Rankings of best cities for middle class families from the Chapman Center.

Living in a vigorous big city can be fun but could also add great pressure to one's budget. It also may not be the best choice for families, especially when the American middle class is facing severe income cuts after the 2008 recession. Then, where are the best to the middle class to raise families and look for job opportunities? Demographer Joel Kotkin can tell you. 

Kotkin is co-author of a study published by Chapman University's Chapman Center for Demographics and Policy, which tallies and weights factors such as housing affordability, migration, income growth, commute times, and middle-income jobs. And many of the highest-ranked metros tend to be middle-sized. In contrast, large metros such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Las Vegas actually wind up among the bottom 10.

The 10 best metros for middle class are: Des Moines, Iowa, Madison, Wis., Albany, N.Y., Austin, Texas, Raleigh, N.C., Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.-Wis., Harfort, Conn., Washington, District of Columbia-Va.-Md.-W.Va., Omaha, Neb.-Iowa, and Ogden, Utah.  

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