Our top choice for the Best Cities for Families is no stranger to "best of" lists. Rockville, MD, has appeared three years in a row on our 100 Best Places to Live list, and is now making its second showing on the list of the Best Cities to Raise a Family.
A major reason for Rockville's high Livability ranking is the public school system in Montgomery County. The largest school district in the state, MCPS gives parents and students plenty to brag about. All 25 MCPS high schools are ranked among the top 11 percent of high schools in the country by the Washington Post. Five of those high schools also made the list of America’s Best High Schools, published by Newsweek, and 14 MCPS high schools made the U.S. News & World Report 2015 list of Best High Schools, and the district as a whole boasts a 89 percent graduation rate. The school system offers students full and partial language immersion programs, an elementary school center program for gifted students and several magnet, charter and subject-specific programs.
Post-secondary choices include several colleges and universities with a Rockville address, including the Rockville campuses of Montgomery College, University College, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland. Rockville is also home to the Universities at Shady Grove, a collaboration of nine public Maryland colleges and universities offering bachelor's and master's degree programs – all under one roof.
Diversity is another feature that makes Rockville so appealing to families. (It scored second highest on our diversity index.) Rockville is home to one of the largest Chinese communities in Maryland, and is also the center of the Washington, D.C. area's Jewish population with several synagogues, kosher restaurants, both the Berman Hebrew Academy and the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School for students in preschool through 12th grade, and the largest of the region's Jewish community centers.
Looking for more diversity? Check out our list of 10 Best Cities for African Americans
"Rockville is a diverse city filled with amazing people, businesses and amenities. We have an excellent public transportation system, phenomenal healthcare systems and a great business environment. Our school system which is part of the Montgomery County, MD system, is one of the best in the state ,and we have over 1,000 acres of parkland for people to take advantage of. The city is a great mixture of the old and the new and one that I am proud to work in," says Michelle Day, President & CEO of the Rockville Chamber of Commerce.
Rockville is also financially beneficial to families. The median household income is $98,530 – nearly double the national average. Rockville has one of the lowest family poverty rates of the cities on our list, and 97 percent of families in Rockville are insured.