Money Magazine Touts Small-Town USA in Best Places to Live List

CNN’s Money Magazine has released its annual list of the 100 best places to live in America. Here are the top ten, to give you an idea of the kinds of town they’re going for:

1 Eden Prairie, MN
2 Columbia/Ellicott City, MD
3 Newton, MA
4 Bellevue, WA
5 McKinney, TX
6 Fort Collins, CO
7 Overland Park, KS
8 Fishers, IN
9 Ames, IA
10 Rogers, AR

See the full list here.

Here’s how Money Magazine compiled its data.

Most of the towns on the list have smallish populations (50,000-150,000). I’ve been to some of the towns on the list–Arvada, CO; Irvine, CA–and have to scratch my head as to how they’re better than some surrounding towns.

I’d be more apt to believe this list if it put more weight on certain intangibles, like culture, diversity, and what kinds of communities are nurtured in each specific town. I’d also like to read more about what demographic this list is targeted at. Young family types might see more in this list than, say, single working people, creative types, or boomers seeking a new beginning. Grain of salt is duly swallowed.