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The Best Small Cities in America to Live In

The Best Small Cities in America to Live In

Which small city is the best?

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Living in a huge, populous city in the United States that has towering skyscrapers and an abundance of lights and sounds may be the dream for some. Seemingly endless opportunity is a major attraction for places like Los Angeles and New York City. But the COVID-19 pandemic has compelled some to migrate away from the big cities in search of a greater degree of social isolation. Personal finance website WalletHub analyzed 1,200 cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 and ranked the best ones to live in based on 43 key indicators of livability.

#30 Saratoga Springs, New York

30. Saratoga Springs, New York

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Saratoga Springs has a population of just over 28,000 people and is the 26th largest city in the state. Located in upstate New York, Saratoga Springs ranks fourth in the education and health category, leading to an overall rank of No. 30.

#29 Melrose, Massachusetts

29. Melrose, Massachusetts

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Melrose, Massachusetts, has a population of 28,369 and is the 45th largest city in the state. Located north of Boston, Melrose ranks 22nd in the education and health category and 42nd in the safety category, giving it a ranking of 29th overall.

#28 Brookline, Massachusetts

28. Brookline, Massachusetts

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Brookline is a suburb of Boston that has a population of 59,234. Brookline ranks 31st in the economic health category and 18th in the education and health category, helping it earn an overall ranking of 28.

#27 Bothell, Washington

27. Bothell, Washington

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Bothell is a small suburb of Seattle that has a population of 48,541, making it the 26th largest city in the state of Washington. Bothell ranks fourth in the economic health category and 27th overall.

#26 Los Altos, California

26. Los Altos, California

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Los Altos is in northern Silicon Valley and has a population of 30,405. It’s the 242nd largest city in California. Los Altos ranks fourth in the economic health category, which is a major reason why it has an overall ranking of 26th overall.

#25 Kirkland, Washington

25. Kirkland, Washington

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Kirkland, a suburb of Seattle, is a bit larger than other cities on the list with a population of 91,951. It is the 13th largest city in Washington and ranks 50th in the economic health rank and 23rd in the education and health rank, giving it an overall rank of 25.

#24 Parker, Colorado

24. Parker, Colorado

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Parker is a suburb of Denver and has a population of 58,578, making it the 19th largest city in Colorado. Parker ranks second in the education and health rank, helping it to an overall rank of 24.

#23 Leesburg, Virginia

23. Leesburg, Virginia

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Leesburg has a population of 57,029 and is the 12th largest city in Virginia. It is located 33 miles outside of the nation’s capital. Leesburg ranks 24th in the education and health rank, which helps bring its overall ranking to 23.

#22 Littleton, Colorado

22. Littleton, Colorado

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Littleton is a small city just north of Denver that has a population of 50,507 and is the 20th largest city in Colorado. It ranks 31st in the quality of life category and 64th in the education and health category, giving it an overall rank of 22.

#21 Brookfield, Wisconsin

21. Brookfield, Wisconsin

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Brookfield has a population of 39,972 and is the 18th largest city in Wisconsin. It is located about 10 miles east of Milwaukee. Brookfield ranks 55th in the affordability category and 66th in the education and health category, bringing it to 21st overall.

#20 Fishers, Indiana

20. Fishers, Indiana

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Fishers is a city in Indiana that is 20 miles northwest of Indianapolis and has a population of 96,992. It is the fifth-largest city in the state and ranks 15th in the affordability rank and 43rd in the safety rank. It cracks the top 20 at No. 20 overall.

#19 Mason, Ohio

19. Mason, Ohio

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Mason is a city in Ohio that is 10 miles north of Cincinnati. It has a population of 34,176 and is the 43rd largest city in the state. Mason ranks 45th in the affordability rank and 55th in safety, earning it 19th overall.

#18 Kaysville, Utah

18. Kaysville, Utah

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Kaysville has a population of 33,329, making it the 31st largest city in Utah. It is 22 miles north of Salt Lake City and ranks sixth in the affordability category and 18th overall.

#17 Wheaton, Illinois

17. Wheaton, Illinois

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Wheaton is a city in Illinois with a population of 52,914, making it the 27th largest city in the state. Located 25 miles west of Chicago, Wheaton ranks 91st in the safety category and 17th overall.

