Money's list of America's best small cities


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83. Wayne, NJ
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Wayne
WINNER
Top 100 rank: 83
Population: 54,700
Compare Wayne to Top 10 Best Places
The third-highest point within 25 miles of the Atlantic seaboard, Wayne's High Mountain Park Preserve was used as an observation point during the Revolutionary War. These days residents of this township half an hour from New York City are more likely to use the 1,200-acre space for conventional outdoor activities. Life in Wayne isn't all about nature, though: There are several big shopping malls in the area, and it's home to the headquarters of Toys 'R' Us and Valley National Bank. --D.M.
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Wayne stats
  City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$120,909 $96,825
Job growth %
(2000-2011)*
-3.12% 25.01%
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Median home price $399,935 $269,768
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Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
44.5% 28.2%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
46.2% 29.2%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 03 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 03 20
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
9,214 3,134
High temp in July ° F 83.7° 86.8°
Low temp in Jan ° F 21.7° 18.4°
Median age 34.5 35.2
Financial City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$120,909 $96,825
Family purchasing power
(annual, cost-of-living adjusted)
$96,342 $93,218
State sales tax 7.00% 5.57%
State income tax rate
(highest bracket)
8.97%I 7.31%
State income tax rate
(lowest bracket)
1.40%I 3.08%
Auto insurance premiums
(Average price quotes, for the state)
$1,663 $1,596
Job growth %
(2000-2011)*
-3.12% 25.01%
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Housing
Median home price $399,935 $269,768
Average property taxes N.A. $6,517
See Wayne homes for sale
Education
Colleges, universities and
professional schools (within 30 miles)
150 8
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
44.5% 28.2%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
46.2% 29.2%
% students attending public/private
schools (located within town limits)
N.A./N.A. 91.5/8.5
Quality of life
Air quality index*
(% of days AQI ranked as good)
83.6% 77.3%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 03 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 03 20
Median commute time (in minutes) 23.0 22.2
% population with commute
45 mins. or longer
20.2% 14.9%
% population walk or bike to work 2.0% 3.2%
Leisure and culture
Movie theaters
(within 15 miles)
89 33
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
9,214 3,134
Bars
(within 15 miles)
584 199
Public golf courses
(within 30 miles)
344 169
Libraries
(within 15 miles)
226 70
Museums (accredited by AAM;
within 30 miles)
27 10
Ski resorts (within 100 miles) 21 6
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts) 2.1 1.4
Weather
Annual rainfall
(inches)
45 34.21
% clear days in the area 55 32
High temp in July ° F 83.7° 86.8°
Low temp in Jan ° F 21.7° 18.4°
Median age 34.5 35.2
Completed at least some college
(% of residents)
64.8% 72.6%
Married % 59.1% 57.9%
Divorced % 5.9% 8.0%
Racial diversity index
(100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity)
50.6 118.4
From the September 2012 issue
Notes: *County data

Due to an error by our data provider, an earlier version listed incorrect stats for this city's number of colleges.
(3) Crime incidences are estimates based on FBI 2011 Universal Crime and incidence reports, OnBoard analysis.

(I) Income tax notes:
The New Jersey rates reported are for single individuals. For married couples filing jointly, the tax rates also range from 1.4% to 8.97%, with 7 brackets and the same high and low income ranges.
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Using statistics from data services company Onboard Informatics, we crunched the numbers in order to zero in on America's best small cities for families. (Last year, we looked at small towns, with populations between 8,500 and 50,000.) More

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