at No. 4

5/21/2013, 1:51 p.m.
An abundance of new mothers and fathers frequenting the Movoto real estate blog in recent moths was the inspiration for ...
Virginia Beach was ranked as the 4th best place to live.

Homeownership

"We’re not saying that you can’t raise kids in an apartment," noted the blog. "There are millions of people who do it, but we’re biased toward owning a home" because it provides more open space for children whether it’s their own room or a back yard. Using Census data to find which cities had the highest percentage of home ownership, Movoto found that Virginia Beach was at the top of the list. New York City was at the very bottom.

Crime

You want your kids to be safe. The lower the crime in an area, the better. To calculate this, Movoto divided the total number of crimes in a city by its population. Tucson, AZ isn’t crime free, but it is the safest place on the list. Meanwhile, Las Vegas, NV easily earned its 'Sin City' nickname, as it came in dead last on the list of safe places.

Unemployment

We hate to keep harping on this, but children really do cost an arm and a leg, and you’ll need a place to work so you can pay for all those trips to the doctor’s office and toy stores.

In this category, cities with low unemployment ranked higher. What did the survey find? People in Omaha, NE have incredibly low unemployment. Just 4.6 percent of people in the Omaha metro area (this includes the area outside Omaha proper) are unemployed. To put this into context, in April 2013, 7.5 percent of people in the United States were unemployed.

Commute time

If you have kids, you know the importance of actually being with them. This means you have to make it home before 9 p.m. In this category, Movoto used a map from WNYC to estimate each city’s drive time. The map breaks down commute time based on zip code. For the survey, Movoto picked a centrally located zip code to base its numbers on. Omaha workers have a miniscule commute time of 15.5 minutes. On the other hand, New Yorkers commute for 41.7 minutes a day on average.