Money's list of America's best small towns

88 of 100
88. Portland, CT
Thanks for liking one of Money's Best Places to Live.

Now take charge of your financial life: Like Money magazine on Facebook for analysis and advice you can trust.

Top 100 rank: 88
Population: 9,600
Compare Portland to Top 10 Best Places
In the 18th and 19th centuries, this Connecticut River town was famous for its brownstone quarries, which supplied the building materials for a good chunk of Boston and New York City. Today itís known for its good schools, reasonable taxes, and peaceful scenery. Many residents work in nearby Glastonbury or Middletown or in Hartford, 18 miles away. One big attraction: the Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park, which draws residents and out-of-towners with zip lining, water skiing, and snorkeling. --N.D.
Subscribe to Money Magazine

It's your turn to choose. Which town should be No. 1?

Share your town's specialty and pick your top dish.

Is Portland a great town, or what?
Portland stats
  City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$87,877 $99,975
Job growth %
10.11% 24.63%
See jobs near Portland
Median home price N.A. $265,929
See Portland homes for sale
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
29.4% 25.1%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
19.4% 24.7%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 23 1
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 183 16
(within 15 miles)
1,965 2,758
High temp in July ° F 71.3° 84.1°
Low temp in Jan ° F 24.4° 20.9°
Median age 42.7 36.35
Financial City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$87,877 $99,975
Family purchasing power
(annual, cost-of-living adjusted)
$72,208 $95,706
State sales tax 6.00% 5.75%
State income tax rate
(highest bracket)
6.50%I 7.37%
State income tax rate
(lowest bracket)
3.00%I 3.13%
Auto insurance premiums
(Average price quotes, for the state)
$2,063 $1,687
Job growth %
10.11% 24.63%
See jobs near Portland
Median home price N.A. $265,929
Average property taxes
$5,229 $4,083
See Portland homes for sale
Colleges, universities and
professional schools (within 30 miles)
21 28
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
29.4% 25.1%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
19.4% 24.7%
% students attending public/private
schools (located within town limits)
100.0/0.0 92.1/7.9
Quality of life
Air quality index*
(% of days AQI ranked as good)
85.0% 78.5%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 23 1
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 183 16
Median commute time (in minutes) 20.8 23.3
% population with commute
45 mins. or longer
7.3% 15.4%
% population walk or bike to work 2.8% 2.6%
Leisure and culture
Movie theaters
(within 15 miles)
32 30
(within 15 miles)
1,965 2,758
(within 15 miles)
72 208
Public golf courses
(within 30 miles)
192 165
(within 15 miles)
91 74
Museums (accredited by AAM;
within 30 miles)
13 10
Ski resorts (within 100 miles) 35 16
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts) 1.8 1.2
Annual rainfall
46.92 39.07
% clear days in the area 23 27
High temp in July ° F 71.3° 84.1°
Low temp in Jan ° F 24.43° 20.9°
Median age 42.7 36.35
Completed at least some college
(% of residents)
61.8% 74.5%
Married % 59.9% 61.5%
Divorced % 7.9% 7.6%
Racial diversity index
(100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity)
30.6 71.0
From the September 2011 issue
Notes: *County data
(3) Crime incidences are estimates based on FBI 2009 Universal Crime and incidence reports, OnBoard analysis.

(I) Income tax notes:
For joint returns, taxes are twice the tax on half the couple's income.
Connecticut's personal exemption incorporates a standard deduction. An additional tax credit is allowed ranging from 75% to 0% based on state adjusted gross income. Exemption amounts are phased out for higher income taxpayers until they are eliminated for households earning over $71,000.
Galleries and more
  • Homes for sale
  • Real estate and homes for sale on Trulia

We asked readers to share their favorite hometown dishes. Now itís time for you to choose: The most popular dish will be named Fan Favorite!

Hometown dish Town
1. Low Cal Tex Mex Seguin, TX
2. Chile Relleno Seguin, TX
3. Super Bowl Breakfast Jamestown, CA,
4. Texas BBQ Luling, TX
5. Shrimp 'n Grits to die for! Raleigh, NC

Money picked the top 100. Now it's your turn: Which town will be our fan favorite? 'Like' your town and it might just make it to No. 1.

Town # of Likes
1. Saratoga Springs, NY 407
2. Glen Ellyn, IL 202
3. Castle Rock, CO 199
4. Mason, OH 181
5. Oswego, IL 172
Find Your Best Places
Northeast South
Midwest West
Top 100 winners only
Home Prices
2010 median sales prices
Using statistics from data services company 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

Comments? E-mail the editors

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.