Nestled in California’s San Joaquin Valley (just under the ultra-scenic Sierra Nevada mountains), Fresno is a family-friendly choice for moms and dads looking to settle down. With a population that includes more than 80 different nationalities, the cultural diversity combined with the picturesque scenery (as well as the city’s many other awesome attributes) makes Fresno an ideal option for all kinds of families.
Who lives in Fresno and what do they do? While these questions may not seem that important at first, knowing some stats on your new neighbors can come in handy when deciding where you are going to raise your family. Demographics such as population, median income and labor force aren’t always deal-breakers, but factor into things such as how much a typical house costs, how much taxes are or what jobs are available. The 2011 Fresno city stats say that there are more than 500,000 residents, the average household income is just over $60,000 and the majority of residents work in education and public administration.
Unless you plan on keeping your tots indoors all day long, parks are a pretty important part of family life. The City of Fresno has multiple free community parks, as well as three regional parks. The regional parks are fee-based (you can buy a yearly pass for $40) and include features such as lakes and waterways, picnic areas, playgrounds, dog parks and more. If a day out in the sun is too much for your little one, six of Fresno’s parks (Victoria West, Woodward, Selma Layne, Todd Beamer, Figarden Loop and Al Radka) have shade covered “tot lots” that are between 20 and 30 degrees colder than the in-sun temperature.
While your little learner might not be quite school ready yet, before you know it he will begin his educational career. When deciding if a city is right to raise your family, it’s important to take a look at the local schools (unless you plan on homeschooling). Your public schools option for this area is the Fresno Unified School District. As the fourth largest district in the state, Fresno’s schools provide preschool through grade 12 classes for more than 72,000 kids. With a strong commitment to providing safety, quality instruction and cultural diversity, Fresno Unified is a place where every young learner can excel.
No parent wants to think about the worst, but the crime rate is a vital part of whether a city is or isn’t the best choice for you and your children. While finding a crime-free city is virtually impossible, looking for a lower crime area is an obvious preference. The Fresno Police Department keeps monthly crime statistics, making them public in its Monthly Crime Data report. You can easily use this guide to determine whether this city is crime-free enough for you to raise a family. It also includes a handy year-to-year comparison. For example, in July 2011, there were 251 violent offenses and 269 in July 2012. If that seems like a lot, consider a larger city’s stats. In the first week alone of September 2012, there were 2,172 of these incidents in New York City.