Money's list of America's best small cities


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39. Brookline, MA
Brookline
WINNER
Top 100 rank: 39
Population: 58,000
Compare Brookline to Top 10 Best Places
Love the Red Sox? Brookline could be for you: Residents can walk to Fenway, not to mention easily commute to Boston and Cambridge.

The hometown of Jack and Robert Kennedy, Conan O'Brien, Mike Wallace, and Larry Bird, Brookline is as exclusive as its private golf course, The Country Club, which has hosted the Ryder Cup and the U.S. Open.

No surprise that home prices range from $500,000 to more than $20 million for the fanciest estates. --N.A.

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Is Brookline a great town, or what?
Brookline stats
  City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$124,035 $90,957
Job growth %
(2000-2009)*
-1.69% 15.71%
See jobs near Brookline
Median home price $500,000 $239,391
See Brookline homes for sale
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
70.3% 22.9%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
86.3% 22.9%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 33 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 263 24
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
5,285 2,967
High temp in July ° F 82.5° 86.2°
Low temp in Jan ° F 17.8° 21.3°
Median age 36.2 35.3
Financial City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$124,035 $90,957
Family purchasing power
(annual, cost-of-living adjusted)
$101,585 $86,860
State sales tax 6.25% 5.45%
State income tax rate
(highest bracket)
N.A.I 7.35%
State income tax rate
(lowest bracket)
5.30%I 2.96%
Auto insurance premiums
(Average price quotes, for the state)
N.A. $1,707
Job growth %
(2000-2009)*
-1.69% 15.71%
See jobs near Brookline
Housing
Median home price $500,000 $239,391
Average property taxes
(2007)
$5,723 $3,418
See Brookline homes for sale
Education
Colleges, universities and
professional schools (within 30 miles)
50 25
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
70.3% 22.9%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
86.3% 22.9%
% students attending public/private
schools (located within town limits)
57.4/42.6 87.8/12.2
Quality of life
Air quality index*
(% of days AQI ranked as good)
81.0% 77.8%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 33 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 263 24
Median commute time (in minutes) 26.9 21.4
% population with commute
45 mins. or longer
15.8% 13.6%
% population walk or bike to work 11.9% 3.6%
Leisure and culture
Movie theaters
(within 15 miles)
48 31
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
5,285 2,967
Bars
(within 15 miles)
261 207
Public golf courses
(within 30 miles)
276 162
Libraries
(within 15 miles)
175 72
Museums (accredited by AAM;
within 30 miles)
25 10
Ski resorts (within 100 miles) 21 12
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts) 1.7 1.5
Weather
Annual rainfall
(inches)
48.28 37.40
% clear days in the area 27 29
High temp in July ° F 82.5° 86.2°
Low temp in Jan ° F 17.8° 21.3°
Median age 36.2 35.3
Completed at least some college
(% of residents)
89.4% 71.5%
Married % 42.2% 56.6%
Divorced % 6.7% 8.4%
Racial diversity index
(100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity)
97.0 94.9
From the August 2010 issue
Notes: *County data
(3) Crime incidences are estimates based on FBI 2008 Universal Crime and incidence reports, OnBoard analysis.

(I) Income tax notes:
16 states have statutory provision for automatic adjustment of tax brackets, personal exemption or standard deductions to the rate of inflation. Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska and Ohio index the personal exemption amounts only.
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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