You could do worse than to raise your children in sunny Southern California (says the SoCal native).
The personal finance website WalletHub this week looked at "2014?s Best & Worst Cities for Families," and SoCal did quite well.
Among the top 30 towns that are good places to raise children are five SoCal locations that should be familiar to most of you:
Irvine (No. 5), Chula Vista (in San Diego's South Bay region, at No. 14), Rancho Cucamonga (No. 17), Santa Clarita (No. 21), and San Diego (No. 27).
These are mostly idyllic, suburban locales straight out of a Mike Mills video.
If you look at WalletHub's accompanying map, it looks as if Southern California was hit with an epic earthquake of family friendliness (green indicates a higher ranking, red a lower ranking):
Ah, but now we come to the big, bad city in the region: Los Angeles.
With sky-high rents, some of the top real estate prices in America, the worst roads in the nation and the most congested traffic in the United States, you can imagine that we didn't ace this test.
Of 150 cities evaluated, L.A. ranked in the bottom 50, at 109. Our affordability rank was almost the worst, at 143. On education, we came in at No. 132.
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WalletHub says it ranked cities ...
... based on 31 key metrics that take into account essential family dynamics including the availability of quality jobs, the relative cost of housing, the quality of local school and health care systems, and the opportunities for fun and recreation.
When it comes to L.A., we'd disagree on those last few "metrics" (we came in 84th place). There are plenty of opportunities in Los Angeles for "fun and recreation" ... if you're a big kid who's 21 or older.