California once drew legions of fortune seekers to its short-lived Gold Rush. Although few newcomers are likely to strike gold in the literal sense today, the Golden State continues to charm big dreamers — not just aspiring actors and tech-preneurs, either. California’s many other riches are a magnet for families in search of opportunity.
There’s no shortage of economic activity in the state, for one. California’s GDP of $2.5 trillion in 2015 exceeded those of all but five countries. That’s due in part to its way of setting kids up for success, by establishing some of the best universities in the world. And once employed, workers benefit from a comprehensive paid family-leave program. California was the first state to offer that incentive to American families and remains one of only a handful of states to implement such a policy.
Add to that list of priorities an abundance of fun and entertainment options. For outdoor-loving families, the state teems with natural beauty, providing plenty of opportunities to explore.
Such a combination of qualities makes California the ideal place for parents to raise their children. But it’s not all moonlight and roses throughout the state — some cities are more family-friendly than others. WalletHub’s analysts therefore compared 240 Golden State cities to determine which among them is most conducive to family life.