This Is America's Best Small City

Princeton leads WalletHub's 2017 list
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2017 10:55 AM CDT
This Is America's Best Small City
People stroll in Princeton, NJ, on Aug. 4, 2008.   (AP Photo/Mike Derer)

If the idea of living in a place where "everyone knows your name" appeals to you, WalletHub can help. The site is out with its list of this year's best small cities in America. It considered more than 1,200 US cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 and ranked them on 33 factors, including housing costs, the quality of the local school system, and even number of restaurants per capita. In addition to the overall ranking, each city was also ranked in areas such as safety, quality of life, and affordability—as WalletHub notes, cost of living can be much lower in smaller cities than big ones. Consider the difference between Hanford, Calif., where the cost of living for a two-parent, two-child family is almost 1% less than the median US household budget of $5,312; in San Francisco, it's 44% more. The top 19 small cities, all of which ranked in the top 1%:

  1. Princeton, NJ: Overall score of 73.36, and ranked first in economic health
  2. Lexington, Mass.: 72.67; sixth in safety
  3. Leawood, Kan.: 71.68; first in affordability
  4. Milton, Mass.: 69.14; fifth in education and health
  5. Brentwood, Tenn.: 69.13; ninth in affordability
  6. Los Altos, Calif.: 68.55; fifth in economic health
  7. Carmel, Ind.: 68.47; 15th in affordability
  8. Needham, Mass.: 68.45; second in education and health
  9. Holly Springs, NC: 67.62; 24th in affordability
  10. Littleton, Colo.: 67.45; 37th in quality of life

  1. Newton, Mass.: 67.36; 12th in education and health
  2. Melrose, Mass.: 67.11; 16th in education and health
  3. Brookfield, Wis.: 67.09; 25th in education and health
  4. Sammamish, Wash.: 67.03; 28th in safety
  5. Kirkland, Wash.: 66.99; fourth in economic health
  6. Saratoga, Calif.: 66.93; 17th in economic health
  7. Dublin, Ohio: 66.88; eighth in affordability
  8. Palo Alto, Calif.: 66.68; 12th in economic health
  9. Westfield, NJ: 66.67; 18th in safety
Click for the full rankings and further insights. (More best places to live stories.)

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