Another Top-10 List — Best Places to Live in 2018, Small to Midsized Towns & Villages

Where we live impacts our lives daily – some places are better than others and some are worse.  Key factors of where is best to live are not convenient metrics that a methodology contains, but what people truly value.

What do people look for and where are the cities, towns and villages that deliver these attributes and benefits?  To answer this,, for the fifth year in a row, examined almost 2,300 small- to medium-sized cities, towns and villages.  They ranked these using 40 metrics to find where, at least in the not-largest metro areas, life is good.

First and foremost was to find out what Americans most value and appreciate in where they live.  To ascertain this, Livability partnered with Ipos and surveyed more than 2,000 Americans on what factors were most important.  From these survey results, Livability utilized these data to assign to select metrics and assign weights for overall rankings. looked at these eight categories which included 40 data points for each city-town-village:

  • Amenities
  • Demographics
  • Education
  • Economy
  • Health Care
  • Housing
  • Social and Civic Capital
  • Transportation and Infrastructure

The following table lists the top-10 best places in small to medium cites-towns-villages to reside in 2018 based on Livability’s methodology.  Each and every one of these are major college towns (or branches), as noted in the table.   Also included are the latest 12-months job growth rates as of November 2017.  Only one of the top-10 had job losses, Manhattan, Kansas, though minimal.   Six of the 10 had job creation in the prior 12-months greater than the U.S.

To read the entire report including the tanking of the 100 best places click

For the methodology click

I appreciated what Livability wrote regarding the ranking within the top-100 cities-towns-villages out of almost 2,300.  They said,

Remember: we analyze nearly 2,300 cities to come up with the Top 100. Therefore all 100 are really A-level cities. The difference between #1 and #100 is kind of like: Did you get the 98% A or the 96% A? They’re all great places. Best places, in fact!”

All of these places are winners based on their methodology.

From my perspective, not so much.   Weather (temperature) is critically important to me as I have a great distaste for cold.  What I wrote in the Jones on Real Estate Blog in July 2016 still stands, summarized as follows, extracted:

For me, wherever I (live) in the future will not have a state income tax. Some of the states even impose a state income tax on Social Security benefits  — this is even more important following the Tax Cut and Job Creation Act of 2017

High on my list is a state that is solvent and has sound fiscal policy allowing ongoing spending on infrastructure

Having been raised on a ranch in Southwestern Colorado and feeding tons of hay in the winter each day at sub-zero temperatures, I also want to avoid any location that has material snow fall and cold

Other individuals are completely different, with many preferring the cold, snow and lifestyle so associated.   Hope you enjoy your parkas.

We have some great options in where to reside in the U.S.


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