Money's list of America's best small towns


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1. Louisville, CO
WINNER
Top 100 rank: 1
Population: 18,800
Unemployment: 6.0%*
Compare Louisville to Top 10 Best Places
Some towns nestled along the Rockies are full of pretentious eco-hipsters. Not Louisville. Ice cream shops dot the historic downtown. Families grab burgers at the cozy Waterloo Café. A Friday-night street fair, with a beer garden, live music, and games for the kids, runs all summer. No wonder this down-to-earth town has appeared high on Money's Best Places list before--and on many others.

It's also weathering the economic downturn well. Robust industries in the area, such as high tech, energy, and health care, make county unemployment among the lowest in the state.

But the top reason residents give for moving here? The great outdoors. Louisville is laced with nearly 30 miles of trails, Rocky Mountain National Park is less than an hour away, and eight world-class ski resorts are within two hours. The town's schools are highly rated as well.

Add in dry, clear weather, little crime, good health care, and low taxes, and Louisville is pretty tough to beat.

Is Louisville a great town, or what?
Louisville stats
Median family income
(per year)
$102,688 $97,441
Job growth %
(2000-2008)*
-3.13% 19.58%
See jobs near Louisville
Median home price $310,000 $262,148
See Louisville homes for sale
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
29.3% 25.6%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
34.3% 28.2%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 1 1
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 15 19
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
2,104 1,923
High temp in July ° F* 86.0° 85.5°
Low temp in Jan ° F* 17.5° 21.0°
Median age 36.6 36.6
Median family income
(per year)
$102,688 $97,441
Family purchasing power
(annual, cost-of-living adjusted)
$97,705 $95,041
State sales tax 2.90% 5.63%
State income tax rate
(highest bracket)
4.63% 6.06%
State income tax rate
(lowest bracket)
4.63% 3.07%
Auto insurance premiums
(Average price quotes, for the state)
$1,514 $1,744
Job growth %
(2000-2008)*
-3.13% 19.58%
See jobs near Louisville
Median home price $310,000 $262,148
Average property taxes
(2007)
$2,169 $3,853
See Louisville homes for sale
Colleges, universities and
professional schools (within 30 miles)
20 20
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
29.3% 25.6%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
34.3% 28.2%
% students attending public/private
schools (located within town limits)
84.2/15.8 90.1/9.9
Air quality index*
(% of days AQI ranked as good)
74.0% 78.6%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 1 1
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 15 19
Median commute time (in minutes) 19.5 22.5
% population with commute
45 mins. or longer
10.0% 13.8%
% population walk or bike to work 2.6% 2.3%
Movie theaters
(within 15 miles)
19 24
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
2,104 1,923
Bars
(within 15 miles)
206 174
Public golf courses
(within 30 miles)
141 148
Libraries
(within 15 miles)
37 53
Museums (accredited by AAM;
within 30 miles)
7 7
Ski resorts (within 100 miles) 13 17
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts) 0.6 1.2
Annual rainfall
(inches)
17.31 39.77
% clear days in the area 32 27
High temp in July ° F* 86.0° 85.5°
Low temp in Jan ° F* 17.5° 21.0°
Median age 36.6 36.6
Completed at least some college
(% of residents)
84.5% 71.9%
Married % 58.1% 62.9%
Divorced % 9.8% 7.7%
Racial diversity index
(100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity)
41.3 58.9
From the August 2009 issue
Notes:
* County data
FORTUNE 500
Qwest Communications 197
DISH Network 231
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Money picked the top 100. Now it’s your turn: Which town will be our fan favorite? Become a fan of your town and it might just make it to No. 1. Results updated monthly.
Town Become a fan # of fans
1. Louisville, CO Become a fan on facebook Add me! 4,256
2. Chanhassen, MN Become a fan on facebook Add me! 2,410
3. Papillion, NE Become a fan on facebook Add me! 1,581
4. Middleton, WI Become a fan on facebook Add me! 1,481
5. Milton, MA Become a fan on facebook Add me! 1,425
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Using statistics from data provider Onboard Informatics, we crunched the numbers in order to zero in on America's best small towns for families. (Last year, we looked at small cities, with populations between 50,000 and 300,000.) More

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