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Is Boston The Best Place To Raise A Family?

Massachusetts was ranked second in the Kids Count Data Book, which tracks state trends in child well-being. (Josh Berlinger for WBUR)

Parenting magazine just ranked Boston first on its “Best Cities for Families” list. Parenting says Boston benefits from, “A thrilling hometown baseball team, incredible institutions of higher learning, and a new highway system,” among other things.

Today, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released their annual Kids Count report, which ranked Massachusetts the second-best state in the country for a child’s well being — just behind New Hampshire. So the picture looks pretty good for families and children in our state, but beneath the topline numbers, there’s a more complex picture.


  •  Noah Berger, executive director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center
  • Jerry Mogul, executive director of Massachusetts Advocates for Children


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  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.devers Chris Devers

    I’m raising two kids here and wouldn’t want to be doing so anywhere else. 

    • The public schools are great. While the American system overall is sub-par compared to other industrial countries, if you compare Massachusetts to some of the top countries in Scandinavia, Japan, etc, our students are right up there among the best in the world. 

    • There’s an endless array of educational extracurricular options: historical (Revolutionary War location), natural (Charles River, Museum of Science, Arnold Arboretum & other parks, zoos, etc), technological (MoS again, MIT, etc), arts (MFA, Decordova, Harvard museums, ICA, free concerts all over…). 

    • The health care options are excellent, particularly including Children’s Hospital. And, yes, the fact that Massachusetts was the first in the country to attempt universal coverage is a good thing, too.

    • Our kids have gotten to know other kids with families from all over the world, which itself is educational. The America of the future is going to be much more diverse than the mostly European & English-speaking country of decades ago, and living in a city where that’s already changing is like living in the future. 

    And on & on & on it goes.

    • Dannsmith123

      The mostly European & English speaking country of decades ago is what made this country so great.  Diversity to a point is advantageous but the overwhelming influx of Hispanics is turning this country into Latin America third world country number 2. Notice all the top places are White and in New England were there is a low Hispanic population and intact European culture.
      Massachusetts is still a whopping 85% white and as the article says we are light years ahead in terms of education, activities and health. We still embody the white European culture of  decades ago but that will change as we continue to be overwhelmed by other cultures. Assimilation is discourage by the politically correct police.It is too bad that everyone has been brainwashed into this anti European attitude along with a bogus and harmful pro illegal alien stance.  Chris try raising your kids in Springfield MA with a large Hispanic population and your will not be singing such a happy tune – parents who would rather go on welfare then work, 10 people to a house meant for 4, trash on the street, crime and lots of loud music.

      • http://twitter.com/cdevers Chris Devers

        Err, I live in a largely Brazilian / Hispanic neighborhood, and it’s great. Your whole line of thought just has no basis in reality as far as I can see.

        And, yes, in a few decades the whole country is going to be more brown than it was a few decades ago, so we might as well embrace this change.

        Really, this is no bad thing: America has had waves of “unwanted” immigrants — remember “No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs”? — and we’ve more or less comfortably broadened the idea of what it means to be American to no longer exclude groups of people anymore. The paranoia over “illegal” peoples will also pass in time, I’m sure.

  • Megan Wolf

    Wondering what your guests think about potential changes to the school assignment process in Boston and the effects they think this will have on kids in Boston, particularly those in underserved populations.  Would moving towards neighborhood schools (as it’s looking like the city will do) negatively impact equity and access for kids in all Boston’s neighborhoods?

  • guest

    yeah….if you can afford it!!!  too many families and kids are going  hungry – not just in MA, sure…but working in a district where one schools start of a free food pantry triggered the same thing in many other schools in the district and beyond – doesn’t seem like “child’s well being” is put first – maybe in our schools, which get little support these days…compare poverty rates across the country along with programs that truly emphasize “child-well being” and then choose which state is “best for raising a family”.  gimme a break.

  • Sam Walworh

     Yes, its a great place to live if you dont mind the traffic madness.

    In summer its the Red Sox games which starts always just in time to make the   Evening Commute a war zone, with pedestrians everywhere, along with Ambulances screaming and crying hard to just take the critically ill to the major hospitals in Longwood Medical Area.

    In Winter time, its the snow and ice combined with the Ambulances ….

    I-93 and I-90 is always a parking lot..  if you want to take the T it never runs on time to anywhere, and if there is a break down, there is no announcement or help…

    I seriously wonder the data gathering these guys used…

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