10 Most Affordable Cities in the US to Raise a Family

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When you've got kids (or are planning to have them soon), choosing where to live depends on a lot of factors -- including safety, schools, and proximity to family. But it's hard to overestimate the importance of living in an area that you can actually afford and live well in.

That's why we've rounded up the top 10 most affordable cities, according to WalletHub data. We've also included information on median household income, home price, and what a family of four needs to get by (from the Economic Policy Institute) to give you a better sense of what you're in for.

Note: Several towns in Arizona make the list (so we grouped them together). But in terms of affordable states, it looks like you can't beat Arizona, Texas, or Nebraska. Interestingly, the East and West coasts are almost nowhere to be found.

  • 1. Plano, Texas

    1

    Median household income: $79,234 (according to Census Bureau data)

    Median home price: $305,000 (according to Zillow)

    What a family needs to get by: $61,150 (according to the Economic Policy Institute)

    Many people move to this town -- which was ranked the third best for families overall by WalletHub -- because they work in nearby Dallas. But Plano itself has lots of attractions for kids, including the Plano Aquatic Center and the Tom Muehlenbeck Recreation Center. There's also opportunity to explore nature at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve.

  • 2. Overland Park, Kansas

    2

    Median household income: $72,074 (according to Census Bureau data)

    Median home price: $253,600 (according to Zillow)

    What a family needs to get by: $65,620 (according to the Economic Policy Instititute)

    Just 20 minutes from Kansas City, Overland Park also happens to be rated No. 1 overall for family-friendliness, according to WalletHub (they take into account things like safety, education, and family fun). Among those family-friendly attractions: Thomas S. Stoll Memorial Park and Indian Creek Trail, a walking trail. 

  • 3. Greater Scottsdale, Arizona

    3

    Median household income: $72,163 (according to Census Bureau data)

    Median home price: $416,300 (according to Zillow)

    What a family needs to get by: $67,468 (according to the Economic Policy Institute)

    The towns of Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler, and Peoria were all included in the top 10 list (they were numbers 3, 4, 5, and 7, respectively), but we decided to group them all together, since they're, for the most part, under an hour from one another. Many of these towns have been developed with young families in mind, meaning there are open spaces and convenient schools. Plus, the desert air (and weather) of the Sun Belt really works for some people.

    More from CafeMom: 10 Most Expensive Cities in the US to Raise a Family

  • 4. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

    4

    Median household income: $51,882 (according to Census Bureau data)

    Median home price: $214,875 (according to Zillow)

    What a family needs to get by: $58,658 (according to the Economic Policy Instititute)

    The largest city in South Dakota, Sioux Falls is located on the banks of the Big Sioux River. There are lots of free activities (like the 42-acre Falls Park, nature center Outdoor Campus, and SculptureWalk, an outdoor sculpture park). There's also a free trolley to the downtown area and to Falls Park.

  • 5. Lincoln, Nebraska

    5

    Median household income: $66,210 (according to Census Bureau data)

    Median home price: $152,200 (according to Zillow)

    What a family needs to get by: $62,706 (according to the Economic Policy Instititute)

    The capital of Nebraska has lots of things to attract kids and families, in addition to the low housing prices and relatively high incomes: There's the zoo, children's museum, and, of course, the Memorial football stadium on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

  • 6. Madison, Wisconsin

    6

    Median household income: $64,174 (according to Census Bureau data)

    Median home price: $219,900 (according to Zillow)

    What a family needs to get by: $75,252 (according to the Economic Policy Institute)

    Home to the University of Wisconsin, and rated No. 2 overall, Madison is a quintessential college town and a quintessential Midwestern town, too. It's also the state capital. Henry Vilas Zoo is totally free, and the Cave of the Mounds National Natural Landmark is the place to go for some stalagmite and stalactite viewing.

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  • 7. Omaha, Nebraska

    7

    Median household income: $59,130 (according to Census Bureau data)

    Median home price: $143,800 (according to Zillow)

    What a family needs to get by: $64,780 (according to the Economic Policy Institute)

    Two big draws to Omaha (besides affordability): low unemployment rates and short commute times, both important quality-of-life factors. Nebraska's largest city has lots of fun things to do with kids, including the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum, and the Omaha Children's Museum.

  • 8. Boise, Idaho

    8

    Median household income: $49,182 (according to Census Bureau data)

    Median home price: $201,000 (according to Zillow)

    What a family needs to get by: $58,970 (according to the Economic Policy Institute)

    The capital of Idaho, Boise is popular because of its weather (there are four seasons, summers aren't too hot, and winters are mild), the fact that it's one of the safest cities in the country, and how it offers easy access to outdoor recreational activities (like the Boise River Greenbelt -- perfect for bikers -- the World Center for Birds of Prey, and MK Nature Center).

  • 9. Virginia Beach, Virginia

    9

    Median household income: $60,093 (according to Census Bureau data)

    Median home price: $252,100 (according to Zillow)

    What a family needs to get by: $73,994 (according to the Economic Policy Institute)

    The main attraction in this coastal city is the beach, of course, and the boardwalk (complete with mini golf). The weather is also mild, and there's that friendly Southern feel that feels welcoming even if you've only just arrived.

    More from CafeMom: 10 Big Reasons You're Always Broke 

  • 10. Austin, Texas

    10

    Median household income: $52,431 (according to Census Bureau data)

    Median home price: $304,800(according to Zillow)

    What a family needs to get by: $64,657 (according to the Economic Policy Institute)

    The capital of Texas is home to a thriving music scene -- and the hipsters that come with it -- and a campus of the University of Texas, but it's also popular with families. Zilker Park (complete with playgrounds, ducks to feed, and a train to ride), Boggy Creek Farm (where you can pick your own vegetables), and the Texas State Capitol are all worth checking out.

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