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What are the Best Small Cities in America?

The suburbs are seeing a recent boom as city dwellers are beginning to search elsewhere to settle down. As city growth is starting to slow down--in part because of the pandemic and individuals having more flexibility to work from anywhere--cities with smaller populations are likely to become more trendy. 

An analysis from WalletHub examined 1,200 cities across the country with populations between 25,000 and 100,000. The analysis breaks down which small cities in the U.S. have the most to offer in 2020 in terms of affordability, economic health, education and health, quality of life and safety. 

Massachusetts and Texas both landed three cities on the list. Here are the top 10 best small cities across the country:

 

1.Sammamish, Washington

This city, named after Lake Sammamish, is ranked by WalletHub as the best small city overall. Sammamish is ranked highest of all small cities in terms of its economic health. It’s also ranked #11 in the “Education and Health” category.

2. Lexington, Massachusetts

Lexington is tied with Los Altos, CA, and Milton, MA for the highest percentage of the total population with insurance. It is also ranked fourth among all small cities in the U.S. for having low crime rates. 

3. Carmel, Indiana

This small Indiana city ranked third overall largely because of its affordability. It ranked in eighth place for affordability and also ranked fairly well in the “Safety” category.

4. Needham, Massachusetts

The city of Needham was found to be the fourth-best small city in the U.S. and is ranked #14 in the “Education and Health” category. It also was ranked twentieth for safety. 

5. Sugar Land, Texas

Sugar Land is located southwest of Houston and its economy is booming among small cities in 2020. It ranked second overall for economic health.

6. Milton, Massachusetts

Like Lexington, this Massachusetts city also tied in first place for cities with the highest insured population percentage. It is ranked third for small cities with the lowest crime rate, ranking just above Lexington, MA. 

7. Brentwood, Tennessee

This suburb of Nashville was ranked by WalletHub as #16 in terms of affordability. It also has quite a healthy economy. 

8. Southlake, Texas

This Dallas-Fort Worth suburb takes first place for small cities with the lowest housing costs and is ranked in sixth place for overall economic health. Southlake takes second place among small American cities that have the highest population with a high school diploma or higher level of education. 

9. Cedar Park, Texas

Cedar Park ranked in fifth place for the “Economic Health” category of small cities. The Austin suburb was also ranked well for its affordability. 

10. Redmond, Washington

Finally, Redmond took the ninth spot in the category of “Economic Health.” It has the benefit of being located just 15 miles east of the Emerald City.

About Author: Cristin Espinosa

Cristin Espinosa is a reporter for DS News and MReport. She graduated from Southern Methodist University where she worked as an editor and later as a digital media producer for The Daily Campus. She has a broadcast background as well, serving as a producer for SMU-TV. She wrote for the food section during her fellowship at The Dallas Morning News and has also contributed to Advocate Magazine and The Dallas Observer.
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