Money's list of America's best small towns


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79. Lake Oswego, OR
Lake Oswego
WINNER
Top 100 rank: 79
Population: 36,700
Compare Lake Oswego to Top 10 Best Places
Residents of this suburb south of Portland love telling visitors what a great place it is. Because it's several miles from an interstate, little traffic comes through town, and crime is low.

The city is divided into 20 official neighborhoods, each with its own governing association. Lake homes are popular (and expensive), but outdoor activities are available for everyone, including hiking in the state park, waterskiing on the Willamette River, or playing a few rounds on the public golf course.

The town is not particularly diverse, however. --N.A.

Is Lake Oswego a great town, or what?
Lake Oswego stats
Median family income
(per year)
$119,630 $97,441
Job growth %
(2000-2008)*
8.91% 19.58%
See jobs near Lake Oswego
Median home price $456,250 $262,148
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Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
19.6% 25.6%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
23.4% 28.2%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 1 1
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 16 19
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
3,891 1,923
High temp in July ° F* 78.5° 85.5°
Low temp in Jan ° F* 33.1° 21.0°
Median age 42.4 36.6
Median family income
(per year)
$119,630 $97,441
Family purchasing power
(annual, cost-of-living adjusted)
$112,912 $95,041
State sales tax N.A. 5.63%
State income tax rate
(highest bracket)
9.00%I 6.06%
State income tax rate
(lowest bracket)
5.00%I 3.07%
Auto insurance premiums
(Average price quotes, for the state)
$1,555 $1,744
Job growth %
(2000-2008)*
8.91% 19.58%
See jobs near Lake Oswego
Median home price $456,250 $262,148
Average property taxes
(2008)
$4,335 $3,853
See Lake Oswego homes for sale
Colleges, universities and
professional schools (within 30 miles)
19 20
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
19.6% 25.6%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
23.4% 28.2%
% students attending public/private
schools (located within town limits)
88.2/11.8 90.1/9.9
Air quality index*
(% of days AQI ranked as good)
96.0% 78.6%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 1 1
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 16 19
Median commute time (in minutes) 20.9 22.5
% population with commute
45 mins. or longer
6.5% 13.8%
% population walk or bike to work 2.5% 2.3%
Movie theaters
(within 15 miles)
56 24
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
3,891 1,923
Bars
(within 15 miles)
411 174
Public golf courses
(within 30 miles)
100 148
Libraries
(within 15 miles)
58 53
Museums (accredited by AAM;
within 30 miles)
2 7
Ski resorts (within 100 miles) 7 17
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts) 0.6 1.2
Annual rainfall
(inches)
58.33 39.77
% clear days in the area 19 27
High temp in July ° F* 78.5° 85.5°
Low temp in Jan ° F* 33.1° 21.0°
Median age 42.4 36.6
Completed at least some college
(% of residents)
88.8% 71.9%
Married % 60.5% 62.9%
Divorced % 11.1% 7.7%
Racial diversity index
(100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity)
38.5 58.9
From the August 2009 issue
Notes:
* County data

(I) Income tax notes:
Local rates are excluded; 14 states have county or city level income taxes. In each of these states the average rate for all counties and cities, weighted by total personal income within each jurisdiction, is: 0.19% in Ala.; 0.06% in Ark.; 0.16% in Del.; 1.16% in Ind.; 0.3% in Iowa.; 0.76% in Ky.; 2.98% in Md.; 0.44% in Mich.; 0.12% in Mo.; 0.09% in N.J.; 1.7% in N.Y.; 1.82% in Ohio; 0.36% in Ore.; and 1.25% in Pa.
Deduction limited to no more than $5,000.
Values adjusted for inflation each year.
Some states effectively double the bracket widths for joint filers (AL, AZ, CT, HI, ID, KS, LA, ME, NE, NY, OR). CA doubles all bracket widths except the $1,000,000 bracket. Some states increase, but don't double, all or some bracket widths for joint filers (GA, MN, NM, NC, ND, OK, RI, VT, WI). Some states do not adjust their brackets for joint filers (AR, DE, IA, KY, MS, MO, MT, OH, SC, VA, WV, DC). Of these states, some permit married couples to file separately to avoid a marriage penalty, and some allow joint filers to make an adjustment to reduce their tax after it is calculated. MD decreases some of its bracket widths and increases others. NJ adds a 2.45% rate and doubles some bracket widths.
Tax credit.
FORTUNE 500
Nike 136
Precision Castparts 362
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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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