Best counties to raise a family in Missouri

Missouri

Known in other parts of the world as shires, provinces, or territories, the United States’ counties (also known in certain states as boroughs or parishes) date back to the 1600s, when settlers first came to find freedom from British rule. Today, those counties remain, with the 50 states divided into several, each with its own unique makeup.

For people looking to find a home to raise a family in, choosing a county is an important decision. Most families place affordable homes, safe neighborhoods, a quality school system, and family-friendly activities at the top of their wishlists.

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to raise a family in Missouri using data from Niche. Niche ranks counties based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, healthcare, recreation and weather.

The list features counties that boast some of the top schools and fun, family-friendly activities for every season. Keep reading to explore the best counties to raise a family. Maybe you’ll find one that suits your brood.

Paul Sableman // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Cooper County

– Population: 17,660
– Median home value: $132,900 (73% own)
– Median rent: $664 (27% rent)
– Median household income: $52,735
– Top public schools: Boonville High School (B+), Blackwater Elementary School (B-), Bunceton Elementary School (B-)
– Top private schools: Ss. Peter & Paul School (unavailable), St. Joseph Elementary School (unavailable), Zion Lutheran School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Boonville (B+), Windsor Place (B+), Boonville Township (B+)

Kbh3rd // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Howard County

– Population: 10,058
– Median home value: $130,100 (78% own)
– Median rent: $601 (22% rent)
– Median household income: $52,700
– Top public schools: Laurence J. Daly Elementary School (B), New Franklin Elementary School (B), New Franklin Middle/High School (B)
– Top private schools: St. Mary’s Catholic School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Fayette (B+), New Franklin (B+), Moniteau Township (B+)

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Buchanan County

– Population: 88,460
– Median home value: $122,200 (62% own)
– Median rent: $779 (38% rent)
– Median household income: $51,916
– Top public schools: Field Elementary School (B+), Oak Grove Elementary School (B), Ellison Elementary School (B)
– Top private schools: Bishop LeBlond High School (B+), St. Joseph Christian School (B+), St. Francis Xavier School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: St. Joseph (B-), Tremont Township (B+), Washington Township (B)

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#22. Marion County

– Population: 28,608
– Median home value: $123,400 (65% own)
– Median rent: $665 (35% rent)
– Median household income: $48,784
– Top public schools: Oakwood Elementary School (A-), Marion County Elementary School (B), Mark Twain Elementary School (B)
– Top private schools: Holy Family School (unavailable), St. John’s Lutheran School (unavailable), Hannibal Christian Academy (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Palmyra (B+), Hannibal (B), Miller Township (A-)

David Wilson // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Pettis County

– Population: 42,355
– Median home value: $119,100 (69% own)
– Median rent: $707 (31% rent)
– Median household income: $46,157
– Top public schools: Parkview Elementary School (A-), Skyline Elementary School (A-), Heber Hunt Elementary School (A-)
– Top private schools: Applewood Christian School (B+), Sacred Heart School (B+), Show-Me Christian School (B)
– Top places to live: Sedalia (B), Sedalia Township (B+), Cedar Township (B)

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#20. Moniteau County

– Population: 16,046
– Median home value: $124,500 (77% own)
– Median rent: $605 (23% rent)
– Median household income: $58,010
– Top public schools: Clarksburg Elementary School (A-), Jamestown C-I Elementary School (B+), California Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools: St. Andrew School (unavailable), Prairie Union School (unavailable), Hazel Dell School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: California (B+), Tipton (B-), Linn Township (B+)

Kbh3rd // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Cass County

– Population: 103,597
– Median home value: $181,000 (77% own)
– Median rent: $975 (23% rent)
– Median household income: $69,433
– Top public schools: Creekmoor Elementary School (A-), Hillcrest STEAM Academy (B+), Timber Creek Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools: Blue Ridge Christian School (A-), Heartland High School & Academy (B+), Harrisonville Christian School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Lake Winnebago (A), Raymore (A-), Peculiar (B)

Kbh3rd // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Pulaski County

– Population: 52,425
– Median home value: $159,200 (49% own)
– Median rent: $993 (51% rent)
– Median household income: $53,492
– Top public schools: Thayer Elementary School (A-), Partridge Elementary School (B+), Waynesville Senior High School (B+)
– Top private schools: Maranatha Baptist Academy (A)
– Top places to live: Waynesville (B+), St. Robert (B+), Cullen Township (A-)

