America's Best, Affordable Places to Raise Kids

Chicago resident Joe Walsh got married in 2001. Later that year he and his wife packed their belongings and moved 15 miles to the suburb of Niles, Ill., to start a family. The village, noted for having an old water tower that now stands as a half-size replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, has nice parks. "But the biggest thing was that we could afford a house," says Walsh, now the father of children aged six and two.

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