What were the top ten cities in the United States to live in 2009? It depends on what source you consult and what you use as the criteria in determining the best of the best.
In picking the top cities in the United States to live in, U.S. News and World Report considered the cities with the best economy, a low cost of living, and the most fun things to do. Other lists actually included ten, but U.S. News and World Report only picked seven. It picked: 1. Albuquerque, New Mexico; 2. Auburn, Alabama; 3. Austin, Texas; 4. Boise, Idaho; 5. Durham, North Carolina; 6. La Crosse, Wisconsin; and 7. Loveland, Colorado.
The publication noted the sunny climate, landscape, and number of famous artists, writers, and poets who have been attracted to Albuquerque. It also noted the numerous golf courses, annual International Balloon Festival, and businesses that help provide a stable economy for the area–Kirtland, Air Force Base, Sandia National Laboratories, and Intel Corporation.
Auburn was noted for its University and football program, and the fact that the school is also the state’s fifth largest employer. Also mentioned were state parks, golf courses, and the mild winters and hot summers.
When considering the top cities in America, Austin, Texas, was listed for its music and top employers like Dell and IBM. Also noted was the warm climate and sunshine.
Loveland, Colorado, which is in the midst of the majestic Rocky Mountains, was noted for its 27 parks and 16 miles of recreation trails. Also noted was its Arts in Places Program, which includes 300 pieces of sculpture throughout the community. The affordable real estate market was also mentioned.
Kiplinger.com, which is noted for its financial advice, and said it is about jobs when it listed the top ten cities in the United States for 2009 as: 1. Huntsville, Alabama; 2. Albuquerque, New Mexico; 3. Washington, D.C.; 4. Charlottesville, North Carolina; 5. Athens, Georgia; 6. Olympia, Washington; 7. Madison, Wisconsin; 8. Austin, Texas; 9. Falstaff, Arizona; 10. Raleigh, North Carolina.
It should be noted that the only cities that made both lists were Austin, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, both of which were noted for providing a stable economy during the current bad economic times.
Money.cnn.com was different in rating the top places to live for 2009. It picked 100 top cities, not just ten. It also picked a list of the best small towns to live for the year. To be on the list, a city had to have a population of 8,000 to 50,000.
The top ten best small cities it picked to live in for 2009 were: 1. Louisville, Colorado; 2. Chanhassen, Minnesota; 3. Papillion, New Hampshire; 4. Middletown, Wisconsin; 5. Milton, Massachusetts; 6. Warren, New Jersey; 7. Keller, Texas; 8. Peachtree City, Georgia; 9. Lake St. Louis, Missouri; 10. Mukilteo, Washington.
Louisville, Colorado, with a population of 18,800 was noted for its downtown ice cream shops, live music, and games for children. It also noted the poor current economy has not affected the city as much as others, as it noted the high tech, energy, and health care industries have provided enough jobs to give it one of the lowest unemployment rates in Colorado. When mentioned, the city had an unemployment rate of 6%.
Chanhassen, Minnesota, with a population of 23,700, was noted for its high employment, even during the recession, dropping property taxes (lower every year for five years in a row), 11 lakes, 34 parks, and arboretum.
Papillion, New Hampshire, with a population of 22,200, had an unemployment rate of 4.55 in May, 2009 and offered affordable housing. Local employers include Mutual of Omaha, TD Ameritrade, Union Pacific Railroad, and Con Agra. Also noted was the wide open spaces, new amphitheater, free movies and concerts, and AAA baseball team which will come in 2011.
Lake St. Louis, Missouri, with a population of 13,900, was noted for its man made lakes, five parks, three golf courses, and equestrian center. Also noted was the low crime and employers which have helped stabilize the economy, including health care employers.
A website, www.americasbestonline.com, listed the Top Ten U.S. Cities to live in 2009 as: 1. Madison, Wisconsin; 2. Boise, Idaho; 3. Portland, Oregon; 4. Sheboygan, Wisconsin; 5. Nashua, New Hampshire; 6. Rochester, Minnesota; 7. Ann Arbor, Michigan; 8. Gainesville, Florida; 9. Fort Collins-Loveland, Colorado; 10. Seattle, Washington. Boise Idaho and Loveland were also listed in the list by the U.S. News and World Report.
Madison was noted for its consistent low unemployment rate, restaurants, espresso cafes, and shops on State Street. Only emergency vehicles, delivery vehicles, pedestrians, and bikes are allowed on the street. The restaurants and cafes on King Street were also mentioned. The most extensive set of bicycle trails in the nation was mentioned, as well as the fact that the city was named the healthiest in the country in 2004.
Portland was named for protecting areas from development for people, fish, and wildlife. It is one of only two American cities with a volcano within its border. Portland is known for its many artists, theater, music, folk art, and media art.
In this article, Boise was noted for its Jazz Festival and theaters, including an Egyptian theater. Its many museums, some of them ethnic museums, were noted.
Citations: Best Places to Live in 2009 , by Luke Mullins, U.S.news.com
Best Cities: Its All About Jobs, no author listed, Kiplinger.com
Best Places to Live, no author listed, Money.cnn.com
Best Cities to Live in the USA, no author listed, Americasbestonline.com