Recently, Wallethub.com named the best and worst places to raise a family in Ohio. Their methodology looked at factors including median family income, violent-crime rate, school systems and playgrounds per capita.
Here is where Wallethub.com ranked Dayton in some categories out of the 185 Ohio cities examined:
- 181st – overall ranking
- 52nd – percent of families with children under 18
- 181st – median family income
- 97th – housing affordability
- 49th – unemployment rate
- 44th – playgrounds per capita
Numbers like that can disappointing, but that’s why you need to look beyond the numbers.
Dayton is a great place to raise a family.
In recent years, I have known several friends and colleagues who have moved out of the suburbs and to the city of Dayton. Each family had a different reason for their move but they all shared a common sentiment: Dayton is growing.
Downtown Dayton, in particular, has seen a recent revival and offers plenty of activities and events that are family friendly:
- The Dayton Dragons: While they have been in Dayton since 2000, this is one of the best bets for families. From lawn seating to let kids either sit or run around, to the half-time entertainment, this is a great activity for the entire family.
- First Fridays: The Downtown Dayton Partnership sponsors First Fridays on the first of the month between 5-10 p.m. This free event lets people explore downtown shops and galleries and includes entertainment such as street performers and outdoor concerts.
- The Levitt Pavilion: Scheduled to open later this year, will be the newest outdoor entertainment venue in Dayton.
- Riverscape, along with several other Five River MetroPark locations. There are activities year-round at Riverscape including the splash pads in the summer, ice skating in the winter, and the new River Run paddle experience.
- The renovated Downtown Dayton Library: It offers not only a great place to read and find books, but offers children’s, teen and tween areas.
- There are countless other family fun spots including 2nd Street Market, Carillon Park, and the Victoria Theatre, just to name a few.
Not only are there things to do in Dayton, but more housing is being built downtown and in surrounding areas. According to the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan, housing has increased with the help of new residential units being built downtown. Additionally, the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan notes that many of the condo and apartments are sold even before the construction is finished.
Education is usually a high-priority for families, as it should be. With nearly 14,000 students in the Dayton Public School system, the district is up-front about where it needs to improve and proud to showcase accomplishments such as kindergarten through 3rd-grade literacy improvement and overall progress throughout the entire district, according to the district’s state report card. Dayton offers additional educational options for families looking outside the public school system including STEM-focused schools and private schools. And don’t forget about post-secondary opportunities with Sinclair Community College and the University of Dayton, making Dayton a great option for young adults who want to continue their education in Dayton, but maybe stay home too.
Families who live in Dayton know that the city has much more to offer than what the numbers in the Wallethub report show. The growing number of families in the city, along with the businesses, parks, and schools surrounding them, help make the Gem City a bright spot in the Buckeye State.