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Try Dubuque or Manitowac to Raise Your Family

Photo Courtesy - Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce(NEW YORK) -- If you're looking for a great place to raise your family, you probably have guessed that by most family-friendly standards, the biggest U.S. cities like New York and Los Angeles are not your best option.  They're great for young professionals looking for exciting nightlife and a fast rise up the career ladder.  When it comes to things like affordable daycare, the challenges start to mount. says Dubuque, Iowa, with its population of 92,000, is the best place in America to do that white picket fence thing.  Manitowac, Wisconsin is almost as good, at number two in the ranking, while Marquette, Michigan comes in third.  These places boast solid average incomes, good educational prospects, low costs, short commute times and high rates of home ownership -- all reasons why they rank as the top three small cities in America to raise a family. ranked cities with populations under 100,000 and Dubuque is the largest in the top three, combining some of the advantages of a larger metropolitan area with that smaller city feel and level of amenities.

Twelve of the 15 top spots are in the midwest.  Forbes says every region has good small cities in which to bring up your children.  Casper, Wyoming is tops in the west at number eight.  In the east, its Auburn, New York at number 18.  Auburn may be best known for its prison and the jobs that come with it, but it is also very near a much smaller city called Seneca Falls, believed to be the model for movie director Frank Capra's Bedford Falls.  If you are not familiar with it, it's the setting for the classic Jimmy Stewart film,  It's a Wonderful Life.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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