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52. Plainsboro, N.J.
Population: 21,608
Pros: Good transportation infrastructure; great schools
Con: Relatively high taxes

Plainsboro, just around the corner from Princeton University, is home to the university's Forrestal Campus, a large research facility. While Merrill Lynch and Bristol-Myers Squibb have established major operations here, the area also offers strong manufacturing and retail sectors.

Income taxes, at 8.97% for the top bracket, are relatively high, but residents don't seem to mind. Local businesses benefit from the city's location - it's just minutes from Route 1 and the New Jersey Turnpike, with access to express train service to Newark and New York City. The fine dining and cultural amenities of Princeton are only a ten minute drive away. Soon, residents won't even have to travel that far. Plainsboro is about to receive a new "downtown" called the Village Center, a mixed-use development that will house retailers, residential areas, and a much-awaited library. -Kelsey Abbott and Mina Kimes

Interactive map: Plainsboro, N.J.
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NEXT: 53. Rochester, Minn.

Last updated July 02 2008: 11:16 AM ET
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