Alabama cities on 'Best & Worst' list to raise a family - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Alabama cities on 'Best & Worst' list to raise a family

Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online

Four Alabama cities, among the 150 largest in the U.S., are being ranked in a publication's 2014 list of Best & Worst Cities for Families. The study, conducted by, compared the country's largest cities, basing its results on 31 characteristics from 5 categories:

  • Family activities and fun
  • Health and safety
  • Education and child care
  • Affordability
  • Socio-economic impact

Overall, Montgomery ranked No. 101, Mobile ranked No. 127 and Birmingham ranked No. 148. Huntsville cracked the Top 100 coming in at No. 52.

While experts say the rankings are not perfect, collectively they reveal which city is best if you're searching for a new place to move your family.

"Important socio-economic factors to consider include the education level of parents and the educational needs of children, financial status, the size of your family and the age of its members, and the number and type of pets that you have," says Professor of Human Sciences and WalletHub expert, Liz Goldsmith.

Looking at the data, Birmingham was among the cities listed with the highest divorce rate, coming in almost dead last at No. 148. The city only cracked the Top 100 in one of the five major categories when it was ranked No. 89 in Health and Public Safety.

Mobile's bright spot on the list was No. 48 for Health and Public Safety. It didn't reach the 100 mark in any other category.

Montgomery received high marks for Family Activities and Fun at No. 29, as well as Health and Public Safety at No. 39. The city ranked near the bottom for Education and Child Care, however, at No. 139.

Huntsville, the states highest ranking city, was in the Top 100 in every category with its best ranking coming in for Affordability at No. 41.

The experts differ slightly on what makes a city the best to live in. "Schools are a big one," says Director of Child Development and WalletHub expert, Tovah P. Klein. "Whether the community has the kinds of schools the family desires should be a top priority."

Personal preference is really the deciding factor, but it doesn't hurt to consider the rankings when, according to the US Census Bureau, Americans move about 11 times in their lifetime.

The Top 5 ranked cities overall include Plano, Texas; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Overland Park, Kansas; Fremont, California; and Irvine, California.

The Bottom 5 ranked cities overall include San Bernadino, California; Jackson, Mississippi; Birmingham, Alabama; Miami, Florida; and Detroit, Michigan

The complete rankings can be found at:

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.
Powered by Frankly