Kbh3rd // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Miller County

– Population: 25,201
– Median home value: $136,800 (74% own)
– Median rent: $677 (26% rent)
– Median household income: $47,171
– Top public schools: St. Elizabeth Elementary School (B+), Eldon High School (B+), Osage Middle School (B+)
– Top private schools: Our Lady of the Snows School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Lake Ozark (B+), Eldon (B-), St. Elizabeth (A-)

Kbh3rd // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Ste. Genevieve County

– Population: 17,848
– Median home value: $166,200 (80% own)
– Median rent: $729 (20% rent)
– Median household income: $60,129
– Top public schools: Ste. Genevieve Middle School (A), Ste. Genevieve Elementary School (A-), Ste. Genevieve Senior High School (A-)
– Top private schools: Valle Catholic Schools (B), St. Agnes Catholic Elementary School (unavailable), St. Joseph Elementary School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Ste. Genevieve (A-), Union Township (B+), Bloomsdale (B+)

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#15. Jefferson County

– Population: 223,951
– Median home value: $161,800 (79% own)
– Median rent: $855 (21% rent)
– Median household income: $65,454
– Top public schools: Festus Elementary School (A), James E. Freer Elementary School (A), George Guffey Elementary School (A-)
– Top private schools: St. Pius X. High School (A-), Twin City Christian Academy (B+), Christian Outreach School (C+)
– Top places to live: Arnold (B+), High Ridge (B+), Festus (B)

JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#14. McDonald County

– Population: 22,782
– Median home value: $110,500 (69% own)
– Median rent: $631 (31% rent)
– Median household income: $41,643
– Top public schools: Southwest City Elementary School (B+), McDonald County High School (B+), Anderson Middle School (B+)
– Top private schools:
– Top places to live: Anderson West Township (A-), Richwood Township (A-), Anderson (B+)

Kbh3rd // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Phelps County

– Population: 44,630
– Median home value: $135,000 (60% own)
– Median rent: $727 (40% rent)
– Median household income: $44,154
– Top public schools: Harry S. Truman Elementary School (A-), Wyman Elementary School (A-), Mark Twain Elementary School (A-)
– Top private schools: St. Patrick School (unavailable), Immanuel Lutheran School (unavailable), Great Circle – St. James (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Rolla (A-), St. James (B-), Rolla Township (A-)

Lilith Munck // Shutterstock

#12. Taney County

– Population: 55,114
– Median home value: $139,800 (62% own)
– Median rent: $816 (38% rent)
– Median household income: $46,031
– Top public schools: Kirbyville Elementary School (A), Kirbyville Middle School (A-), Branson Junior High School (A-)
– Top private schools: School of the Ozarks (B+), Trinity Christian Academy (A-), Riverview Bible Baptist Christian School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Branson (B+), Hollister (B), Merriam Woods (B)

Peek Creative Collective // Shutterstock

#11. Jasper County

– Population: 119,920
– Median home value: $118,400 (64% own)
– Median rent: $776 (36% rent)
– Median household income: $48,357
– Top public schools: Eugene Field Elementary School (A), Mark Twain Elementary School (A), Harry S. Truman Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School (A+), McAuley Catholic High School (B+), College Heights Christian School (B+)
– Top places to live: Carl Junction (A-), Webb City (A-), Oronogo (B+)

Jose Kevo // Wikicommons

#10. Greene County

– Population: 289,756
– Median home value: $146,000 (56% own)
– Median rent: $767 (44% rent)
– Median household income: $46,086
– Top public schools: Central High School (A), Schofield Elementary School (A-), Strafford High School (A-)
– Top private schools: Greenwood Laboratory School (A+), Springfield Catholic High School (A), The Summit Preparatory School (A-)
– Top places to live: Battlefield (A), Willard (B+), Republic (B+)

