This North Carolina City Is One Of The Best Small Cities In America

By Sarah Tate

October 6, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

When searching for a place live, some people may want a small-town feel away from the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan area but still have the accommodations of a big city. So how do you know which cities strike the perfect balance?

WalletHub compared more than 1,300 U.S. cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 to compile a list of the best small cities to live in the U.S. for 2022. While a large portion of the Top 20 include small towns in the Northeast, one in North Carolina managed to crack the Top 20: Apex.

Apex, located about 15 miles outside of Raleigh, ranked Number 16 thanks to its overall affordability, safety and economic health compared to other cities around the country. Wake Forest, on the opposite side of Wake County, also found a spot on the list at Number 28, with a high mark for economic health.

These are the Top 20 Best Small Cities in the country:

  1. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  2. Carmel, Indiana
  3. Fair Lawn, New Jersey
  4. Lexington, Massachusetts
  5. Brentwood, Tennessee
  6. Melrose, Massachusetts
  7. Zionsville, Indiana
  8. Needham, Massachusetts
  9. Portland, Maine
  10. Westfield, Indiana
  11. Milton, Massachusetts
  12. Sammawish, Washington
  13. Dublin, Ohio
  14. Brookfield, Wisconsin
  15. Leawood, Kansas
  16. Apex, North Carolina
  17. Arlington, Massachusetts
  18. Burlington, Massachusetts
  19. Newton, Massachusetts
  20. Princeton, New Jersey

To determine the list, WalletHub compared over 1,300 small cities using five factors: affordability, economic health, education & health, quality of life, and safety. These factors were then evaluated using 43 relevant metrics, including cost of living, median household income, population growth, unemployment rate, school-system quality, high school graduation rate, average commute time, restaurants per capita and violent-crime rate, among others.

Check out WalletHub's full report to see a list of the best small cities in the country.

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