The search began with the magazine's already compiled list of the 500 best places to live, from which towns with 25,000 or fewer residents were selected. A list of criteria, including median household income, home prices, crime rates, unemployment rates, average commutes and distances to large cities was used to whittle the list further. Lifestyle amenities including outdoor activities, restaurants, community events, museums, art galleries and performance venues were considered to determine the top 10.
The list, in ascending order, is: Sheridan, Wyo.; Danville, Ky.; Clive, Iowa; Yankton, S.D.; Bedford, Va.; Chardon, Ohio; Boerne, Tex.; Brattleboro, Vt.; Golden, Colo., and Papillion, Neb., which Livability says has "excellent schools, a successful agriculture industry and diverse economy," plus "the lowest unemployment rate and one of the lowest crime rates of any city on this list." (Read more)