Among this year’s 50 Best Places to Live for Families, Fortune ranked Silver Spring #3, topping the charts on factors such as healthcare quality, aging resources, education, and feeling connected to the community.
This year’s ranking also highlights the cities in each U.S. state where multigenerational families are most likely to have access to critical resources, community support, and financial security. Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire ranked first and second, respectively.
As Fortune points out in its ranking, Silver Spring’s proximity to the nation’s capital can be enjoyed without sacrificing the charm of smaller towns, and it offers a wide range of amenities and activities for residents of all ages:
Located just six miles north of Washington, D.C., Silver Spring residents can enjoy proximity to the nation’s capital without sacrificing the charm of smaller-town life.
While locals can easily commute to D.C. for work or pleasure via public transit options like the Washington Metro or MARC Train, Silver Spring offers plenty to do within its bounds. The suburb prides itself as the site of a state-designated arts and entertainment district, and has worked to woo artists, arts organizations, and other creative companies. It’s home to more than 50 arts and humanities associations, art venues, and entertainment firms.
The city’s downtown area and adjacent Fenton Village neighborhood offer residents a plethora of stores, restaurants, spas, markets, and studios—more than 200 small businesses overall—to peruse. The town also plays host to a range of festivals, including the Silver Spring Jazz Festival, which draws 20,000 visitors a year.
Part of the reason families enjoy Silver Spring is the quality education available within its bounds. GreatSchools gave 42% of local Montgomery County public schools an above-average rating, and nearly nine in 10 students complete high school here.
Sandwich-generation residents looking after older relatives benefit from 73 assisted living facilities rated above average by Caring.com within a 50-mile radius. The site named the suburb the 16th best spot for seniors to live in the nation this year.
In this ranking, Fortune focused on multigenerational families, many of which raise their own children while caring for their aging parents. Fortune paid particular attention to factors that met this group’s unique challenges, including the quality of local public schools, graduation rates, college affordability nearby, the availability of quality nursing homes, assisted living communities, home health care agencies, the risk of social isolation among older residents, and the availability of quality health care providers.
To ensure winning places were cities and towns where residents were able to purchase a home without breaking the bank, Fortune eliminated locations whose home sale prices were more than twice that of the state median and/or more than 2.75 times that of the national median, according to a press release.
Additionally, Fortune wanted to highlight neighborhoods with diverse populations. In order to achieve this, Fortune’s staff compared the racial breakdown of each place to state benchmarks and eliminated any location that was 75% less diverse than the state medians. As part of its data collection process, Fortune also considered socioeconomic, religious, and ethnic diversity.
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