Money's list of America's best small cities


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29. Ashburn, VA
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Ashburn
WINNER
Top 100 rank: 29
Population: 59,800
Compare Ashburn to Top 10 Best Places
Even if you've never been to Ashburn, chances are some of your data have. It's estimated that more than 50% of the world's Internet traffic runs through Loudoun County, where Ashburn is located. The area is home to data centers for major companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft. Ashburn has a high median income thanks to its abundance of well-paid technology jobs, but housing in the area is still relatively affordable. --E.R.
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Ashburn stats
  City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$146,093 $96,825
Job growth %
(2000-2011)*
129.39% 25.01%
See jobs near Ashburn
Median home price $345,000 $269,768
See Ashburn homes for sale
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
7.4% 28.2%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
8.8% 29.2%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 23 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 03 20
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
2,361 3,134
High temp in July ° F 88.7° 86.8°
Low temp in Jan ° F 26.3° 18.4°
Median age 33.5 35.2
Financial City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$146,093 $96,825
Family purchasing power
(annual, cost-of-living adjusted)
$141,016 $93,218
State sales tax 5.00% 5.57%
State income tax rate
(highest bracket)
5.75% 7.31%
State income tax rate
(lowest bracket)
2.00% 3.08%
Auto insurance premiums
(Average price quotes, for the state)
$1,237 $1,596
Job growth %
(2000-2011)*
129.39% 25.01%
See jobs near Ashburn
Housing
Median home price $345,000 $269,768
Average property taxes
(2011)
$5,954 $6,517
See Ashburn homes for sale
Education
Colleges, universities and
professional schools (within 30 miles)
40 8
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
7.4% 28.2%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
8.8% 29.2%
% students attending public/private
schools (located within town limits)
87.2/12.8 91.5/8.5
Quality of life
Air quality index*
(% of days AQI ranked as good)
76.8% 77.3%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 23 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 03 20
Median commute time (in minutes) 28.2 22.2
% population with commute
45 mins. or longer
25.8% 14.9%
% population walk or bike to work 1.4% 3.2%
Leisure and culture
Movie theaters
(within 15 miles)
24 33
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
2,361 3,134
Bars
(within 15 miles)
27 199
Public golf courses
(within 30 miles)
176 169
Libraries
(within 15 miles)
41 70
Museums (accredited by AAM;
within 30 miles)
31 10
Ski resorts (within 100 miles) 4 6
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts) 0.0 1.4
Weather
Annual rainfall
(inches)
40.22 34.21
% clear days in the area N.A. 32
High temp in July ° F 88.7° 86.8°
Low temp in Jan ° F 26.3° 18.4°
Median age 33.5 35.2
Completed at least some college
(% of residents)
86.4% 72.6%
Married % 69.6% 57.9%
Divorced % 6.9% 8.0%
Racial diversity index
(100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity)
147.1 118.4
From the September 2012 issue
Notes: *County data
Due to erroneous job, cost-of-living, and test score stats for a small number of places, this city's rank changed slightly from an earlier version. Details.

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.

(II) Sales tax notes:
California (1%) and Virginia (1%) levy mandatory, statewide add-on sales taxes at the local level; these are included in their state sales tax rates.
Arlington is a county without any incorporated municipalities. However, we treat it as a city here because it is included in the Census Bureau's annual list of incorporated places.
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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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