The University of Iowa may be the center of Johnson County, but there's a lot more than Big Ten football to cheer.
The presence of the university has helped lure several firms, and unemployment in the county is well below the national rate. Fortune 500 firms Procter & Gamble and Rockwell Collins both have operations here.
Manufacturing is a key contributor to the local economy, but Johnson County is also looking to branch out into growth industries. The local government offers attractive incentives to renewable energy firms and boasts that it has the country's first industrial park devoted to supplying wind power.
These terrific small cities offer strong job opportunities, great schools, low crime, quality health care, and a true sense of community.