Money's list of America's best small towns

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10. Chanhassen, MN
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Top 100 rank: 10
Population: 23,000
Unemployment: 5.5%*
Compare Chanhassen to Top 10 Best Places
Despite some 2011 budgetary brouhahas in the state of Minnesota, Chanhassen has plenty going for it--including good jobs right within its borders (manufacturing and technology company Emerson is based here), evening diversion (the Chanhassen Dinner Theater is the nationís oldest and largest), and nature galore (34 parks, 11 lakes, and the enormous Minnesota Landscape Arboretum). The townís new state-of-the-art high school has racked up some national awards in just its second year. --I.M.
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Is Chanhassen a great town, or what?
Chanhassen stats
  City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$123,580 $99,975
Job growth %
25.62% 24.63%
See jobs near Chanhassen
Median home price $324,000 $265,929
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Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
27.0% 25.1%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
17.1% 24.7%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 13 1
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 163 16
(within 15 miles)
2,171 2,758
High temp in July ° F 85.8° 84.1°
Low temp in Jan ° F 3.4° 20.9°
Median age 35.1 36.35
Financial City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$123,580 $99,975
Family purchasing power
(annual, cost-of-living adjusted)
$111,888 $95,706
State sales tax 6.88% 5.75%
State income tax rate
(highest bracket)
7.85%I 7.37%
State income tax rate
(lowest bracket)
5.35%I 3.13%
Auto insurance premiums
(Average price quotes, for the state)
$1,526 $1,687
Job growth %
25.62% 24.63%
See jobs near Chanhassen
Median home price $324,000 $265,929
Average property taxes
$4,543 $4,083
See Chanhassen homes for sale
Colleges, universities and
professional schools (within 30 miles)
19 28
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
27.0% 25.1%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
17.1% 24.7%
% students attending public/private
schools (located within town limits)
84.0/16.0 92.1/7.9
Quality of life
Air quality index*
(% of days AQI ranked as good)
N.A. 78.5%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 13 1
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 163 16
Median commute time (in minutes) 23.1 23.3
% population with commute
45 mins. or longer
9.0% 15.4%
% population walk or bike to work 1.5% 2.6%
Leisure and culture
Movie theaters
(within 15 miles)
41 30
(within 15 miles)
2,171 2,758
(within 15 miles)
143 208
Public golf courses
(within 30 miles)
186 165
(within 15 miles)
71 74
Museums (accredited by AAM;
within 30 miles)
4 10
Ski resorts (within 100 miles) 13 16
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts) 5.8 1.2
Annual rainfall
30.44 39.07
% clear days in the area 26 27
High temp in July ° F 85.8° 84.1°
Low temp in Jan ° F 3.4° 20.9°
Median age 35.1 36.35
Completed at least some college
(% of residents)
86.5% 74.5%
Married % 71.5% 61.5%
Divorced % 6.8% 7.6%
Racial diversity index
(100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity)
28.8 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:
17 states have statutory provisions for automatically adjusting to the rate of inflation the dollar values of the income tax brackets, standard deductions, and/or personal exemptions. Massachusetts, Michigan, and Nebraska index the personal exemption only. Oregon does not index the income brackets for $125,000 and over. Because the inflation-adjustments for 2011 are not yet available in most cases, the table reports the 2010 amounts, unless 2011 is specified in a footnote.
These states use the personal exemption amounts provided in the federal Internal Revenue Code.
The income brackets reported for Minnesota are for single individuals. For married couples filing jointly, the same tax rates apply to income brackets ranging from $33,280, to $132,220.
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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
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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

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