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Report: Rochester ranks low for raising a family

Rochester ranks among the worst metro areas nationwide to raise a family, a new report contends.

In its 2017 Best & Worst Places to Raise a Family, WalletHub compared the most populated 150 cities based on 41 key metrics ranging from cost of housing and quality of local school and health care systems to opportunities for fun and recreation.

Rochester ranked 108th on the report.

Overland Park, Kansas, earned the top spot overall, as well as first place in affordability. The worst place to raise a family, according to the report, is Birmingham, Ala., which received low marks for family fun, education and child care and socioeconomics.

Rochester’s worst rank was 148th in the socioeconomic category, while the city ranked 100th for its affordability. Broken down further, Rochester ranked 148th for its high percentage of families living below the poverty level—behind just Cleveland, Ohio, and Detroit, Mich.—while the city ranked 147th for its high divorce rate.

While some data collected for the report was subjective, WalletHub acknowledged, its experts noted that a family’s quality of life both directly and indirectly affect their children and their chance for future success, particularly in terms of stress levels and psychological problems.

Safety, public school quality and diversity ranked among the top indicators of a city’s quality when determining where to raise a family, WalletHub’s experts noted.

Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

(c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-363-7269 or email madams@bridgetowermedia.com.


  1. isn’t this the same wallet hundreds that continually uses city of Rochester data to describe the whole metro? our suburban schools rank high in the nation, people in Victor aren’t at Birmingham levels of poverty, and we have access to the ur. I don’t doubt if you looked at the data it’d be the city set rather than the metro. also, I have no doubt wallet hub keeps getting written about to support the rbj’s contention that only a radical change in policy will “save” rochester.

  2. I’ve watched the migration for forty – odd years here in the Southeast section of the city. Two parent families with a good income almost always leave when they have children. That is the desired and necessary model that brings stability and income. Not dirt poor and single.
    We are also much more culturally diverse. Normally this is a good thing. Diversity is good for business and a tolerant culture. However, you can take that to an extreme where nobody’s on the same page about anything. That’s not an indictment of anybody. It just is.
    I doubt if any policy by itself will save us from ourselves on that one. You can’t tell someone they’re too poor to have children or tell the better – off they can’t leave when they do.
    The general region isn’t so bad off. They haven’t lost the basic building block of a successful society. We like to call it something “alternative” or “the new family structure”. The Emperors’ New Clothes.
    Tough to change a culture. Poverty is expensive.

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