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.

  • RJ

    I lived in Bellevue for about an year, except that it’s close to Redmond.. I don’t see why it gets 4th best place to live.

  • Drea

    Yeah, this list is weird, isn’t it? I’m starting to think that part of $ Magazine’s motivation is to get publicity for some of the more unheard-of towns, which in turn garners it publicity (and all the nice pageviews/sales that come with it). I live in Boulder, CO, close to Arvada, Ft. Collins, and Highlands Ranch, which were all on the list. Very few people would agree that Arvada is a better place to live than Boulder. Ft. Collins & Highlands Ranch would be better if your personal preferences happened to be living in a city or having more of a small-town feel. But really, it’s a matter of taste. I won’t go so far as to call this list a PR stunt, but it’s definitely in the territory.

  • RJ