Is Washington DC a good place to raise kids?


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Washington DC, as the capital of the United States, often finds itself at the center of political and many other events. However, families considering a move often view it in a different light. Namely, parents often wonder one thing – Is Washington DC a good place to raise kids? To answer this question, you’ll need to take a look at different factors that are important for a child’s upbringing.  Then you’ll see how the nation’s capital handles it. Only then you will be able to know for sure whether to pack up your life and your family and start the exciting and transformative journey of relocating to this cool city.

What’s the school system in Washington DC like?

When families consider education in Washington DC, they are usually pretty satisfied with what they find. There’s a rich spectrum of public and private schools of a very good quality.

Public schools

Washington DC’s public schools are noted for their strong academic programs. Some of the top-performing schools include:

  • Lafayette Elementary School: Known for its high student achievement.
  • Stoddert Elementary School: Offers a robust learning environment.
  • Key Elementary School: Stands out for its comprehensive curriculum.

These schools showcase the public system’s dedication to academic excellence, catering to a diverse student body with various programs and initiatives​

Private schools

The private sector in Washington DC is equally impressive, with schools known for their rigorous academics and holistic development approaches. Notable examples are:

  • National Cathedral School: Celebrated for its academic rigor and supportive learning environment.
  • Holton-Arms School: Offers a range of programs from lower to upper school, emphasizing small class sizes for personalized education.
a school child studying something
The schools in the nation’s capital are of the highest quality.

Is Washington DC a good place to raise kids in terms of safety?

When considering Washington DC as a place to raise kids, safety is one of the top concerns. The city’s crime rates, especially in recent years, provide a mixed picture.

Crime statistics and trends

Washington DC has witnessed a concerning increase in violent crimes. In 2023, the city experienced a significant rise in homicides, reaching the highest number in two decades. This escalation is not just limited to homicides but extends to other crimes as well. For instance, robberies surged by 67%, and vehicle thefts saw an 82% increase compared to the previous year. These numbers are very concerning for parents interested in living in this city.

So, while Washington DC offers many benefits as a place to live, families should be aware of the current crime trends. Before they give the movers DC area offers a call, they must be aware of this particular dark side of the city.

police forces in Washington DC
The nation’s capital is not the safest city out there, which is to consider when trying to answer the question “Is Washington DC a good place to raise kids?”

What is the situation with healthcare?

When settling in a new place like Washington DC, access to quality healthcare is a top priority for parents. In DC, the situation with healthcare is very good. Numerous facilities are offering a variety of options for family health needs.

Healthcare Facilities

The residents of this active city have access to a wide range of medical services. The DC Department of Health oversees various health programs and facilities. This includes primary care health centers, STD and TB clinics, and emergency medical services. These facilities are strategically located throughout the city, catering to different health needs and emergencies. Additionally, the city’s health system possesses the top-notch medical technology. More importantly, its staff consists of highly professional healthcare experts, reflecting the city’s commitment to maintaining high standards in healthcare services.

So, as the Washington DC hourly movers, or some other moving company of your choice, finish unloading your stuff, you can rest assured your health will be taken care of.  Washington DC’s healthcare system is well-equipped to meet whatever medical needs you might have, so your family can feel protected in this sense.

Is Washington DC a good place to raise kids in terms of the environment and pollution?

When considering a move to Washington DC, whether it’s a short journey or one that requires the services of DC apartment movers, it’s good to know what can one expect when it comes to the environment. Washington DC has made significant strides in environmental sustainability. In recent years the city is focusing more on various initiatives to improve the quality of life for its residents and the natural ecosystem.

Air and water quality

Air quality in the city is managed by the District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), which works to reduce pollutant concentrations to protect health and the environment. The city’s main water bodies, including the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and Rock Creek, have historically fallen below water quality standards due to contaminants from various sources. However, the DOEE is actively implementing programs to improve these water bodies’ quality. Mainly, it focuses on reducing pollution from stormwater runoff, sewer overflows, and other sources​.

​​Green initiatives and programs

  • Urban agriculture: The DOEE supports increasing food production in the city, fostering a sustainable and equitable food system.
  • Solar initiatives: These include programs like Solar Works DC, aiming to train residents for solar careers and install solar systems for low-income households.
  • Energy efficiency and benchmarking: The city emphasizes energy conservation and efficient use in buildings, contributing to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Green building: Programs to promote green construction practices that conserve resources and minimize environmental impact.
  • Electronics recycling: Proper recycling of electronics is encouraged to conserve natural resources and handle toxic materials responsibly.
  • Water quality programs: Initiatives to monitor and improve the quality of water in the District’s rivers and streams.
  • Sustainability efforts: Programs like Sustainable DC work towards meeting the economic, social, and environmental needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs​

Washington DC’s dedication to improving its environmental quality is evident in these initiatives. Because of that, it‘s a forward-thinking city committed to sustainability. So, when you are asking yourself the question of is Washington DC a good place to raise kids, its approach to preserving nature can be counted as a reason to answer “yes”.

a phone with the symbol of recycling on its screen
This city constantly works in favor of the environment and sustainability.

Is the nation’s capital community a place where you want to raise kids?

Washington DC’s diversity is a significant aspect of its character. In fact, this is one of the reasons why clients of the long distance movers Washington DC residents speak highly of, often decide to move there in the first place. Simply speaking, no matter your skin color, the origin of your name, or your financial status, this city will show you respect.

