Best Places to Raise a Family in California (Are There Really 22 Better Places Than Encinitas?)

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California Dreamin’

The folks over at WalletHub researched your favorite state. They found, “There’s no shortage of economic activity in the state, for one. California’s GDP of $2.5 trillion in 2015 exceeded those of all but five countries. That’s due in part to its way of setting kids up for success, by establishing some of the best universities in the world. And once employed, workers benefit from a comprehensive paid family-leave program. California was the first state to offer that incentive to American families and remains one of only a handful of states to implement such a policy.”

E Ticket (Old Days)

“Add to that list of priorities an abundance of fun and entertainment options, including Disneyland and Universal Studios. For outdoor-loving families, the state teems with natural beauty, providing plenty of opportunities to explore.”

Putting it All Together

“Such a combination of qualities makes California the ideal place for parents to raise their children. But it’s not all moonlight (beach) and roses throughout the state — some cities are more family-friendly than others. WalletHub’s analysts compared 240 Golden State cities to determine which among them is most conducive to family life. In making such a comparison, we examined each city across 21 key metrics, ranging from “number of attractions” to “number of pediatricians per capita” to “unemployment rate.” Scroll down for the winners, additional expert commentary and a full description of our methodology.” They created the chart below to encompass the following factors:

  • Family Life & Fun Rank
  • Education, Health & Safety Rank
  • Affordability Rank
  • Socioeconomic Environment Rank

Were #1… No. Well, Maybe #2… No. Ok, Maybe, #10? Geez, Just What Number Are We?

We’re, wait for it… Number 23.

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Well, at least, Jordan took his number due to our ranking.

The Encinitas Patch did a little more research and found, “Only one San Diego County city — Poway — made the list’s top 20. Coming in 17th, the North County inland city ranked 11th in the state in the Education, Health and Safety category, but just 160th for Family Life and Fun, according to WalletHub.

Other area cities’ rankings were: Carlsbad, 45th; Santee, 47th; San Diego, 89th; Chula Vista, 94th; San Marcos, 111th; Oceanside, 143rd; La Mesa, 145th; Vista, 168th; Escondido, 172nd; El Cajon, 211th; and National City, 229th.”

What?

What no Del Mar? What no La Jolla?

