Ten Best Colorado Cities for Young Families

We're so accustomed to Colorado communities winding up near the top of city lists — take the presence of both Boulder and Fort Collins on the latest roster of America's happiest cities, which we shared last week — that when it doesn't happen, there's practically a disconnect.

That's the case with a new compendium of the best U.S. cities for young families. Plenty of prominent Colorado places, including Denver, Colorado Springs, Durango and Grand Junction, don't even appear among the top 300, and just one community lands on the top fifty.

Here's the methodology the site utilized:
• Safety (35%): We used FBI data to rank cities by the number of violent crimes and property crimes per 100,000 residents.

• Housing Cost (30%): We used census data to calculate the percentage of the median renter income required to rent a 2-bedroom apartment.

• School Quality (25%): Cities were ranked on high school graduation rate for public school districts based in that city. Comparing schools across different states can be challenging, but using high school graduation rate data from the Department of Education gives us a good estimate of overall school quality.

• Child Friendliness (10%): Communities with a greater percentage of children tend to be more child friendly, so we used census data to score cities based on the percentage of the population that’s under 18.
We dug deep into the data to find the top ten Colorado cities for young families. Count down the photo-illustrated results below, featuring stats — including the often distressing national ranking. To see the original post, click here.

Number 10: Fort Collins

Crime Score: 67.2

Child Score:  14.7

Education Score: 39.5

Housing Score: 24.5

Total Score: 42.2

Grade: B-

National Ranking: 299

Number 9: Boulder

Crime Score: 60.5

Child Score: 1.4

Education Score: 84.2

Housing Score: 11.2

Total Score: 45.7

Grade: B-

National Ranking: 267

Number 8: Westminster

Crime Score: 55.8

Education Score: 51.3

Housing Score: 73.1

Total Score: 48.1

Grade: B-

National Ranking: 250

Number 7: Aurora

Crime Score: 53.7

Child Score: 79.3

Education Score: 31.7

Housing Score: 48.5

Total Score: 49.2

Grade: B-

National Ranking: 238

Number 6: Thornton

Crime Score: 55.2

Child Score: 89

Education Score: 16.8

Housing Score: 59.6

Total Score: 50.3

Grade: B

National Ranking: 226

Continue to keep counting down the ten best Colorado cities for young families.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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