Money Magazine’s 50 Best Places to Live 2015 is out, with Apex, NC taking the top spot. Each year, Onboard and Money Magazine join forces to hunt down US places with the highest quality of life. To be dubbed one of the best places to live in America is a serious accomplishment. Affordability, safety, JOB QUALITY and great school systems are only a few of the characteristics these towns must have. This year, the focus veered more toward new cost of living inputs, like tax burdens for income, property, and sales tax. To help with understanding these numbers, Onboard pulled in IRS data and local tax data to pinpoint towns that are both affordable and pleasant.
It can be difficult to place a number on things like job quality or health, but with the raw data gathered by Onboard, Money was able to analyze concrete facts first—local unemployment, number of doctors, health of residents—and see how they compare. This year, Onboard and Money looked for winners among small towns with populations between 10,000 and 50,000, and screened our places with extreme levels of property or wealth, large retirement population, and places with more than 95% of one race. Combined with intangibles like “community spirit”, interviews with current residents, and on-site visits, a combination of FACTORS went into choosing the 50 finalists.
The wealth of high paying jobs and southern small town charm in Apex, NC and the incredible affordability and amenities such as the snazzy outdoor performance venue in Papillion, NE catapulted these towns to the number one and two spots on the list.
Basic data is transformed in this iconic magazine feature. Money Magazine uses and presents local information in a way that’s interesting, valuable, and most importantly, offers bragging rights to residents of the top 50. The data is versatile enough to create spin-off lists, such as Best Places to Be Rich and Single. There is also an option to check out how your home stacks up against the ones on the list, as it compares statistics such as property taxes, crimes per 1,000 people, and percent of adults who graduated high school with the national average.
All in all, the Money Magazine team once again produced an outstanding list that should provide fodder for the next 12 months. We’re thrilled to have them as a continued partner.
Congratulations to all the towns that made the list!