Racial and ethnic diversity

Washington DC is home to a diverse population, with no single racial or ethnic group holding a majority. As of the latest data, the racial makeup of the city includes 40.3% Caucasian, 30.1% African-American, 15.2% Hispanic, and 9.8% Asian residents. The city’s ethnic composition also includes people from over 170 nationalities. Evidently, it is one of the most diverse cities in the United States​.

people of various races and origins joining hands together in the nation's capital, and trying to answer the following question: Is Washington DC a good place to raise kids?
Diversity is what makes Washington DC stand out.

Recreational and cultural activities

According to some of the most experienced Washington DC movers, once the new residents settle into their homes, exploring recreational and cultural activities is the first thing they start doing. Fortunately for all of those who like to spend their free time actively, Washington DC has so much to offer to all age groups.

Outdoor activities and parks

For those who enjoy the great outdoors, Washington DC doesn’t disappoint. The city is home to several parks and playgrounds, each offering unique experiences. Clemyjontri Park in Fairfax, for example, spreads across 2 acres and is filled with colorful landscapes, slides, and monkey bars. There’s even a carousel. If you have children aged 3 to 10, you must visit it, because they’ll love it. Another delightful spot is Glen Echo Park. It not only offers a glimpse into history with its old-fashioned architecture but also hosts art exhibitions that can be a fascinating experience for children aged 3 and above.​

Museums and educational attractions

Washington DC is known for its numerous and breathtaking museums, many of which are tailored to be family-friendly. The National Geographic Museum, for instance, provides an immersive experience with dynamic exhibitions that are perfect for families with teenagers. They offer a chance to interact with the works of world-class scientists and conservationists in an engaging setting. Another noteworthy destination is the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. It makes contemporary art accessible to its younger visitors through interactive Art Carts, storytime, and guides with suggested activities. This museum is ideal for children of all ages. It allows them to explore and learn about art in a fun way​.

the capitol building as one of the reasons to say "yes" to the question "Is Washington DC a good place to raise kids?"
Those who like spending their quality time with kids exploring the museums and attractions will love Washington DC.

How much does it cost to live in the nation’s capital?

The cost of living is naturally an important factor you must consider when you ask yourself the question “Is Washington DC a good place to raise kids?”. As you are calculating your budget, and adding the relocation costs, such as the fees of furniture movers Washington DC offers, don’t forget to consider how much money you’ll need for a life in this city daily. Unfortunately for all that are set on moving to the nation’s capital, the truth is it stands out for its high cost of living.

Housing costs

Housing in Washington DC ranges widely, as its neighborhoods range as well. In general, rent for a studio apartment averages around $1,518, while a one-bedroom apartment typically costs about $1,666 per month. For larger families, the median rent for a three-bedroom apartment is approximately $1,595. On the other hand, a more spacious four-bedroom house can cost around $3,500 per month. The median mortgage cost is notably higher at $2,569 per month. These figures illustrate the substantial financial commitment required for housing in the capital​​. Therefore, before you hire the local movers DC provides, make sure you are certain that you can afford to pay the housing costs.

an image of a house and a person holding a banner that says "mortgage"
Our nation’s capital is not the cheapest city to live in.

Utilities and groceries

Utility costs in Washington DC also contribute to the overall living expenses. The average monthly utility bill, covering electricity, gas, water, and cable, is about $334. When it comes to groceries and food, a typical family might spend an estimated $520 per person per month. This estimate includes various items like milk, eggs, chicken, and vegetables. Prices for individual items, like a liter of milk or a dozen eggs, fall within the range of $1.16 to $4.46, respectively​​.

Parent support and resources

Families relocating to Washington DC have access to a variety of resources and support systems. Even more so when it comes to child care and parenting assistance. These resources are designed to ease parenting challenges in an urban environment. Alsotheir goal is to provide quality care and educational opportunities for children.

​​Childcare options and resources

  • Childcare Assistance and Payment: The program supports a wide range of licensed childcare providers who meet specific quality standards.
  • My Child Care DC. A platform where parents can search for licensed child care, compare options, and access early learning resources.
  • DC Child Care Connections. This agency offers resources and referrals for parents seeking child care. They assist in finding child care that meets family needs, including traditional and non-traditional hours of operation.
  • Special Education Enhancement Fund. This fund helps establish new dedicated childcare slots and out-of-school time slots, along with a referral system for infants and toddlers with disabilities.
  • Parental Choice Options. These options include various types of child care services such as Center-Based Providers (Levels 1 and 2), Family Child Care Home Providers, Child Development Home Satellite Systems, and more. They  give parents the flexibility to choose the type of care that best suits their needs.
  • Early Learning Programs. DC is a leader in early childhood education, offering free, universal Pre-K and other early learning programs to prepare young children for success.

​So is Washington DC a good place to raise kids, namely, your kids?

After reviewing all of these points, it is clear that the city presents a complex yet compelling case. While challenges such as the cost of living and safety concerns are undeniable, the city also offers unparalleled opportunities for cultural and intellectual growth. Finally, the answer to the question of whether is the Washington DC a good place to raise kids is a personal one. It depends on the individual priorities and circumstances. What remains indisputable is that for those who choose this path, Washington DC holds the potential to provide a dynamic and enriching environment for families.

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