#16 Westfield, Indiana

16. Westfield, Indiana

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Located in the Indianapolis Metropolitan area, Westfield has a population of 45,518 and is the 23rd largest city in the state. Westfield ranks 35th in the affordability category, 36th in the safety category and 16th overall.

#15 Castle Rock, Colorado

15. Castle Rock, Colorado

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Castle Rock has a population of 70,687 and is the 16th largest city in Colorado. It’s 30 miles south of Denver and ranks third in the education and health category and 90th in the economic health category, contributing to its No. 15 ranking.

#14 Princeton, New Jersey

14. Princeton, New Jersey

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Home of Princeton University, Princeton is 40 miles south of Newark and has a population of 32,138, making it the 26th largest city in New Jersey. Princeton ranks 37th in the economic health rank and 65th in the quality of life category. Princeton ranks 14th overall.

#13 Arlington, Massachusetts

13. Arlington, Massachusetts

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Arlington in Massachusetts, not Texas, is a city that has a population of 45,147 and is only 6 miles northwest of Boston. Arlington ranks 16th in the education and health category, 11th in the safety category and 35th in the economic health category. It’s ranked 13th overall.

#12 Dublin, Ohio

12. Dublin, Ohio

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A suburb of Columbus, Dublin has a population of 52,465 and is the 15th largest city in Ohio. Dublin ranks fifth in the affordability category and 57th in the economic health category, landing it at No. 12 overall.

#11 Leawood, Kansas

11. Leawood, Kansas

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Leawood is a city in Kansas located less than 20 miles from Kansas City. With a population of 34,743, it is the 13th largest city in the state. Leawood ranks seventh in the affordability category and 57th in the economic health category.

#10 Redmond, Washington

10. Redmond, Washington

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Fifteen miles west of Seattle is Redmond, Washington, which has a population of 71,838. It is the 18th largest city in the state and ranks ninth in the economic health category and 20th in the education and health category. No surprise that Redmond comes in at No. 10 overall.

#9 Cedar Park, Texas

9. Cedar Park, Texas

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A suburb of Texas’ capital city of Austin, Cedar Park has a population of 83,007 and is the 47th largest city in Texas. Cedar Park ranks fifth in the economic and health category and 42nd in the affordability category. The economic advantages are why this city ranks ninth overall.

#8 Southlake, Texas

8. Southlake, Texas

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This city in Texas is smaller than the previous one, but maybe better to live in. A suburb of Dallas, Southlake has a population of 33,595, making it the 99th largest city in Texas. It ranks 14th in the affordability category and sixth in the economic health category, propelling it to No. 8 overall.

#7 Brentwood, Tennessee

7. Brentwood, Tennessee

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At No. 7 is Brentwood. Located in the heart of Tennessee, Brentwood has a population of 42,924 and is the 18th largest city in the state. Brentwood ranks 16th in the affordability category and 36th in the economic health category.

#6 Milton, Massachusetts

6. Milton, Massachusetts

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Milton is among the many Massachusetts cities on this list. It has a population of 27,568 and ranks 19th in the education and health category and 10th in the safety category.

#5 Sugar Land, Texas

5. Sugar Land, Texas

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Right outside of Houston is Sugar Land, a city that ranks second in the economic health category and 39th in the affordability category, allowing it to crack the top five overall.

#4 Needham, Massachusetts

4. Needham, Massachusetts

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Needham is a Boston suburb that has a population of 30,735. Needham ranks 14th in the quality of life category, 20th in the safety category and 43rd in the economic health category.

#3 Carmel, Indiana

3. Carmel, Indiana

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Carmel is one of the larger cities on this list with a population of 95,964, making it the sixth-largest city in Indiana. Carmel, a suburb of Indianapolis, ranks eighth in the affordability category, 40th in the safety category and 58th in the economic health category.

#2 Lexington, Massachusetts

2. Lexington, Massachusetts

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The final city from Massachusetts on this list, Lexington is northwest of Boston and has a population of 33,480. Lexington ranks 13th in the education and health category, 12th in the economic health category and fourth in the safety category, all of which contribute to its second-place ranking.

#1 Sammamish, Washington

1. Sammamish, Washington

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Sammamish is a city about 20 miles east of Seattle that has a population of 67,969, making it the 19th largest city in Washington. It ranks 34th in the safety category, 11th in the education and health category and first in the economic health category, earning the title of best small city in America. If you plan on moving to one of these small cities, consider some of the best-paying work-from-home jobs.

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