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Popular Austin suburb tops America's best places for young families

Popular Austin suburb tops America's best places for young families

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Few cities in America are better for families than Cedar Park. iStock

When starting a family, there's a lot to consider, and a new study might help answer one of the biggest questions: Where should we live?

Apartment List analyzed more than 500 U.S. cities to find the best places for young families in 2019. The site considered safety, rent affordability, education quality (high school graduation rates among public schools), and child friendliness, ultimately naming Cedar Park to the No. 7 spot on the list.

Cedar Park shines with an A-plus rating (weighted score of 91.43). The popular Austin suburb performs best in child friendliness (95.2) and shows well with its high school graduation rate (94), safety (90.6), and rent affordability (89).

In all, four of the top 10 spots go to Texas cities, with Flower Mound in Dallas-Fort Worth at No. 4; League City near Houston at No. 8; and Mansfield, also in DFW, at No. 9 joining Cedar Park.

Texas' largest cities, however, don't look so hot compared to the other 500-plus studied, scoring especially poorly in safety and high school graduation rates. Austin ranks No. 208, with a weighted score of 54.62 and a B. Dallas ranks No. 205, with a score of 54.86 and a B, and nearby Fort Worth, also earning a B, lands further down the list with its No. 240 ranking and score of 51.82. Houston ranks No. 400, with a score of 37.55 and a C, and San Antonio isn't that far off, ranking No. 450, with a score of 31.91 and a C.

But those rankings shift significantly in a second list that compares the 50 largest cities in the country, for families only eyeing urban areas. Four Texas cities place in the top 10 of that list, too: El Paso (No. 2), Dallas (No. 5), Austin (No. 6), and Fort Worth (No. 8).

On the overall list, the top two spots go to Fishers and Carmel, Indiana. On the other end of the spectrum, Santa Cruz, California, ranks worst, with abysmal scores for high school graduation rate, safety, rent affordability, and child friendliness.