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The best towns for raising kids

Posted by Stacey Myers November 13, 2008 11:04 AM

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So BusinessWeek magazine has dubbed Malden the best place in Massachusetts to raise kids.

The top place in the country to raise kids, according to the magazine’s criteria, is Mount Prospect, Ill., a suburb just outside Chicago.

To compile their picks, BusinessWeek turned to OnBoard Infomatics, a real estate data analysis company in Manhattan. They also established guidelines that pretty much cut out small town America. OnBoard reviewed communities with populations over 50,000 and places where the median income was between $40,000 a year and $100,000. BusinessWeek said it was looking for communities that offer diversity as well as good school performance, affordability, and safety. The researchers also took into consideration the local cost of living, air quality, job growth, parks, fields and other recreational offerings.

The news obviously delighted Malden officials, who have been working to improve that community’s schools and general quality of life. Cambridge and Weymouth are the runners up for the BusinessWeek title of the Best Places to Raise Your Kids 2009.

Honestly, Malden seems like a nice enough community. After all it’s relatively safe, there hasn’t been a murder there in at least a year, according to local authorities. But I have to say it’s not the first place that comes to my mind when I think of kid friendly towns. However, I also get the magazine’s point about wanting to look at diverse communities and limiting the scope of the places they looked at.

But if we were going to compile our own list, without BusinessWeek’s limitations, what communities do you think are most kid friendly in Massachusetts? And why?

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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