If you're a single parent, this list breaks down the best places for you to live based on things like median income, housing, and child care costs.

By Melissa Willets
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Single-parent households now make up about a third of families in the United States, but not all cities are primed for going it solo. Certain metros are better equipped to set single parents up for success based on income, unemployment, cost of childcare, and cost of living.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data analyzed by life insurance company Fabric, 10 cities in the states stand out as better options. The company looked at cities with at least 350,000 people across the country to score them on average income, employment rates, cost of living (specifically housing and child care), education levels, and length of commutes.

Here are the 10 cities that ranked the highest:

  1. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  2. Lansing, Michigan
  3. Austin, Texas
  4. Asheville, North Carolina
  5. Little Rock, Arkansas
  6. Wichita, Kansas
  7. Raleigh, North Carolina
  8. Omaha, Nebraska
  9. Huntsville, Alabama
  10. Naples, Florida

If you look at the entire country, the median income for a single parent household is $37,100 and it ranges from $22,000 to $78,000 in cities across the U.S. In top spot Ann Arbor, Michigan the average income is $55,350 with what Fabric defines as average cost of living. In Lansing, Michigan, it’s $46,390, with below average cost of living. Nearly all of the top 10 cities had a good ratio of cost of living to cost of housing—housing costs accounted for less than 25 percent of a single parent’s income in all but Naples, Florida (which was reported as 27 percent).

Budget isn’t the only concern. Time is precious when you’re a parent, especially a single one. All 10 cities had average commute times of less than one hour each day. And less commuting time means more time at home, aka more family time. That’s a win in any parents’ book.

A couple of years ago, personal finance website WalletHub has released a survey that focused solely on the single moms in cities across the country. According to the site's report, 2016's Best & Worst Cities for Single Moms, moms doing it alone account for one-quarter of all U.S. households. But, according to 2014 U.S. Census Bureau data, the average annual income for these mamas is a pitiful $24,403! That being the case, the survey looked at a variety of metrics across 150 cities that would make life easier for a mom raising children on her own, such as housing affordability and access to adequate child care.

Here are the 20 cities that ranked the highest:

  1. Scottsdale, Arizona
  2. Madison, Wisconsin
  3. Fremont, California
  4. San Francisco, California
  5. Seattle, Washington
  6. Pembroke Pines, Florida
  7. Irvine, California
  8. Honolulu, Hawaii
  9. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  10. Overland Park, Kansas
  11. Plano, Texas
  12. Des Moines, Iowa
  13. Omaha, Nebraska
  14. Raleigh, North Carolina
  15. Orlando, Florida
  16. Huntington Beach, California
  17. Gilbert, Arizona
  18. Little Rock, Arizona
  19. Tacoma, Washington
  20. Rancho Cucamonga, California

Gilbert, Arizona, ranked high (#17) because it boasts the highest median annual income for single moms at $46,856. Meanwhile, Brownsville, Texas, ranked low (#119) because it has the highest percentage of uncoupled moms with underaged children living below the poverty level, at 61.2 percent.

In #7 Irvine, California, more than half of single moms hold at least a bachelor's degree! And Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky, (#61) has the highest number of childcare workers per 1,000 children aged 13 and younger, so getting access to quality childcare is a reality for many.

Among the worst cities on this list were New York City, where single moms have low median annual incomes; Los Angeles, where it can be hard to find affordable housing; and San Francisco, where you'll find high costs for babysitters at a whopping $18.50 an hour!

Some superstar solo cities made it onto both lists, including Little Rock, Arkansas; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Omaha, Nebraska. So put those three on the short list for any single parents out there looking for their new home.

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.

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