A recently published report by Wallethub explored a wide range of factors to rank cities in Michigan for overall family friendliness. The 21 categories used for ranking cover everything from weather and air quality to traffic, school quality and area attractions. West Michigan cities were well represented, for better and worse, in many categories out of the 104 cities ranked.
For the overall scoring, three area cities cracked the top twenty. East Grand Rapids ranked second, Forest Hills eighth and Holland came in at seventeenth. Based on their scoring system, East Grand Rapids fell less than half a point behind Rochester for the top ranked city in the state.
Several of the individual categories deal with financial and economic factors that impact families. Adjusted for cost of living, Forest Hills was found to have the fifth highest median family income, while Muskegon Heights ranked second to last. The two cities were similarly ranked for lowest and highest percentage of families living below the poverty line.
Another spectrum covered by Wallethub includes factors that impact social quality for a city. Grand Rapids finished in a tie with Detroit, Ann Arbor and Traverse City for most attractions. Walker, however, finished tied with Harper Woods and Oak Park for fewest attractions. East Grand Rapids had the fifth lowest per-capita crime rate, while Muskegon Heights had the fourth highest. Other social factors that were analyzed include playgrounds per capita and average commute times.
As expected, several family-based categories were compiled as part of the overall rankings. Allendale and East Grand Rapids ranked third and fourth, respectively, for most families with children. On the other end, Grand Haven has the fewest families with children. Norton Shores has the fourth fewest.
The area is very well-represented for having the lowest divorce rate. Forest Hills, Jenison and Allendale have the three lowest rates, and East Grand Rapids rounds out the top five. The region is likewise represented among the highest in the state. Muskegon Heights and Ionia are respectively fourth and fifth highest for divorce rates.
Web Staff. (2017, January 10). 2 W. Mi cities among top 10 for raising family. Retrieved January 12, 2017 from http://woodtv.com/2017/01/10/2-w-mi-cities-among-top-10-in-state-for-raising-family/
Bernardo, R. (2017, January 10). 2017’s Best Places to Raise a Family in Michigan. Retrieved January 12, 2017 from https://wallethub.com/edu/best-cities-for-families-in-michigan/30918/