If you’re looking for the best place to live, you might want to scratch giant cities off your list. According to Money‘s in-depth search around the United States, the spots that offer the best quality of life, most affordable homes, and healthiest economies are small-town respites.
When deciding on the 100 Best Places to Live, the analysts, in partnership with Realtor.com, looked at locations with populations between 10,000 and 100,000 (meaning the huge metropolises didn’t even stand a chance), cutting out the places with high crime risks, a lack of diversity, and less than 85 percent of its state’s median household income. Then, they considered data on integral points within a handful of categories: economy, cost of living, education, housing, crime, amenities, and ease of living.
After reporters dug deeper, speaking with locals and scoping out the areas for themselves, a list was created, and Fishers, Indiana—a city of 86,000 near Indianapolis—was named the #1 spot.
After reporters dug deeper, speaking with locals and scoping out the areas for themselves, they generated a list, and Fishers, Indiana—a city of 86,000, located near Indianapolis—was named the top spot. Between its year-round farmers’ market, 24 parks and 104 miles of nature trails, and entrepreneurial spirit, it’s reportedly a place that’s great for your well-being.
Fishers is just one of many small-town hidden treasures around the country, though. Other spots at the top of the list are Allen, Texas; Monterey Park, California; Franklin, Tennessee; Olive Branch, Missisippi; and Dickinson, North Dakota. All of those places, according to this new report, are family-friendly, have great food, offer plenty of activities, and are safe communities.
So, sure, big cities are fun, but when it comes to your well-being, small-town dwellings might be worth a shot. But if you can’t pull yourself away from the big-city lights, maybe split the difference with an unplugging vacay in the woods.