It’s that time again – time for Money Magazine’s 100 Best Places To Live In America. Every year I cover their findings, as I think it’s really interesting to read about where people are living “the good life” in this country. Their findings are based on data about job opportunities, education, crime rates, health care, extracurricular activities, and a bunch of other factors that can make or break a town’s livability. They start with towns and cities with populations between 50,000 and 300,000, then they exclude places where median income is more than 200% of the state median, then they screen out retirement communities, towns with high unemployment, etc., then they factor in additional data on the economy, followed by visits to the towns and interviews with local residents. It’s quite an exhaustive process!
I have traveled to almost every state in the country, and there are always plenty of places that I could see myself living, and discovering a few new ones in this annual list is quite interesting – it makes me want to take more road trips!
As I normally do, I will list the Top 10 places to live out of the Top 100 that they cover, and include a little info on each. Also, I live pretty close to Fort Collins, CO, and I have to tell you – it’s a very cool town, with clean air, nice people, and plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy year round. I highly recommend you check it out if you are ever in Colorado.
1. Eden Prairie, MN – 64,000 residents, $295,000 average home price, and average annual property taxes of $3,600
2. Columbia/Ellicott City, MD – 155,000 residents, $435,000 average home price, taxes of $6,500
3. Newton, MA – 82,000 residents, $575,000 average home price, and taxes of $5,500 (I love Newton, I grew up in that area. Fantastic city only a few miles from Boston)
4. Bellevue, WA – 124,000 residents, $542,000 average home price, and taxes of $3,700
5. McKinney, TX – 125,000 residents, $156,000 average home price, with taxes of $3,800 (What a great average home price)
6. Fort Collins, CO – 141,000 residents, $239,000 average home price, taxes of $1,400 (Incredibly low property taxes)
7. Overland Park, KS – 175,000 residents, $240,000 home price, and $2,900 in taxes
8. Fishers, IN – 69,000 residents, $140,000 average home price, and only $1,400 in property taxes
9. Ames, IA – 60,000 residents, $175,000 average home price, and taxes of $2,400
10. Rogers, AR – 57,000 residents, $171,000 average home price, and average annual property taxes of $1,800
I never would have guessed that a relatively small town in Minnesota would come out as the best place to live in America, but hey – that’s what these lists are for! I know my hometown in Massachusetts came in 16th place last year on the small town list, and I totally agreed with their finding. Is your city or town on this year’s Top 100 list? Should it be? Let us know where you live and why it should or shouldn’t be on the list!