2014′s Best & Worst Cities for Families

by John S Kiernan

Families move often and for varied reasons. In fact, the average American can expect to move 11.7 times in their lifetime, according to a rough estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau. Moving can either be a sign of opportunity - a new job or the long-term accumulation of wealth, perhaps. Or it can be a sign of instability - foreclosure or the need to cut back after job loss, for instance. The key in either case - whether you're a newly married couple or a victim of America's economic transition - is to choose an area conducive to economic prosperity and the overall pursuit of happiness.

With that in mind, WalletHub compared the 150 largest cities in the United States based on 31 key metrics that take into account essential family dynamics including the availability of quality jobs, the relative cost of housing, the quality of local school and health care systems, and the opportunities for fun and recreation. While obviously not perfect - given the intrinsic value of each city, personal preferences, and the limitations of publicly available data - the resulting rankings of 2014's Best & Worst Cities for Families will hopefully give prospective movers a sense of which areas offer the greatest opportunity to achieve wallet wellness and, of course, live a long and happy life...