Best Cities 2010: Raleigh, NC

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Best Cities 2010: Raleigh, NC

Raleigh is home to five Blue Ribbon schools, a thriving real estate market and has good air quality, too.

City: Raleigh

State: North Carolina

Best Cities Overall Rank: 10

About Raleigh:

With good schools, fabulous recreational opportunities, and a robust real estate market, this is a very family-friendly city. The pleasant weather allows parents and kids to take advantage of the 6,482 acres of parks, playgrounds, and pools. Air quality ranks high here, too, and Raleigh is home to seven colleges and universities.

What moms say: Mom of three Molly Gold loves the recreational activities, having it be 65 degrees on Christmas, and the close proximity of the cultural institutions. “It’s a very reasonable economy here,” Gold adds. “You’re not paying exorbitant fees every time you turn around.”

What’s great for families: At the Marbles Kids Museum, children are treated to dozens of interactive exhibits and a giant-screen IMAX. Raleigh is also home to the annual North Carolina State Fair.

County: Wake

Population: 392,552

Official website for city visitors’ bureau/city: Visitor’s bureau website

Newspaper with the largest circulation: The News & Observer 

Raleigh blogs:

The News & Observer

Carolina Mama

Raleigh Mom

Raleigh‘s Facebook page: Follow Raleigh on Facebook

Raleigh‘s Twitter page: Follow Raleigh on Twitter 


Education rank: 66

High School graduation rate 2008: 78.79%

Blue Ribbon Schools, 2003-2009: 5

Blue Ribbon Schools per 100,000 people: 1.27

NEAYC-accredited preschools: 4

NAEYC schools per 100,000 people: 1.02

NAEP State proficiency reading, grade 8: 260

Pupil/Teacher Ratio: 14.9

Total Expenditures Per Student: $9,851


Health rank: 78

Quality children’s hospitals: 0

Hospitals per 100,000 people: 0

Quality Pediatricians: 1

Quality Pediatricians per 100,000: 0.25

Average number of Unhealthy Air Quality days between 2006-2008, by county: 0.33


Safety rank: 14

Violent Crimes, 2008: 2,245

Violent Crime Rate per 100,000: 571.89

Sex Offenders: 341

Sex Offenders per 100,000: 86.87


Economy rank: 9   

Travel time to work, 2006-2008, in minutes: 21.89      

Percent of labor force unemployed, January 2010: 9.5      

Best Performing Cities Job Index: 376.31

Median Home Sale Price: $190,600                    

5-Year Home Value Index: 1.35%                        

Percent of homes sold for a loss: 11.4%        


Recreation Rank:  34

Parkland acreage, 2008 (includes pools and playgrounds): 6,482          

Parkland per 100,000: 1651.25