Each year, Money Magazine publishes a list of the Best Places to Live, a selection of what they consider to be “America’s Best Small Cities”. Money evaluates cities with a population between 50,000 and 300,000 in categories such as income, housing costs, employment opportunities, education, cultural amenities, health, and recreational opportunities.
Three Kansas cities made the top 100: Overland Park (#9), Olathe (#11), and Shawnee (#39). Of Olathe, the magazine said that “Outdoor recreation opportunities abound, including running, cycling, fishing, boating, and team sports.” Overland park was lauded for it’s schools, which Money says “are among the best in the nation.” Shawnee is, of course, one of only two Bicycle Friendly Communities in Kansas.
Other top cities in the region include five from Colorado (Fort Collins at #2, Highlands Ranch at #12, Loveland at #33, Westminster at #44, and Longmont at #50), one from Iowa (Ames at #53), four from Missouri (St. Peters at #60, O’Fallon at #68, Lee’s Summit at #79, and St. Charles at #82), and two from Oklahoma (Norman at #6 and Edmond at #52). Sadly, no cities from Arkansas or Nebraska made the list this year.
Money‘s overall top choice for 2008 was Plymouth, MN.