Sometimes, even coming in at 2nd place is GOOD news.
It is when you’re ranked Number 2 on Niche.com‘s 2016 list of 100 Best Places to Raise a Family in Connecticut. Wilton came in on the list right behind the top spot, which was snagged by Old Greenwich. Nationally, Wilton came in at number 121.
The 2016 Best Places to Raise a Family ranking provides a comprehensive assessment of key factors that are meaningful for families at the place level. This grade takes into account key factors, the quality of local schools, safety, affordability, and access to family amenities, in an attempt to measure the appeal of an area for families.
People were thrilled with the news, and at what the ranking could mean—but in some ways they weren’t surprised. Lisa Bender, a realtor with William Raveis (and GMW contributor) had this to say about the Niche.com ranking:
“The fact is Wilton has been and continues to be a value play for many families. It’s the reason I chose to raise my family in Wilton, and most of you did too. As long as there are people raising children, Wilton will be a strong choice. Say what you will about the real estate market and property values, but Wilton has been and continues to be an ideal place to raise a family. A great school system, bucolic properties, and a charming town center where the kids can walk, see a movie and grab some ice cream. Parents can catch a quick bite and still be in shouting distance if their kids need them.”
Her colleague, Peg Koellmer, who owns Realty Seven, agreed: “These kinds of ranking are tremendously important when it comes to marketing our town. There has been so much negativity lately regarding the state of the state that it is refreshing to refocus and count our blessings.”
With the schools such an important part of the equation, Board of Education chair Bruce Likly was understandably upbeat at hearing the news. “Great schools, top public safety rating, picturesque landscape, ideally located near mass transit and an easy commute to NYC while still within an easy day’s travel to Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.. with great restaurants, grocery shopping and reasonable real estate values—I couldn’t agree more!”
Niche calculates its rankings of best places to raise a family based on data from public schools, crime rates, cost of living, and family-friendly amenities. They compiled statistics from the U.S. Census, FBI, BLS, CDC, and other data sources. Among the factors they consider highest is the grade Niche.com assigns to the public school system in each town, which is 20-percent of the ranking calculation.
As for where other surrounding towns fell on the list, Darien ranked #3; New Canaan #4; Weston #5; Westport #12; Greenwich #16; Ridgefield #17; Fairfield #31; and Redding #92.