Money's list of America's best small cities


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14. Carmel, IN
Carmel
WINNER
Top 100 rank: 14
Population: 67,000
Compare Carmel to Top 10 Best Places
Whether listening to music while chatting with neighbors during the free summer concerts in the city gazebo or strolling through the Arts and Design District in Olde Town Carmel, residents of this Indianapolis-area town have plenty to occupy their time.

Their new City Center district will expand those opportunities, with a 1,600-seat performance hall, a spa, and nearby green parks and walking trails.

Many people come to Carmel for jobs, as several corporate headquarters are located in the city, including Delta Faucet and Thomson Multimedia. --B.D.

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Is Carmel a great town, or what?
Carmel stats
  City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$120,988 $90,957
Job growth %
(2000-2009)*
18.13% 15.71%
See jobs near Carmel
Median home price $245,951 $239,391
See Carmel homes for sale
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
42.9% 22.9%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
38.7% 22.9%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 0 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 14 24
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
2,259 2,967
High temp in July ° F 84.2° 86.2°
Low temp in Jan ° F 16.5° 21.3°
Median age 38.6 35.3
Financial City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$120,988 $90,957
Family purchasing power
(annual, cost-of-living adjusted)
$129,955 $86,860
State sales tax 7.00% 5.45%
State income tax rate
(highest bracket)
N.A. 7.35%
State income tax rate
(lowest bracket)
3.40% 2.96%
Auto insurance premiums
(Average price quotes, for the state)
$1,468 $1,707
Job growth %
(2000-2009)*
18.13% 15.71%
See jobs near Carmel
Housing
Median home price $245,951 $239,391
Average property taxes
(2009)
$2,412 $3,418
See Carmel homes for sale
Education
Colleges, universities and
professional schools (within 30 miles)
9 25
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
42.9% 22.9%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
38.7% 22.9%
% students attending public/private
schools (located within town limits)
94.1/5.9 87.8/12.2
Quality of life
Air quality index*
(% of days AQI ranked as good)
79.0% 77.8%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 0 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 14 24
Median commute time (in minutes) 21.0 21.4
% population with commute
45 mins. or longer
10.2% 13.6%
% population walk or bike to work 1.2% 3.6%
Leisure and culture
Movie theaters
(within 15 miles)
21 31
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
2,259 2,967
Bars
(within 15 miles)
252 207
Public golf courses
(within 30 miles)
163 162
Libraries
(within 15 miles)
52 72
Museums (accredited by AAM;
within 30 miles)
8 10
Ski resorts (within 100 miles) 2 12
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts) 0.6 1.5
Weather
Annual rainfall
(inches)
40.66 37.40
% clear days in the area 24 29
High temp in July ° F 84.2° 86.2°
Low temp in Jan ° F 16.5° 21.3°
Median age 38.6 35.3
Completed at least some college
(% of residents)
84.2% 71.5%
Married % 68.0% 56.6%
Divorced % 7.0% 8.4%
Racial diversity index
(100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity)
39.4 94.9
From the August 2010 issue
Notes: *County data
Galleries & video
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Find Your Best Places
Region
Northeast South
Midwest West
Ranking
Top 100 winners only
Population
8.4M
46,000
Home Prices
2009 median sales prices
$1.2M
$36K
Video
Using statistics from data provider 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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