Overall Rank City Total Score ‘Family Life & Fun’ Rank ‘Education, Health & Safety’ Rank ‘Affordability’ Rank ‘Socioeconomic Environment’ Rank
1 Folsom, CA 75.31 19 23 2 25
2 Palo Alto, CA 74.17 4 2 24 15
3 San Ramon, CA 73.92 37 4 11 2
4 Pleasanton, CA 71.94 13 7 25 11
5 Eastvale, CA 71.44 16 38 5 36
6 Aliso Viejo, CA 71.13 54 19 6 19
7 Cupertino, CA 70.99 50 6 46 1
8 El Dorado Hills, CA 70.63 194 60 1 7
9 Roseville, CA 70.63 5 62 4 71
10 Dublin, CA 70.56 34 9 30 10
11 Manhattan Beach, CA 70.18 180 33 3 4
12 Danville, CA 69.39 168 1 22 6
13 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 68.74 99 18 16 12
14 Mountain View, CA 68.17 128 17 8 28
15 Elk Grove, CA 67.18 11 71 7 90
16 Davis, CA 67.08 27 39 18 73
17 Poway, CA 66.72 160 11 29 16
18 Rocklin, CA 65.80 158 26 9 64
19 Menlo Park, CA 65.33 78 29 59 18
20 Livermore, CA 65.08 76 41 32 29
21 Temecula, CA 64.85 8 122 20 74
22 Fremont, CA 64.47 68 16 86 17
23 Encinitas, CA 64.46 41 20 90 32
24 Yorba Linda, CA 64.16 220 27 31 8
25 Moorpark, CA 63.99 184 14 47 23
26 Foster City, CA 63.98 143 5 106 3
27 Sunnyvale, CA 63.97 56 22 110 14
28 Thousand Oaks, CA 63.59 147 12 42 54
29 Lake Forest, CA 63.59 115 58 39 21
30 Petaluma, CA 63.27 28 37 88 65
31 Brentwood, CA 63.19 191 43 26 39
32 Chino Hills, CA 62.96 126 69 21 44
33 Irvine, CA 62.93 67 24 89 33
34 Newport Beach, CA 62.91 118 44 33 61
35 Mission Viejo, CA 62.88 176 28 53 13
36 Camarillo, CA 62.85 153 46 43 47
37 Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 62.72 235 3 55 5
38 Martinez, CA 62.36 81 35 52 82
39 Santa Clara, CA 62.17 49 55 104 24
40 Redondo Beach, CA 62.10 123 61 45 38
41 San Clemente, CA 61.81 106 45 93 26
42 Oakley, CA 61.80 199 8 28 125
43 Fair Oaks, CA 61.26 163 56 10 85
44 Laguna Niguel, CA 61.10 228 40 34 27
45 Carlsbad, CA 60.71 97 36 79 67
46 Simi Valley, CA 60.67 132 63 51 62
47 Santee, CA 60.66 186 13 49 96
48 Tracy, CA 60.57 120 104 14 101
49 Morgan Hill, CA 60.29 159 34 81 80
50 Walnut Creek, CA 60.24 223 25 78 20
51 Milpitas, CA 59.94 125 54 95 31
52 Antelope, CA 59.92 31 140 36 117
53 Vacaville, CA 59.91 116 82 19 129
54 Claremont, CA 59.87 203 97 38 37
55 Pacifica, CA 59.84 192 31 92 40
56 Murrieta, CA 59.84 101 90 37 93
57 Novato, CA 59.53 166 21 139 53
58 Cypress, CA 59.43 207 10 109 34
59 Diamond Bar, CA 59.42 229 47 98 22
60 San Jose, CA 59.25 14 85 152 83
61 Lincoln, CA 59.22 234 15 54 48
62 Beaumont, CA 58.97 173 87 12 146
63 Orangevale, CA 58.89 200 81 15 109
64 Pleasant Hill, CA 58.71 148 132 63 42
65 Clovis, CA 58.55 77 128 13 159
66 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 58.35 124 123 35 95
67 Santa Clarita, CA 58.20 177 66 50 88
68 Brea, CA 58.08 169 98 83 46
69 Redlands, CA 58.08 72 178 17 115
70 San Dimas, CA 57.90 232 78 66 55
71 Corona, CA 57.62 92 127 48 110
72 Union City, CA 57.61 146 75 119 35
73 Fountain Valley, CA 57.61 209 30 143 58
74 Cerritos, CA 57.60 210 114 99 9
75 South San Francisco, CA 57.46 58 68 182 41
76 La Verne, CA 57.43 227 89 57 75
77 San Mateo, CA 57.20 130 48 161 49
78 Napa, CA 57.14 20 99 160 97
79 Torrance, CA 57.13 174 51 133 45
80 Beverly Hills, CA 57.03 95 42 114 134
