SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) — Salt Lake City ranked 6th most family-friendly metropolitan city in the nation for families with at least one child, according to a study conducted by LendingTree.

The study named Salt Lake City the 6th best city to live in with children, with Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Kansas City, and Raleigh (tied) taking the top three spots. It also listed the worst cities for families as Miami, New Orleans and Los Angeles.

Six categories were used to judge the family-friendliness of large cities in the U.S., and the number of playgrounds was not one of them.

  1. Median family income
  2. Median monthly housing costs for homes with a mortgage
  3. Homeownership rate among families with at least one child
  4. Percentage of 16- to 19-year-olds not enrolled in school who don’t have a high school diploma or an equivalent degree
  5. Average round-trip commute time
  6. Percentage of households with children

Salt Lake City’s Rankings

The first criterion was median family income, as those with higher incomes are able to afford more of their basic necessities, the study said. Salt Lake City has a median income of $94,000.

The next was median monthly housing costs for homes with a mortgage as that can offset the income. In some locations, such as San Francisco which has some of the highest incomes and mortgages. Salt Lake City’s median housing costs are $1,755.

The homeownership rate among families with one child was selected because of the potential for intergenerational wealth and the ability to pull from home equity when in financial need. It also measures how attainable owning a home is in that city. Nearly 75% of families with one child in Salt Lake City own a home.

The percentage of 16 to 19-year-olds who did not graduate or are not enrolled measures school quality and success, the study says. Surprisingly, Salt Lake City had one of the highest numbers across the nation of 16 to 19-year-old students who did not graduate. Nearly 6% of students in that category did not graduate when many other states had half of that number.

The average round-trip for working parents was used due to the time it takes away from being with the children. Salt Lake City had a round-trip commute time of 43 minutes, one of the shortest commute averages in the nation.

The last category was the percentage of households with children as more children in an area make for a greater variety of resources, such as daycares, available for children in the area. It also helps families adjust to living in a new community, the study says. Salt Lake City sits on the higher end of the spectrum as nearly 32% of the community has children.