How often do you visit a city for a business trip or vacation, and walk away thinking, “Gee, I’d really like to live here!”?
It happens to me a lot… especially when I get off the well-worn, major city business travel circuit and venture into small and medium-sized towns.
Every time I go back to Boulder, I start looking a real estate and imagine living there. When passing through Missoula on a transcontinental car trip a few years back, I wanted to park the car and just stay. When I venture out of cold and foggy San Francisco (my hometown) to the more Mediterranean climates of Palo Alto or Santa Barbara, I’m ready to call the movers.
That’s why I always like to take a spin through Livability.com’s excellent annual Top 100 Best Places to Live ranking, released today, which takes a seriously scientific stab at studying 2,000 small and medium sized cities by analyzing more than 40 data points in eight categories – economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and health care.
So what makes a small city great? Primarily, it’s institutions. “The cities at the top of the list were often home to a major institution like a university, hospital or state capital,” says Matt Carmichael, Livability’s editor. “Institutions like that help these smaller cities compete in terms of sports, culture, jobs and entertainment.”
Here are the top 10 best medium-sized cities to live in the US in 2015 according to Livability.com.
1) Madison, Wisconsin
2) Rochester, Minnesota
3) Arlington, Virginia
4) Boulder, Colorado
5) Palo Alto, California
6) Berkeley, California
7) Santa Clara, California
8) Missoula, Montana
9) Boise, Idaho
10) Iowa City, Iowa
Want to see the the full list of 100? Click here.
Are you lucky enough to travel frequently to any of these cities? If you had the means to move right now, which of the top 10 would you most likely choose? Why? I’d move to Boulder!
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