81 Rohnert Park, CA 56.63 138 32 116 128
82 La Mirada, CA 56.47 236 76 64 43
83 Redwood City, CA 56.46 39 70 194 63
84 Campbell, CA 56.34 150 79 147 56
85 Lakewood, CA 56.23 171 115 74 69
86 Manteca, CA 55.71 109 139 44 145
87 Santa Monica, CA 55.69 38 101 148 113
88 Burbank, CA 55.34 59 96 170 79
89 San Diego, CA 55.23 32 110 149 124
90 Arcadia, CA 55.23 198 49 183 30
91 Huntington Beach, CA 55.16 165 77 130 76
92 Yucaipa, CA 55.06 195 92 41 152
93 Fairfield, CA 54.81 139 134 58 133
94 Chula Vista, CA 54.76 102 80 125 126
94 Newark, CA 54.76 221 83 118 59
96 Placentia, CA 54.59 211 65 136 72
97 Turlock, CA 54.56 29 181 60 166
98 Monrovia, CA 54.20 208 50 140 84
99 Santa Rosa, CA 54.15 52 94 166 132
100 Orange, CA 53.94 142 95 150 87
101 Woodland, CA 53.94 114 158 77 122
102 Dana Point, CA 53.89 222 91 135 57
103 Berkeley, CA 53.77 151 108 111 112
104 Chino, CA 53.66 137 161 70 118
105 Temple City, CA 53.61 202 53 201 50
106 Bakersfield, CA 53.61 12 219 23 208
107 San Luis Obispo, CA 53.59 47 130 157 127
108 Santa Barbara, CA 53.38 18 111 207 106
109 Hollister, CA 53.36 156 74 132 142
110 Citrus Heights, CA 53.18 86 147 73 169
111 San Marcos, CA 53.09 119 67 192 89
112 Culver City, CA 53.05 182 165 105 70
113 Alameda, CA 53.02 201 52 173 81
113 Glendora, CA 53.02 226 93 123 77
115 Ventura, CA 52.94 103 124 124 136
116 Jurupa Valley, CA 52.94 43 86 108 191
117 Tustin, CA 52.84 82 112 178 103
118 Castro Valley, CA 52.82 218 64 121 51
119 San Rafael, CA 52.78 161 72 181 98
120 Menifee, CA 52.70 188 133 56 154
121 San Juan Capistrano, CA 52.63 170 107 159 92
122 Whittier, CA 52.37 62 146 155 121
123 Gilroy, CA 52.37 178 102 129 130
124 Sacramento, CA 52.26 2 179 122 210
125 Buena Park, CA 52.25 136 125 163 91
126 Covina, CA 52.18 133 118 137 148
127 La Quinta, CA 52.12 219 203 62 68
128 Visalia, CA 52.03 45 172 40 219
129 Seaside, CA 51.61 25 73 214 143
130 Anaheim, CA 51.47 7 159 204 150
131 Lake Elsinore, CA 51.43 185 157 61 163
132 Rancho Cordova, CA 51.40 105 150 75 186
133 San Bruno, CA 51.32 189 137 185 52
134 Fullerton, CA 51.29 98 136 180 105
135 Wildomar, CA 51.20 216 155 85 139
136 Fontana, CA 51.15 46 202 80 181
137 West Covina, CA 50.98 181 119 151 114
138 Pasadena, CA 50.90 79 177 156 119
139 Norwalk, CA 50.85 71 148 171 138
140 Hanford, CA 50.77 110 189 27 213
141 La Puente, CA 50.71 44 106 197 153
142 Daly City, CA 50.69 224 57 195 66
143 Oceanside, CA 50.67 157 138 162 108
144 Chico, CA 50.34 89 154 134 170
145 La Mesa, CA 50.11 193 116 164 123
146 Santa Cruz, CA 50.04 9 163 203 156
147 Yuba City, CA 49.95 183 129 87 189
148 Palm Desert, CA 49.80 214 192 103 102
149 West Sacramento, CA 49.61 129 168 101 176
150 Ceres, CA 49.60 42 153 100 217
151 Garden Grove, CA 49.43 104 103 205 140
152 Concord, CA 49.33 175 176 141 111
153 Redding, CA 49.29 48 193 128 185
154 Lodi, CA 49.16 91 167 138 171
155 Palmdale, CA 49.16 55 187 94 203
156 La Habra, CA 49.13 204 113 174 131
157 Riverside, CA 49.05 60 218 97 175
158 Carson, CA 49.03 197 169 96 151
159 Indio, CA 48.93 21 225 120 188
160 Lompoc, CA 48.92 64 59 179 211
161 Glendale, CA 48.51 135 84 230 107
162 Apple Valley, CA 48.51 112 184 82 201
