Money's list of America's best small cities


Cleanest air
In these cities, the air quality is rated highly, and pollution levels are below the U.S. average.
Rank City Air quality index
(% days AQI
ranked good)
Air Pollution Index
(100 is nat'l avg;
lower is better)
1 Richmond, VA 100.0% 94
2 Lake Havasu City, AZ 100.0% 98
3 Novato, CA 99.0% 85
3 San Rafael, CA 99.0% 85
5 Ames, IA 99.0% 91
6 Bismarck, ND 99.0% 94
7 Lincoln, NE 98.0% 75
8 Honolulu, HI 98.0% 80
9 Petaluma, CA 98.0% 85
9 Santa Rosa, CA 98.0% 85
11 Bradenton, FL 98.0% 95
12 Cheyenne, WY 98.0% 98
13 Schenectady, NY 97.0% 84
14 Aurora, CO 97.0% 96
14 Shawnee, KS 97.0% 96
16 Daytona Beach, FL 96.0% 77
16 Port Orange, FL 96.0% 77
18 Santa Cruz, CA 96.0% 80
19 Salinas, CA 96.0% 82
20 Watsonville, CA 96.0% 83
21 Champaign, IL 96.0% 85
22 Port St. Lucie, FL 96.0% 86
22 Fargo, ND 96.0% 86
24 Deltona, FL 96.0% 87
25 Victoria, TX 96.0% 88
From the August 2010 issue
Source: AQI numbers from Environmental Protection Agency. Air Pollution Index is based on the incidence of airborne lead, NO2, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and ozone depletion.
Best Places Winners
MAPS
Home price trends
Hover over any of the 10 Best Places below to see how real estate prices have changed in the past 2 years.
City Avg. listing price
(June 2010)
1. Eden Prairie, MN $430,710
2. Columbia-Ellicott
     City, MD
$487,602
3. Newton, MA $989,445
4. Bellevue, WA $801,423
5. McKinney, TX $267,661
6. Fort Collins, CO $271,950
7. Overland Park, KS $308,235
8. Fishers, IN $282,482
9. Ames, IA $189,657
10. Rogers, AR $269,229

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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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