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Best and Worst Small Cities in America

Carmel, Indiana, and Lexington, Massachusetts, top the list
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2023 6:48 PM CDT
Best and Worst Small Cities in America
Lexington, Massachusetts, ranks second on the list.   (Getty / jejim)

Residents of Carmel, Indiana, might be happy to learn they live in the best small city in America. At least, the city comes out on top of a ranking by WalletHub of more than 1,300 US cities with a population between 25,000 and 100,000. A number of factors went into the scoring, including affordability, quality of life, jobs, education, and safety. Here are the top and bottom performers:

Best small cities

  1. Carmel, Indiana, 71.16 total score
  2. Lexington, Massachusetts, 70.61
  3. Brentwood, Tennessee, 69.58
  4. Westfield, Indiana, 69.39
  5. Fishers, Indiana, 69.35
  6. Fair Lawn, New Jersey, 69.34
  7. Milton, Massachusetts, 69.29
  8. Melrose, Massachusetts, 69.21
  9. Saratoga Springs, New York, 69.11
  10. Brookfield, Wisconsin, 69.04

The bottom 10

  • Isla Vista, California, 42.6
  • West Memphis, Arkansas, 42.5
  • Camden, New Jersey, 42.34
  • Wasco, California, 40.56
  • Albany, Georgia, 40.4
  • Pine Bluff, Arkansas, 39.6
  • Greenville, Mississippi, 39.12
  • Alexandria, Louisiana, 38.57
  • Monroe, Louisiana, 38.27
  • Bessemer, Alabama, 37.02
See the complete rankings, with methodology. (Or check out other lists.)

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