Money's list of America's best small cities


51 of 100
BACK NEXT
51. Sandy, UT
Vote for this town as fan favorite:

Living in a great place is even better when you've got your financial house in order. Like MONEY magazine on Facebook for tips on saving more, investing better and spending wisely.

Sandy
Sandy gets a lift each August with its two-day Hot Air Balloon Festival.
WINNER
Top 100 rank: 51
Population: 96,700
Compare Sandy to Top 10 Best Places
This Salt Lake City suburb, which sits under the towering Wasatch Mountains, has dubbed itself "the ultimate base camp." Easy to see why: It offers quick access to four world-class ski resorts, the 20,000-seat Rio Tinto Stadium, several shopping centers, and the Sandy Amphitheater. While many residents still commute to Salt Lake City for work, Sandy continues to attract businesses with its warm sense of welcome. Becton Dickinson Medical, E*Trade, and Comcast have all found a home here. Although houses aren't outrageously priced, they are more expensive than in many other areas of the state. --L.G.
Subscribe to Money Magazine

It's your turn to choose. Which city should be No. 1?

Contest: Where's your favorite place to take a weekend drive?

Is Sandy a great town, or what?
Sandy stats
  City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$86,141 $96,825
Job growth %
(2000-2011)*
3.71% 25.01%
See jobs near Sandy
Median home price $219,516 $269,768
See Sandy homes for sale
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
12.3% 28.2%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
13.0% 29.2%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 2 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 29 20
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
2,036 3,134
High temp in July ° F 90.9° 86.8°
Low temp in Jan ° F 22.1° 18.4°
Median age 29.4 35.2
Financial City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$86,141 $96,825
Family purchasing power
(annual, cost-of-living adjusted)
$90,962 $93,218
State sales tax 5.95% 5.57%
State income tax rate
(highest bracket)
5.00%I 7.31%
State income tax rate
(lowest bracket)
5.00%I 3.08%
Auto insurance premiums
(Average price quotes, for the state)
$1,272 $1,596
Job growth %
(2000-2011)*
3.71% 25.01%
See jobs near Sandy
Housing
Median home price $219,516 $269,768
Average property taxes N.A. $6,517
See Sandy homes for sale
Education
Colleges, universities and
professional schools (within 30 miles)
8 8
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
12.3% 28.2%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
13.0% 29.2%
% students attending public/private
schools (located within town limits)
95.1/4.9 91.5/8.5
Quality of life
Air quality index*
(% of days AQI ranked as good)
57.0% 77.3%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 2 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 29 20
Median commute time (in minutes) 22.4 22.2
% population with commute
45 mins. or longer
8.8% 14.9%
% population walk or bike to work 1.7% 3.2%
Leisure and culture
Movie theaters
(within 15 miles)
37 33
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
2,036 3,134
Bars
(within 15 miles)
122 199
Public golf courses
(within 30 miles)
79 169
Libraries
(within 15 miles)
67 70
Museums (accredited by AAM;
within 30 miles)
3 10
Ski resorts (within 100 miles) 11 6
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts) 1.4 1.4
Weather
Annual rainfall
(inches)
26.19 34.21
% clear days in the area 34 32
High temp in July ° F 90.9° 86.8°
Low temp in Jan ° F 22.1° 18.4°
Median age 29.4 35.2
Completed at least some college
(% of residents)
70.6% 72.6%
Married % 60.5% 57.9%
Divorced % 7.4% 8.0%
Racial diversity index
(100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity)
34.3 118.4
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.

(I) Income tax notes:
Utah provides a tax credit equal to 6% of the federal personal exemption amounts (an applicable standard deduction).
Galleries and more
  • Homes for sale
  • Real estate and homes for sale on Trulia

Money picked the top 100. Now it's your turn: Which town will be our fan favorite? 'Like' your town and it might just make it to No. 1.

Town # of Likes
Video
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

Comments? E-mail the editors

onboard
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.