Princeton Rated Second-Best Small City!

Although the focus in recent years has been on the migration of young people to large urban centers, smaller cities can have several important advantages over their bigger brethren. Greater affordability, shorter commute times, and increased safety are just a few of the factors that make small town life so sweet. With this in mind, WalletHub set out to quantify what makes a small city a great place to live. They examined 30 different aspects of over 1,200 small cities in order to arrive at a definitive ranking. When the dust settled, Princeton had claimed its spot as the second-best small city in the nation!

WalletHub considered a "small city" to be one with a population between 25,000 and 100,000 people. For each of the 1,268 cities that fit this range, 30 different factors were measured, with each one falling into one of 5 general groups: affordability, economic health, education & health, quality of life, and safety. The separate scores for each category were combined in order to give each city its total score for the final ranking.

What makes Princeton the second-best small city in the country? For starters, it finished second overall in economic health, 30th in safety, and 71st in quality of life. Princeton also finished a respectable 271st in education & health. Unfortunately, the "affordability" category dragged down the city's total score, as it was ranked just #937.

So, which city beat out Princeton to claim the title of best small city? The winner was Westfield, Indiana, which outscored Princeton by a very narrow margin (69.93 vs 69.63)! Admittedly, Westfield's rankings are very impressive. The town of about 30,000 residents (as of the 2010 census) ranked in the top 100 in 4 out of the 5 categories, finishing #1 in economic health, #29 in affordability, #49 in education & health, and #94 in safety. In fact, the race would not have been close if not for Westfield's poor ranking in the "quality of life" category, where the city finished near the bottom at 1,117th.

Here are the top ten small cities in the country according to WalletHub:

  1. Westfield, Indiana
  2. Princeton, New Jersey
  3. Leawood, Kansas
  4. Littleton, Colorado
  5. Brookfield, Wisconsin
  6. Kirkland, Washington
  7. Holly Springs, North Carolina
  8. Milton, Massachusetts
  9. Brentwood, Tennessee
  10. Southlake, Texas

Source: 2016’s Best Small Cities in America

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