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The 10 Worst Cities to Raise a Family


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The 10 Worst Cities to Raise a Family

Thinking of relocating with your children? Steer clear of these cities.

Choosing when, or whether, to have children is one of the most challenging decisions many couples face. In trying to figure out if they're ready to start a family, they'll need to weigh several important questions: Do we have enough money to provide for our children's needs? Can one of us take time off from work to care for a child? Are we emotionally prepared for parenthood?

And if you live in one of the 10 cities listed below--ranked the worst for raising a family--you'll have a few additional questions to confront: How can we raise our children in such a challenging environment? Should we consider moving? The rankings are based on graduation rates (according to the EPE Research Center), number of playgrounds (according to the Center for City Park Excellence), overall crime rates (according to Sperling's Best Places), and cost of living (according to the ACCRA Cost of Living Index).

1. Detroit, Michigan.

2. Miami, Florida.

3. Baltimore, Maryland.

4. Memphis, Tennessee.

5. Dallas, Texas.

6. New York City.

7. Fort Worth, Texas.

8. Houston, Texas.

9. Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

10. Los Angeles, California.

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The article says: "Houston, Texas. Not everything is bigger in Texas. Sure, the dropout rate in Houston is bigger and the crime rate is bigger, but the number of park playgrounds is certainly smaller."

Which dropout rate? The school district system in Texas has "independent" school districts, so different bits of Houston are covered by different school districts, each with their own dropout rates.

And is this supposed to compare city limits or metropolitan areas? Where are the methods? The research?

Also the "Thinking of relocating with your children? Steer clear of these cities." bit is quite alarmist.

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Oh waaah !.. not enough playgrounds.

I grew up playing soccer in cul de sacs or football in people's front yard.

What a ridiculous measure of successful places to raise a kid.

....As if kids even can be bothered to part with their game systems these days anyways.

Edited by Highway6
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This is even stupider than those 'fattest city' rankings. <_<

There was lots more neat stuff that website, specifically 'symptom checker' for handy self-diagnosis of dread diseases.

10 worst cities raise a family was the 9th most popular story, flanked by 10 most fattening ballpark foods (#8) and 10 biggest myths about sex (#10).

Cool, so far I've learned: Dallas is worse than Houston for raising children, it is a myth that men think about sex every 7 seconds, and chili cheese dogs at stadiums are fattening. Oh, and I'm not dying of hemmorrhagic fever.

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I'd pick Houston to raise my kids over all the rest though. I never understood the playground in every neighborhood thing. Why would not having enough parks make a city a bad place to raise kids? I don't raise my kids in the park.

Yeah since when was a playground or a community center a prerequisite to raise one's kids. I guess if the media thinks it is then it is. There wasn't a playground within an ass's roar of where I grew up. I played in the street or my backyard. Granted my house doesn't have a much of a backyard right now but when I knock down the add-on it will :-).

Edited by sidegate
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Kids are so over-scheduled, with 3 different "select sports" teams ,they never even see the streets of their own neighborhood much less the neighborhood park. :rolleyes:

Neighborhood parks are useful until the kids are about 5. ANd their wre plenty for my boys. We mostly used the lower school playgrounds in the neighborhood, and Memorial Park was loaded with kids.

I grew up in Miami. Coral Gables even. Talk about a crappy place to raise a family. We were in lockdown all the time.

This is just more fuel for white flight and Master Planned Community Marketing.

I call BS.

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These types of broad-brush lists always seem ridiculous to me. Of the ten cities listed, I've spent my life in three of them - Houston, New York City, & Los Angeles. In all three cities, there are areas that would be great to grow up in, and areas that would be tough to grow up in. Using things like drop-out rates & number of parks as a gauge are a waste. As soon as a family moves in across the street from a park and their children complete school, they've negated the validity of the article.

I'm sure the author really thought they got to the heart of the matter for people considering one of those ten cities. However, the criteria someone should research when deciding a city to live in are considerably more complicated than the article makes them out to be. It's insulting to readers (at least it is to me) for the author to use a few snarky sentences to pass judgment on cities that cover hundreds of square miles and have millions of residents.

