America's Best Small Cities

January 10, 2016
Jared Kaltwasser

Dentists have a wide range of geographic freedom. So where's the best place to live and work?

Being a dentist is one job you can do anywhere

— everyone needs a dentist, after all. For many, that wide-openness also brings a challenge: Where should I actually live?

The consumer finance website WalletHub recently endeavored to create an exhaustive — and I do mean exhaustive — ranking of America’s small cities. For their purposes, “small” cities are those with populations of between 25,000 and 100,000. After compiling a list of 1,268 such cities, the site used a total of 22 metrics, ranging from housing costs, to school quality, to coffee shops per capita, in order to rank the cities.

Coming in the very last place was Bell, CA, a city known to many for the corruption scandal that shocked many in California and beyond. In fact, California in general didn’t fare so well. The bottom 23 cities on the list were in California, although that may have a lot to do with the facts that a) California has many small cities; and b) It’s an expensive place to live.

Aside from that, it’s difficult to draw too many trends. If you’re interested in your own city, you can use the chart below to find it. In the meantime, we’ve pulled out the nine “best” cities, according to the list. They’re presented along with the city’s population, median household income, affordability rank, and quality of life rank (the latter two metrics are out of 1,268).

Source: WalletHub

Population: 51,567

Median Household Income: $74,077

Affordability Rank: 26

Quality of Life Rank: 436

Image: Carl Wycoff/Creative Commons

8. Northampton, MA

Population: 28,495

Median Household Income: $57,991

Affordability Rank: 865

Quality of Life Rank: 55

Image: Flickr User “6SN7”/Creative Commons

7. Westfield, IN

Population: 33,382

Median Household Income: $87,435

Affordability Rank: 24

Quality of Life Rank: 1,054

Image: Derek Jensen/Creative Commons

6. Southlake, TX

Population: 28,234

Median Household Income: $172,951

Affordability Rank: 3

Quality of Life Rank: 403

Image: Nicolas Henderson/Creative Commons

5. Leawood, KS

Population: 32,991

Median Household Income: $135,960

Affordability Rank: 77

Quality of Life Rank: 523

Image: Flickr User “Jeff”/Creative Commons

4. Brookfield, WI

Population: 37,999

Median Household Income: $87,708

Affordability Rank: 206

Quality of Life Rank: 248

Image: WisPolitics.com/Creative Commons

3. Dublin, OH

Population: 43,607

Median Household Income: $113,182

Affordability Rank: 171

Quality of Life Rank: 190

Image: Flickr User The Pug Father/Creative Commons

2. Littleton, CO

Population: 44,275

Median Household Income: $59,699

Affordability Rank: 742

Quality of Life Rank: 28

Image: Jeffrey Beall/Creative Commons

1. Princeton, NJ

Population: 29,008

Median Household Income: $109,865

Affordability Rank: 1,144

Quality of Life Rank: 41

Image: Doug Kerr/Creative Commons

To read WalletHub’s entire list, click here.