Madison 3rd in STEM job growth & 2nd in family friendliness

One of the reasons families are gravitating to Madison, the report says, is the availability of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs.

Madison, WIStudy ranks Madison No. 2 in family friendliness

By Steven Elbow, The Capital Times

A new study ranks Madison second on the list of cities that are favored by families.

The study from Chapman University’s Center for Demographics and Policy shows that American families are shunning the expense of major metropolitan areas, opting instead for mid-sized cities where technology jobs are rife, travel times to work are short and public education offers kids a better chance to succeed.

The report took into account factors that matter in the day-to-day existence of families, especially median family income versus cost of living, good jobs and the quality of life for school-age children.

Only Des Moines, Iowa, scored higher on the study’s Best Cities index.

“Overall, our Best Cities index balances the economic costs and quality of life issues that matter to middle class families,” write the authors, led by urban studies professor Joel Kotkin. “When we integrate our three big categories a very interesting picture emerges. Notably, the best rated cities tend to be smaller. The three most highly rated, Des Moines, Madison and Albany, all have populations of less than 1 million.”

Among the top 10, five exceeded populations of 1 million, including Minneapolis-St. Paul. But on the other end of the scale, the bottom 10 includes such mega-cities as New York, Los Angeles and Miami, which have large populations that live under the poverty lines, have high housing costs and long commute times.

One of the reasons families are gravitating to Madison, the report says, is the availability of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs. Read more …

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