The article is typical of so many web sites and blogs these days. Why waste time on any real research or in-depth discussion with usable information

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Kids are so over-scheduled, with 3 different "select sports" teams ,they never even see the streets of their own neighborhood much less the neighborhood park. :rolleyes:

My sister babysat a girl who had to attend these various preparatory programs - and the girl was in elementary school. For some kids this is very much true.

Of the ten cities listed, I've spent my life in three of them - Houston, New York City, & Los Angeles. In all three cities, there are areas that would be great to grow up in, and areas that would be tough to grow up in. Using things like drop-out rates & number of parks as a gauge are a waste. As soon as a family moves in across the street from a park and their children complete school, they've negated the validity of the article.

I second this. My parents and I see Houston as a great place to be a kid and grow up; but I would imagine the view would be different if my family was in a terrible neighborhood or apartment complex.

Edited by VicMan
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Consider the source. Seriously, Quality Health? Who the hell has ever heard of that site? And, now that you know how poorly they research things, would you trust your health to them?

The funny part is that they do this to garner publicity, but how many tens of millions of people did they piss off with this "ranking"?

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There is a difference between a report and a forecast. (Especially a flawed report)

As we enter the depression/extreme recession, the crime rate will be everything.

The worst cities will be the cities that have large minority populations with high levels of ex-cons, drug addicts, & gang members. Oh....is that offensive, racist, and politically incorrect?

Sorry, it's the truth. Houston easily makes the top 10.

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What's that saying again? "Lies, darned lies and statstics" or something like that. :-)

This reminds me of a survey of US zoos from several years ago. Oklahoma City's zoo made the top list, which puzzled many people, because since it wasn't all that bad, it wasn't exactly world-class. Then it turned out that the survey ranked the zoos on the NUMBER of RESTROOMS in each park.

Yet another good reason to take ranked lists with a grain of salt.

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I am surprised that LA isn't at the top of the list?

This city is no place for a child. LA is truly geared towards the entertainment industry or rather adults, single or couples but no place for kids. Have personal stories that can attest but trust me on this one. :mellow:

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I am surprised that LA isn't at the top of the list?

This city is no place for a child. LA is truly geared towards the entertainment industry or rather adults, single or couples but no place for kids. Have personal stories that can attest but trust me on this one. :mellow:

Again, it depends on where you live. West LA? No problem. Koreatown, where I lived? Not so much.

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Pearland is not technically Houston... but 610-ish and Mykawa is...

You bring up another good point. They were looking at central cities, not including their suburbs. In places like Texas, where even low-income families can afford to live in the suburbs, I would hypothesize that the geographic distribution of children is disproportionately suburban; the distribution of both high-risk students and playgrounds would be expected to reflect that.

I would also suspect that Houston (being geographically larger than any other major central city) tends to include more gated or master-planned communities with their own privately-operated playgrounds, as well as more garden-style apartment complexes with the same kind of setup. I'm positive that these weren't counted.

Edited by TheNiche
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This is retarded. (No offense puma) lol jk.

I am in Biking distance of the Houston city limits, 6 community pools, countless playgrounds, a bunch of trails and woods.

As a child, before the internet took over, I rode my bike everywhere in Spring. Even with my babysitter... playgrounds sucked. The neighborhood was way better. Playing football, soccer, hockey, tag, hide-n-seek, everything on the street we lived on. Even the pathway on Ella Blvd. The only time I played on a playground was during recess. What a load of crap.

And I turned out fine lol.

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Again, it depends on where you live. West LA? No problem. Koreatown, where I lived? Not so much.

What irony. I lived in West LA around 1989 and that was a decent area, true. However I 1st lived in Venice and wow did it get funky. Most kids go straight into the gangsta lifestyle ie; V13, Crips, etc. I miss LA but not all that garbage. -_-:)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Boo on that list! I think Houston is great about having tons of playgrounds, I'm at one most days and I have my fair pick. Now not wanting to go outside between April and November because of the heat, that's something else.

What a joke of a list. I can think of a ton of awful places that top us.

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1. Detroit, Michigan.

2. Miami, Florida.

3. Baltimore, Maryland.

4. Memphis, Tennessee.

5. Dallas, Texas.

6. New York City.

7. Fort Worth, Texas.

8. Houston, Texas.

9. Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

10. Los Angeles, California.

There must be a typo.

I can't find Katy, Texas on the list.

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