The Washington Post

D.C. ranks number one in “best city for families”

Washington D.C. is now the best place in America to raise a family, so says Parenting magazine’s July issue.

(Courtesy of The Parenting Group)

Forget even about the recent local escapades that have turned civics lessons into skivvies explanations.

Embrace this prose from Parenting’s July issue:

“The history, the government, the breathtaking architecture and inspiring monuments — you don’t have to be a child to get an amazing education in this city. Our nation’s capital is also known for its plenitude of museums, in fact, there are 44, second only to the Big Apple!”

Editors evaluated schools, housing, crime, employment, registered sex offenders, recreational activities, health care, commuting, child care and air quality to come up with their ranking.

What differed from previous years, and what made D.C. shoot to the top, was that editors added a “charm and culture” category this year. It weighed the number of museums, performing arts venues, kid-friendly restaurants and the like.

Also, Parenting spokeswoman Victoria Livadas said, “Editors were happily surprised to see that test scores and school quality ranked higher for DC than in 2010.”

DC did so well on the schools front, in fact, that on the magazine’s education rankings, DC came in at number 9.

Last year’s overall winner, our very own Arlington, Va., fell far out of favor to number 70.

Though editors said last year that Arlington had “fabulous schools, great home values, and an attractive unemployment rate,” those attributes didn’t measure up in the magazine’s altered formula .

Arlington wasn’t offered the dignity of any description in this issue. Only its name, which sits sadly between Corpus Christ, TX and Durham, N.C. Baltimore was Maryland’s only representative on the list and ranked number 37.

The other top cities? Austin, Boston, St Paul/ Minneapolis, Des Moines, Madison, Honolulu, Seattle and Louisville in that order.

Last of 100 rated? Anaheim, California. (I know a certain four-year-old Disney addict who would take issue with that decision.)

What do you think? What is it about D.C. that makes it the best place in America to raise kids?



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