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Best Small Towns in the United States

People that prefer to avoid the bustling life of big cities should consider these cities which all have less than 250,000 people, growing economies, comfortable weather, and plenty of entertainment, such as bars, casinos, music venues, parks, and beaches.

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Methodology

We determined the best small towns in the united states by comparing the 541 cities in our database across 5 categories. Each category is evaluated over a range of metrics with each metric being judged on a different point scale, as indicated below. Cities that receive the maximum points for each metric are determined to be the most desireable and appear higher in the list.

Growing Economy - Total Points: 28
*

  • Population growth (1-year)1 - Points: 7
  • Population growth (10-year)1 - Points: 7
  • Employment rate5 - Points: 5
  • Employment growth (2010-2018)5 - Points: 3
  • Employment growth (2017-2018)5 - Points: 3
  • Employment rate (full-time)6 - Points: 3

Weather - Total Points: 27

  • Days of temperature 32°F or less2 - Points: 19
  • Days of temperature 90°F or more2 - Points: 8

Recreational Activities - Total Points: 27
**

  • Bars per household7 - Points: 5
  • Restaurants per household8 - Points: 5
  • Performing arts centers9 - Points: 3
  • Performing arts centers per household9 - Points: 3
  • Museums per Households10 - Points: 3
  • Golf courses11 - Points: 3
  • Casinos12 - Points: 3
  • Museums10 - Points: 2

Outdoor Activities - Total Points: 18
**

  • Beaches3 - Points: 7
  • Parks4 - Points: 7
  • Ski resorts - Points: 4

Population under 250,000 - Required

  • Population less than or equal to 250,0001
*
Points doubled for value calculation
**
Points doubled for fun calculation

Sources