Most people wouldn’t think that a city in the middle of the country where temperatures often hover in the teens in winter and humidity reaches high levels in the summer would be the most livable city in the country, yet, Madison, Wisconsin, recently won the title.
The city jumped from fifth position in last year’s list of best small to mid-sized U.S. cities to live, which is compiled by Livability, a marketing company that helps cities attract and retain residents and businesses.
Despite the occasional rough weather, Madison has plenty to offer. Some of its main attractions include the University of Wisconsin, a tour of the state capitol, great food and music, and easy access to the outdoors with its proximity to several lakes.
“The cities at the top of the list were often home to a major institution like a university, hospital or state capital,” said Matt Carmichael, Livability’s editor in a press release. “Institutions like that help these smaller cities compete in terms of sports, culture, jobs and entertainment.”
To complete its second annual ranking of the best small to mid-sized U.S. cities to live, Livability started with 2,000 cities and narrowed it down to 100. The Fiscal Times is featuring the top 10.
Livability looked at more than 40 data points grouped in eight categories: economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and health care. An advisory board of leading academics, authors and policymakers supported Livability’s research team in developing the rankings.
Only one city in the top 10 is located on the East Coast, while three are in California.
Top Reads from The Fiscal Times: