Best Place to Raise Your Kids: Alabama*

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Best Place to Raise Your Kids: Alabama*

Huntsville

Nearest city: Huntsville
Population: 162,819
Median household income: $69,000

Families don't have to leave Huntsville to find fun things to do. The city is best known as the home of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, where scientists designed space rockets in the 1950s and visitors now come for interactive exhibits, rides, and movies. The 104-acre Huntsville Botanical Garden has a new Children's Garden and Nature Center, which claims to have the nation's largest seasonal butterfly house.

Runners-up:
Dothan
Hoover

*For all slides, relative safety was measured by the "total crime risk," an index of the combined risks of rape, murder, assault, robbery, burglary, larceny, and vehicle theft. Crime scores were based on demographic and geographic analyses of crime over seven years. School performance was based on state reading and math test scores and came from Great Schools. Zoo data came from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, and museum, theater, park, and recreation information came from InfoUSA. Air quality information came from the Environmental Protection Agency, household expenditures and diversity data were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, and job growth data came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Source: OnBoard Informatics.

Click here to see the 2010 version of the Best Places to Raise Your Kids