Towson is considered one of the best places in Maryland for young families, according to a recent analysis.
Towson ranked fourth in a study performed by researchers at NerdWallet, who analyzed towns according to factors that young families find important.
Towns were ranked based on growth, income level and the quality of public schools and given an overall score. Eldersburg ranked first, then Odenton and and Ellicott City. Catonsville, Annapolis, Frederick, Olney and Rockville rounded out the top 10.
In the case of Towson, researchers pointed to the high median income of $73,415, and the high rating of schools, based on the website Greatschools.com.
Affordability, however, was a drag on Towson and other towns in the state. The average home price in Towson was $348,000, and homes in other cities in Maryland were even more expensive.
"Maryland in general is wealthier than most states," said Mike Anderson, the author of the report. "It's absolutely a tug-of-war between higher income and affordability."
The growth of cities was considered a positive for young families; all of the cities in NerdWallet's top 10 had growth of more than 30 percent between 1999 and 2011. Anderson acknowledged that some residents may consider growth to be a negative due to increase traffic or other concerns, but that young families prefer denser and more active and wealthier communities.
"With growth, you also tend to face overcrowding, but in general, young families look for higher income than having more space."
Anderson said Nerdwallet is performing similar rankings for all 50 states and have completed 15. By year's end, he hopes to publish a national ranking.