Cary Ranks High as NC Town to Raise a Family

Cary, NC – It’s hard to go anywhere in Cary where you won’t see families. And a recent study from WalletHub may explain why, with Cary ranking third as the best place to raise a family in North Carolina.

What Makes A Good Family Town

In this recent study from WalletHub, out of 85 towns and cities in North Carolina, Cary ranked third for best place to raise a family. The study ranked municipalities by affordability, socioeconomics, “education, health and safety” and “family life and fun.”

“All the categories were rated equally, with 25 points in each,” said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez. “Each metric was weighed pretty much equally.”

Within each metric, certain elements were given more points. For example, affordability, including general affordability and housing affordability, was worth close to 12.5 points each, far more than any other factor.

“We’re a personal finance website so affordability is very important to us,” Gonzalez said. “We looked at median family income and divided it by the cost of living and goods. For housing affordability, we divided it by home prices for both renters and buyers.”

Cary ranked fifth for affordability and sixth in terms of socioeconomics.


How Cary Scored

Cary’s highest scores came in socioeconomics and affordability. The town has the fourth lowest unemployment rate, the second highest median family income when adjusted for the cost of living and ranked 12th in housing affordability.

But Cary scored lower than some of the top towns in some other key factors. For example, Cary was 15th in the percentage of families with children aged 0 to 17.

“As far as families with kids, 50 percent of families have kids in that age range,” Gonzalez said.

Over the past 10 years, Cary’s population has become more elderly, with more than 10 percent over the age of 65 compared to around 5 percent in 2000.

Cary scored 35th in the total category “family life and fun” which looked at not only the percentage of families with children but the number of playgrounds and other attractions in the town. Cary ranked 21st when it came to number of playgrounds per capita.

“We counted up the number of museums, theaters, etc. and did a quantitative study on these attractions,” Gonzalez said. “Cary had 51 attractions, compared to Charlotte which had more than 300.”

The only two towns ahead of Cary in the list of best places to raise a family in North Carolina were Davidson and Huntersville as number one and two respectively.


Story by Michael Papich. Photos by Hal Goodtree.