Best Place to Raise Kids in Kansas: Belle Plaine
Nearby city: Wichita
Median family income: $74,463
Avg. school math score: 89.67 (State avg.: 85.95)
Avg. school reading score: 92.44 (State avg.: 88.88)
This small (pop. 1,556) suburb of Wichita is just under 30 miles from Wichita, which has a large manufacturing base. The aviation industry has a strong presence here, represented by Boeing, Cessna, Bombardier Learjet, and Raytheon, even though the economic downturn prompted job cuts. Health care is the area’s second-biggest industry. Belle Plaine prides itself on its “excellent schools” and “quality people,” according to the town’s website. One of the high points of the year is the annual Tulip Time Festival, which is held in the spring and attracts visitors from across the state for two days of arts and crafts, food, entertainment, and sports.Of the 50 places on this list, Belle Plaine is the No. 6 best place in the U.S. to raise your kids.