Nearly one in five families in the U.S. is considering a move in 2023. More than one in four have already moved or are considering moving before the end of 2022. Why? Affordability.
Between inflation, rising interest rates, and the post-pandemic boom of remote work, for some, it simply doesn’t make sense to live in places with high ticket prices, so Americans are packing their bags, destined for more economical pastures.
A recent study by Harmony Healthcare IT (Harmony) found that 47% of families identify affordability as the deciding factor in their house hunt. After costs, buyers look for proximity to family, school systems, neighborhood safety, and greater square footage during their home-buying decisions.
For the 17% of families planning a move in 2023, where should they be heading? According to Harmony, Arizona and Texas stand far above the pack as the best places to raise a family in 2023.
To establish appropriate rankings, Harmony assessed 100 of the most populated cities in America in critical categories: cost of living, crime rate, education, child care, healthcare, and housing. Each category was allocated a weighted set of points (with a maximum score of 100) to determine overall affordability.
Data informing the rankings came from the U.S. Census Bureau, AAA, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Zillow, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Most Affordable States To Raise a Family
According to the study, Gilbert, Arizona, ranks number one for the most affordable American city. Arizona reinforces its front-running title, with the city of Chandler taking the number two spot.
Following closely behind are Plano and Irving in Texas and Omaha, Nebraska. Texas and Arizona make further appearances on the top ten list, with Garland placing sixth, Phoenix taking the ninth place slot, and Fort Worth coming in tenth.
The cheapest healthcare in the country is in Utah, where you can expect to pay $5,310 annually. Residents of Idaho, the second cheapest state for healthcare, pay $5,710.
However, Arizona won’t be left in the dust as it pulls in at a very close third place, costing $5,835 annually.
The most affordable housing is in Detroit, where $68,242 can land you a single-family home. Among the ten most populous cities in the U.S., Cleveland, Toledo, Memphis, and St. Louis also rank in the top five most affordable.
Folks located in West Virginia, Utah, Mississippi, and South Carolina are paying under $5,000 annually, less than a quarter of the states with the highest cost of childcare.
On the opposite side of the economic spectrum are Californians, topping the charts for the most expensive cities to raise a family in the U.S. with San Diego and Chula Vista. Oakland and Los Angeles also rank among the priciest cities, coming in eighth and tenth, respectively.
A handful of other cities are notably high in cost, including Washington D.C., New York City, Honolulu, and Newark, New Jersey.
A clear directional divide manifests when examining healthcare costs. Where the West experiences lower annual premiums, the East Coast has a concentration of the highest fees in the country. Annual costs of $10,311 were reported in D.C., $8,962 in Massachusetts, and $8,705 in Connecticut.
The entire cost of the average most affordable single-family homes in America wouldn’t even cover a 5% down payment on the nation’s most expensive housing market. San Francisco takes the title of the most expensive city to purchase a home in, at an average price of $1,622,077.
Four of the five reportedly most expensive housing markets are in California, including Fremont, Irvine, and San Jose.
New York, D.C., and Hawaii all exceed $20,000 annually for childcare, making them the most expensive states in the country to have your children cared for. New Jersey and Massachusetts also find spots on the top five most expensive list.
According to FBI crime data, Detroit is the most dangerous city in the nation. With 1,938 violent crimes per capita each year, the city’s overall ranking on the ideal family-raising locales list takes a hit, despite being the most affordable city in the nation for housing.
Every Family Is Different
These are the numbers – but raw data doesn’t tell the whole story. You can take these facts into account, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Arizona and Texas are where you and your family would be best suited to land.
Consider your lifestyle and preferences before you make any big moves. Each family weighs the assessed categories differently. Other factors often come into play as well. The decision of where to raise your children will all come down to your needs. No matter where in the country you choose to settle, always remember the old adage, “Home is where the heart is.”