163 Los Banos, CA 48.26 162 109 107 215
164 Highland, CA 48.04 84 175 146 182
165 Costa Mesa, CA 47.96 94 171 199 120
166 Pico Rivera, CA 47.95 196 142 175 141
167 Downey, CA 47.86 134 149 196 137
168 Vista, CA 47.76 140 126 217 116
169 Cathedral City, CA 47.71 73 166 168 183
170 Hayward, CA 47.69 127 162 176 161
171 Santa Maria, CA 47.67 90 131 189 180
172 Escondido, CA 47.57 85 143 213 147
173 Baldwin Park, CA 47.53 57 151 206 160
174 Antioch, CA 47.45 206 207 69 168
175 Porterville, CA 47.31 10 182 117 233
176 Tulare, CA 47.30 108 204 67 221
177 Lancaster, CA 47.30 96 213 84 200
178 San Gabriel, CA 47.07 217 121 225 78
179 San Francisco, CA 47.07 122 201 200 100
180 Upland, CA 47.04 187 164 167 144
181 Oxnard, CA 46.96 65 195 184 164
182 Rialto, CA 46.73 35 206 127 216
183 Modesto, CA 46.49 100 229 68 209
184 Salinas, CA 46.47 70 185 198 167
185 San Leandro, CA 46.03 233 180 154 94
186 Watsonville, CA 46.03 22 144 223 184
187 Carmichael, CA 46.00 215 232 65 172
188 Madera, CA 45.99 17 194 144 226
189 Alhambra, CA 45.97 213 100 227 99
190 Azusa, CA 45.94 141 173 193 157
191 Long Beach, CA 45.89 30 170 210 197
192 Santa Ana, CA 45.75 24 174 224 173
193 Pittsburg, CA 45.71 205 199 113 177
194 Westminster, CA 45.52 155 120 226 149
195 El Centro, CA 45.51 53 220 91 227
196 Ontario, CA 45.39 117 208 165 178
197 Lawndale, CA 45.31 66 156 228 158
198 Hacienda Heights, CA 44.98 240 197 142 60
199 Merced, CA 44.82 40 186 126 238
200 Bellflower, CA 44.64 111 160 216 174
201 Monterey Park, CA 44.58 238 88 218 104
202 San Jacinto, CA 44.25 190 224 71 220
203 Los Angeles, CA 44.20 26 191 231 190
204 Victorville, CA 44.14 33 233 76 236
205 Hesperia, CA 43.96 145 217 102 223
206 South Gate, CA 43.54 1 214 229 196
207 Coachella, CA 43.53 3 215 187 231
208 Moreno Valley, CA 43.26 149 226 112 214
209 Vallejo, CA 43.21 212 230 72 206
210 Perris, CA 43.17 83 216 145 229
211 El Cajon, CA 43.07 69 135 220 218
212 Delano, CA 42.95 6 188 188 237
213 Gardena, CA 42.89 179 198 211 155
214 Stanton, CA 42.83 172 117 219 187
215 Pomona, CA 42.63 107 209 202 192
216 Colton, CA 42.19 121 205 169 222
217 Stockton, CA 42.18 74 237 115 225
218 Hawthorne, CA 41.69 23 212 235 195
219 Fresno, CA 41.61 51 223 153 239
220 Rosemead, CA 41.55 230 105 237 135
221

 

Paramount, CA 41.12 75 196 221 202
222 Calexico, CA 41.03 63 211 177 232
223 Lynwood, CA 40.96 15 221 234 205
224 Hemet, CA 40.55 154 228 131 234
225 El Monte, CA 40.37 167 145 236 179
226 Montebello, CA 40.35 237 152 215 165
227 Montclair, CA 40.16 144 234 191 194
228 Palm Springs, CA 39.92 131 238 172 193
229 National City, CA 39.64 88 190 233 204
230 Richmond, CA 39.37 225 200 186 199
231 Bell Gardens, CA 39.11 80 141 238 212
232 North Highlands, CA 38.86 93 236 158 235
233 Rowland Heights, CA 38.53 239 210 208 86
234 Bell, CA 38.53 87 183 239 198
235 West Hollywood, CA 38.20 231 231 212 162
236 Compton, CA 38.04 36 235 209 230
237 Inglewood, CA 36.34 113 227 232 224
238 San Bernardino, CA 34.21 61 239 190 240
239 Huntington Park, CA 33.04 152 222 240 228
240 Oakland, CA 32.56 164 240 222 207

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