Moving to a new part of the country can be a daunting task, especially if you’re moving your entire family. To help you find the right metro area for raising your kids, we started with the Best Places to Live in the U.S. rankings for 2023-2024, then weighted affordability, quality of life and job market equally.

These scores combine to make the Best Places to Live for Families, taking into consideration not only the cost of living and average annual salary, but also the quality of high school education, average commute time, crime rate, the area’s overall well-being and access to top-notch health care.

#1 Huntsville, Alabama 

Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 2
Metro Population: 483,366
Metro Size: 1,361.6 square miles
Median Home Price: $349,778
Average Annual Salary: $61,140

Not only is Huntsville's median annual salary, at $61,140, above the national average of $58,260, but residents spend just 19.62% of the median annual household income on the cost of living. Combine those statistics with how the cost of goods and services compare with other metro areas, Huntsville's the fourth most affordable metro area out of the 150 places on the list. Huntsville also ranks No. 25 for its relatively low risk of extreme weather or natural disasters, and higher resilience to those that could occur.

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