This California city is the best place to raise a family, new study says. Here’s why

California is home to some of the best — and worst — places in the country to raise a family, a new study says.

A total of six Golden State cities landed on a WalletHub list of the top 20 places to raise a family in 2024.

The personal finance site analyzed 182 cities based on housing costs, the condition of local schools and healthcare institutions, and recreation opportunities.

“While not perfect ... our findings will hopefully give movers a better sense of their options,” WalletHub Managing Editor John Kiernan wrote in an article titled “Best & Worst Places to Raise a Family (2024).”

Kiernan reported, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, that the average American will move about 12 times in their lifetime.

In 2023, 26.6 million Americans — or 7.8% of the population — relocated during a year of “countless economic pressures,” according to moving company HireAHelper.

Fremont led WalletHub’s “Best & Worst Places to Raise a Family (2024)” list, with a total score of 73.6.

Overland Park, Kansas, took second place with a total score of 70.1, followed by Irvine in third place with 69.

Source: WalletHub

Where is the best place to raise a family in the U.S.?

Look no further than Fremont, according to WalletHub.

The Bay Area city led the pack with a score of 73.6, making it the best place to raise a family in 2024 largely due to its economic status, the study said.

After modifying for the cost of living, it has one of the highest median family incomes at nearly $122,000. Fremonts ranks low on lists of cities with families who live in poverty and receive food stamps.

Many of Fremont’s public schools scored at least a seven out of 10.

“Fremont also is a city where residents are able to stay healthy,” Kiernan wrote on WalletHub’s site, adding less than 1.5% of its children do not have health insurance.

Roughly 1% of the city’s population does not have access to healthy food options, the study says.

Which California cities ranked in the top 20?

These California cities were among the top 20 places to raise a family in 2024 created by Wallethub:

No. 1 | Fremont

  • Total score: 73.6

No. 3 | Irvine

  • Total score: 69

No. 7 | San Jose

  • Total score: 63.9

No. 8 | San Diego

  • Total score: 63.7

No. 10 | Huntington Beach

  • Total score: 63.3

No. 12 | San Francisco

  • Total score: 62.7

San Bernardino was the sole California city to land on WalletHub’s list of the bottom 20 places to raise a family in 2024. Its total score was 39.1.

How did WalletHub come up with its rankings?

WalletHub analyzed 182 U.S. cities, including 150 of the most populated places, across five different metrics.

The categories include family-friendly activities, healthcare and safety, education and childcare, cost of living and socioeconomics.

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