Jacob Boomsma // Shutterstock

#9. Cape Girardeau County

– Population: 78,491
– Median home value: $160,500 (65% own)
– Median rent: $808 (35% rent)
– Median household income: $53,732
– Top public schools: Blanchard Elementary School (A), Russell Hawkins Junior High School (A-), Alma Schrader Elementary School (A-)
– Top private schools: Notre Dame Regional High School (A-), Saxony Lutheran High School (A-), Eagle Ridge Christian School (B-)
– Top places to live: Jackson (A-), Cape Girardeau (A-), Randol Township (A-)

Semipaw // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Christian County

– Population: 85,658
– Median home value: $169,000 (74% own)
– Median rent: $816 (26% rent)
– Median household income: $60,645
– Top public schools: East Elementary School (A), North Elementary School (A), Ozark Junior High School (A)
– Top private schools: Faith Christian School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Fremont Hills (A), Ozark (A-), Nixa (A-)

Katherine Dowler // Wikimedia

#7. Cole County

– Population: 76,723
– Median home value: $162,300 (66% own)
– Median rent: $661 (34% rent)
– Median household income: $60,066
– Top public schools: Blair Oaks Elementary School (A-), Blair Oaks Middle School (A-), Cole R-1 Middle School (B+)
– Top private schools: Helias Catholic High School (A-), Calvary Lutheran High School (B+), Lighthouse Preparatory Academy (B)
– Top places to live: Jefferson City (A-), St. Martins (B), Jefferson Township (A)

Kbh3rd // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Clay County

– Population: 242,516
– Median home value: $174,900 (69% own)
– Median rent: $965 (31% rent)
– Median household income: $70,510
– Top public schools: Chapel Hill Elementary School (A), Nashua Elementary School (A), Bell Prairie Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: St. Pius X High School (A-), Northland Christian Schools (B+), Eagle Heights Christian School (B+)
– Top places to live: Liberty (A), Shoal Creek Valley (A), Gladstone (A)

Jon Kraft // Shutterstock

#5. Jackson County

– Population: 696,216
– Median home value: $147,400 (58% own)
– Median rent: $910 (42% rent)
– Median household income: $55,134
– Top public schools: James Walker Elementary School (A+), Cordill-Mason Elementary School (A+), Voy Spears Jr. Elementary School (A+)
– Top private schools: The Pembroke Hill School (A+), The Barstow School (A+), Rockhurst High School (A+)
– Top places to live: Lee’s Summit (A+), Blue Springs (A), Country Club / Waldo (A)

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#4. Boone County

– Population: 177,651
– Median home value: $185,700 (56% own)
– Median rent: $876 (44% rent)
– Median household income: $55,328
– Top public schools: Rock Bridge Senior High School (A+), David H. Hickman High School (A), Ulysses S. Grant Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Columbia Independent School (A+), Christian Fellowship School (A), Fr. Tolton Catholic High School (A-)
– Top places to live: Columbia (A), Ashland (B+), Centralia (B)

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#3. Platte County

– Population: 100,682
– Median home value: $226,500 (66% own)
– Median rent: $1,019 (34% rent)
– Median household income: $80,393
– Top public schools: Park Hill South High School (A), Park Hill High School (A), Plaza Middle School (A)
– Top private schools: Faith Christian Academy (A), St. Therese School (unavailable), Clay-Platte Montessori School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Parkville (A+), Weatherby Lake (A+), Line Creek Valley (A)

Rob Neville Photos // Shutterstock

#2. St. Charles County

– Population: 394,290
– Median home value: $219,100 (81% own)
– Median rent: $1,041 (19% rent)
– Median household income: $84,978
– Top public schools: Francis Howell Middle School (A), Becky-David Elementary School (A), Independence Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Lutheran High School of St. Charles County (A-), Christian School District (Living Word Christian School) (A-), Duchesne High School (A-)
– Top places to live: Dardenne Prairie (A+), Cottleville (A+), St. Peters (A)

Kbh3rd // Wikimedia Commons

#1. St. Louis County

– Population: 996,919
– Median home value: $198,800 (69% own)
– Median rent: $983 (31% rent)
– Median household income: $67,420
– Top public schools: Ladue Horton Watkins High School (A+), Clayton High School (A+), Lafayette High School (A+)
– Top private schools: John Burroughs School (A+), Thomas Jefferson School (A+), MICDS – Mary Institute & St. Louis Country Day School (A+)
– Top places to live: Richmond Heights (A+), Clayton (A+), Chesterfield (A+)

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