2016’s Best Small Cities in America

With small cities growing 10 percent faster than the nation as a whole since 2000, the personal-finance website WalletHub took an in-depth look at 2016’s Best Small Cities in America.

To help Americans enjoy a good quality of life and affordable living costs, WalletHub’s analysts compared 1,268 U.S. cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000. Our data set of 30 key metrics ranges from “housing costs” to “school-system quality” to “number of restaurants per capita.”

  Top 20 Small Cities in America    
  1 Westfield, IN   11 Saratoga Springs, NY
  2 Princeton, NJ   12 Saratoga, CA
  3 Leawood, KS   13 Sammamish, WA
  4 Littleton, CO   14 Dublin, OH
  5 Brookfield, WI   15 Los Altos, CA
  6 Kirkland, WA   16 Cedar Park, TX
  7 Holly Springs, NC   17 Parker, CO
  8 Milton, MA   18 Leesburg, VA
  9 Brentwood, TN   19 Carmel, IN
  10 Southlake, TX   20 Castle Rock, CO

Best vs. Worst

  • The Villages, Fla., has the highest homeownership rate, 96.50 percent, which is 148 times higher than in Fort Hood, Texas, the city with the lowest, 0.65 percent.
  • Westfield, N.J., and Holly Springs, N.C., have the lowest percentage of residents below poverty level, 2.20 percent each, which is 24.3 times lower than in Statesboro, Ga., the city with the highest, 53.40 percent.
  • Leawood, Kan., has the highest percentage of residents with at least a high school diploma, 99.2 percent, which is 2.6 times higher than in Maywood, Calif., the city with the lowest, 38.2 percent.
  • Fort Hood, Texas, has the shortest average commute time, 10.4 minutes, which is 4.1 times shorter than in Waldorf, Md., the city with the longest, 42.9 minutes.
  • East Lansing, Mich., has the lowest mean weekly work hours, 27.8, which is 1.8 times lower than in Fort Hood, Texas, the city with the highest, 50.
  • Duluth, Ga., has the most coffee shops per 100,000 residents, 194.10, which is 142 times more than in Pharr, Texas, the city with the fewest, 1.37.
  • Castle Rock and Parker, Colo., have the lowest percentage of adults reporting fair or poor health, 7.2 percent each, which is 5.3 times lower than in Eagle Pass, Texas, the city with the highest, 38.3 percent.

To view the full report and your city’s ranking, please visit:

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