64 of 100
BACK NEXT
64. Fairfield, Conn.
Population: 58,490
Pros: Prosperous clientele; attractive beaches
Con: High real-estate costs

Space doesn't come cheap in Fairfield, Conn.: Homes sell for a median price of $395,000, but that's still lessexpensive than the real estate from other towns in this metro hub, which includes some of the wealthiest north of New York City.

Fairfield's economic development office provides technical support and financial aid to new or expanding businesses with five or fewer employees. Thriving retail and service startups serve the city's moneyed residents (whose median family income is $100,920), so it's no wonder longtime successful industries include finance, insurance, and real estate. The development of a new commuter rail station and a commercial office space just off I-95 promise to create new business opportunities when it is complete in a few years. General Electric, a major employer in the area, and the city's two universities - Fairfield and Sacred Heart - provide a crop of skilled labor.

Fairfield is 50 miles from New York City and 25 miles from New Haven, where Yale University is located. But city itself also has lots to offer, including a classic New England downtown, with parades, concerts on the green, and independent shops; five miles of coastline on Long Island Sound, dotted with five town beaches; and a golf course that is among the best in the nation. -Lisa Palmer

Interactive map: Fairfield, Conn.
Homes for sale Find homes for sale in Fairfield, Conn.


NEXT: 65. State College, Pa.

Last updated July 02 2008: 11:16 AM ET
More Galleries
7 hot businesses to start now It's hard to predict what businesses will take off, but these startup ideas have been drawing tons of interest from entrepreneurs and their customers on Thumbtack.com. More
How will a minimum wage hike hit businesses? Thirteen states increased the minimum wage on Jan. 1, and President Obama supports raising the federal rate to $10.10. 4 small business owners weigh in on how an increase would affect them. More
America's favorite businesses From a science camp for girls to a kombucha brewer, communities around the country voted on their favorite small businesses. These 12 came out on top, each scoring a $250,000 grant from Chase and a trip to Google's headquarters. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.