NerdWallet, a consumer advocacy website, has recently named Waukee the second best place in Iowa for raising a family.
According to the study, cities and towns across the state were measured on the following factors: If the towns have good public schools by measuring the schools’ academic performance with ratings from GreatSchools, a non-profit that compares a given school’s standardized test scores against the state average; if the area is affordable by looking a median home values in each town as well as ongoing home costs including mortgage payments, real estate taxes, insurance costs, utilities, and other bills; and if the town is growing by assessing the town’s economy by looking at average household income and income growth over the last decade.
Waukee ranked second with a GreatSchool ranking of 9 out of 10 and an overall score of 75 for young families. It also listed the town’s median home value of $191,200 and median household income of $80,863. Urbandale was ranked fourth with a GreatSchool ranking of 7 out of 10 and a 67.4 score for young families. The median home value was estimated at $193,100 and median household income at $83,401.
The number one city listed was Ankeny with a GreatSchools ranking of 10 and overall score for young families at 75.9. Median home value was estimated at $173,500 and median household income at $72,703.
The city of Pella ranked number three on the list with a GreatSchool rating of 8 out of 10 and an overall score for young families at 68.1. Median home value was estimated at $163,900 and median household income at $60,184.
Growth measured from 1999-2011 shows a 31.8 percent increase for the city of Ankeny, a 39.4 percent growth for the city of Waukee, a 32.3 percent increase for the city of Pella, and a 39.6 percent increase for the city of Urbandale.
Other towns on the list included Johnston, Bettendorf, North Liberty, Clive, Coralville, Altoona, West Des Moines, Marion, Spencer, Carroll, and Indianola.