Real estate platform Zillow has just compiled a list of the best U.S. cities to be a kid, and somewhat surprisingly it turns out that Corpus Christi, Texas ranks in first place, followed by Madison, Wisconsin in second, and Fort Worth, Texas in third.
To compile the list, Zillow analyzed listing descriptions in the 100 largest cities across the country to find the most kid-centric terms, looking for cities where neighborhood friends are easy to come by, parks and theme parks are nearby, and yards are large.
Zillow's top 10 list includes no less than four Texas cities: Corpus Christi, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Dallas. In Corpus Christi, number one on the list, 14 percent of residents are under 10 years old and the median yard size is almost 6,000 square feet. There are also seven parks for every 10,000 people.
Other cities on the list include Charlotte, N.C. and Tulsa, Okla. Of the top 10 list, Charlotte has the largest median yard size, at almost 11,000 square feet. In Tulsa, almost 10 percent of listings feature kid friendly terms.
"Must-haves for families with kids are a lot different than those without," said Zillow Chief Marketing Officer Jeremy Wacksman. "In addition to a convenient commute, families with kids also want an awesome backyard. Forget the gourmet kitchen – kids want a decked-out finished basement, dedicated playroom or custom treehouse. Proximity to happening nightlife isn't nearly as important as growing up close to lots of other kids to play around with. On this list of kid-friendly communities, currently 'hot,' amenity-rich, dense cities like San Francisco and Seattle take a back seat to communities in wide-open places like Texas and the Midwest that offer plenty of room for children to grow."