Kiplinger names Richland one of the top 10 best places to raise your children, nationwide.
The company used a two-step approach to come up with the list. It looked for metropolitan areas with high household incomes relative to living costs, a large percentage of families with children under 18, and low crime rates.
Then, the company specifically looked at a city within each of its top 10 metro areas that’s well-suited to raising kids based on educational factors (spending per student and the quality of local school districts) as well as fun factors (availability of public parks, playgrounds and libraries). Each city’s average income for families was also considered -- as opposed to median income for all households -- to give a realistic sense of how much it can cost a family to live in a place with so many kid-centric benefits.
Richland, Washington came in at #2 on the list based on the following information:
City population: 48,058
Average family income: $95,620
Percentage of families with children: 28.7%
Metro-area spending per student: $8,528
Public playgrounds: 29
Richland and its neighbors, Kennewick and Pasco, make up the heart of Washington's Tri-Cities region, a northwest technology hub surrounded by farmers’ fields and sitting just north of the Oregon border. While the area might sound like no man's land to outsiders, it's actually anything but. The Department of Energy runs several major operations in the Richland area, and the DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is the city's largest employer. That means families can earn a very comfortable living.
Students at schools such as Lewis & Clark and White Bluffs Elementary perennially outperform their peers on state standardized tests. Plus, there's plenty to keep an active family entertained. The region boasts a family fishing pond, a splash park, a quarter-acre "playground of dreams" and 300 sunny days a year.
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