It seems our little town of Santa Rosa has caught the attention of the nation, ranking even higher than San Francisco on a survey about raising kids..and it's not good news. Apparently, Santa Rosa is ranked in a list of 15 WORST cities to raise your kids, according to data released by the USDA.
Not only were we one of the 15 worst cities, we were ranked at #7 - higher than big cities San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago.
The data collected measured the cost of raising a child in the first year in each city against the income of each household. They also figured in the number of Ob/Gyns in the area, average commute time, population of kids 5 years or younger, and number of playgrounds per 10,000 residents.
Here's the list:
1. New York City, NY
2. Santa Cruz, CA
3. Los Angeles, CA
4. Hagerstown, MD
5. Worcester, MA
6. Miami, FL
7. Santa Rosa, CA
8. Bremerton, WA
9. San Francisco, CA
10. Riverside, CA
11. Providence, RI
12. Portland, OR
13. Modesto, CA
14. Boston, MA
15. Chicago, Il
And here's how Santa Rosa made it onto the list, according to information posted on The Daily Beast:
Cost of baby's first year: $32,000
Cost as percentage of household income: 52%
Ob/Gyns per 100,000 residents: 10.8
Population under 5 years old: 5.7%
Avg. commuting time: 24.9 minutes
Playgrounds per 10,000 residents: n/a
While admittedly biased, I find this survey to be terribly lacking in information. How can they determine we're one of the worst cities to raise kids in just by these statistics alone? Personally, I would judge where to raise my kid based on the education they'll receive, the variety of fun places to take kids to or family events happening throughout the year, the quality of preschools… They didn't even know the number of parks available, and there are quite a few in Santa Rosa.
Personally, I find our position on this survey to be insulting, and think Santa Rosa is a very family-oriented town that exists in a family-oriented county.
What do you think? Do you agree, or disagree?