Here & There – 2016 Top Ten Best Small Cities
Every year, Money Magazine publishes its “Best Places To Live” rankings in categories ranging from small towns and young people to work environments and retirement.
Cities are evaluated by analyzing 60 key factors including home values, taxes and cost of living, as well as quality of life criteria like air quality and commutes, and earn their rankings based on how they compare to each other. The rankings are coveted, providing plenty of good PR for cities that make the list.
The 2016 Top Ten Best Small Cities include towns with populations under 300,000. Even though Decatur didn’t make the list, we were curious to find out how our city stacked up to the “Best”.
You’ll be surprised at the results. On the table below, we took the average of the Top Ten cities to compare Decatur’s data. Decatur comes out on top in almost every category, scoring highest in “living well for less,” which is based on the cost of living index, median home prices, free or affordable cultural arts offerings and frugal shopping options. Decatur also has the lowest property taxes and best air quality by a huge margin over any of the Top Ten.
Maybe 2017 will be our year…
Criteria *Top Ten Average Decatur
Cost of Living Index: 110.4 83.6
Median Home Price: $327,000 $81,300
Average Monthly Rent: $1,009 $632
Average Property Tax: $6,270 $1,906
Air Quality Index: 101 55.4
Average Commute: 26 minutes 15 minutes
*Money Magazine’s 2016 Top Ten Best Small Cities are: Columbia, MD; Eden Prairie, MN; Plano, TX; West Des Moines, IA; Parsippany, NJ; Highlands Ranch, CO; Clarkstown, NY; Weston, FL; Beaverton, OR; and Naperville, IL.
Here & There is sponsored by Decatur-based Vieweg Real Estate.
This article originally appeared in the April/May 2017 issue of Decatur Magazine. It may not be reproduced or redistributed in whole or in part without the publisher’s consent.
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