Money Magazine Reveals Annual List of The 100 Best Places To Live in America
August 20, 2012 Jeri-Rowe Curtis

Carmel, IN Tops the List at Number One

Redmond Ranks 5th in Money Magazine's Annual List of The 100 Best Places To Live in America

Today, MONEY reveals the 2012 list of MONEY’s 100 Best Places to Live in America, highlighting small cities across the country with populations of 50,000-300,000. For the annual cover story, on sale Friday, August 24, MONEY looked for places with the optimal combination of economic strength, quality health care, low crime, great schools, and lots to do.

Carmel, Indiana tops this year’s list at number one. Twenty minutes away from downtown Indianapolis, Carmel has a strong economy, affordable homes, low taxes, great schools, bike paths everywhere and a new performing arts center. MONEY editors write, "Carmel's business district has the second-largest concentration of office workers in Indiana and an unemployment rate that's a little more than half the national average…. Carmel also has excellent schools, a big sports and recreation center, roundabouts to keep traffic flowing, wide bike lanes, and an off-street bike path with a direct route through the center of town. All that, plus a variety of housing options ranging from older homes to new subdivisions, and you have an irresistible draw for families." Carmel, which has a population of 79,200, ranked at #14 on the Best Places to Live list in 2010, when MONEY last ranked small cities.

MONEY’s 2012 Top Ten List:

1. Carmel, IN
2. McKinney, TX
3. Eden Prairie, MN
4. Newton, MA
5. Redmond, WA
6. Irvine, CA
7. Reston, VA
8. Columbia/Ellicott City, MD
9. Overland Park, KS
10. Chapel Hill, NC

See MONEY's top 100 Best Places to Live in America here:

MONEY also features the five great places to:

Make your dollar stretch further: 1. Rogers, AR; 2. Mansfield, TX; 3. Flower Mound, TX; 4. (tie) Franklin, TN and Hendersonville, TN

Purchase a cheap house: 1.Florissant, MD; 2. Coral Springs, FL; 3. Troy, MI; 4. Riverview, FL; 5. Bollingbrook, IL

Relax and smile (highest "ease of living" score): 1. St. George, UT; 2. Orem, UT; 3. Bismark, ND; 4. Eden Prairie, MN; 5. South Jordan, UT

As part of an exclusive real estate partnership for the third year in a row, CNNMoney will incorporate Trulia’s local housing stats, trends and content to help its readers find out what it’s like to live and buy a home in the Best Places locations. CNNMoney will also have a feature in which readers can use Simply Hired to find jobs in this year's Best Places.

See more on the Best Places to Live from CNNMoney:

25 Top-Earning Towns - These cities from the Best Places database have the highest incomes. Bethesda, MD, tops this year's list of affluent cities, with a median family income of $184,600.

25 Best Places for Job Growth - These counties have had the highest long-term job growth. In Loudoun County, Va., home of the #30 Best Place to Live Ashburn, job growth from 2000-2011 was 84%.

25 Best Places for the Rich and Single - In these affluent towns,singles are abundant. In Newton, MA, for example, 31% of the population is unattached, and median family income is $146,000.

25 Best Places for Affordable Homes - Residents who buy real estate in these cities from the Best Places database see their incomes go the furthest.

Best home deals in the top 10 towns - Get a home in one of Money's Best Places to Live for as much as $94,000 off.

Compare your town to the top 10 Best Places:
Best Places to Drive Contest:

Twitter: #BestPlaces; @MONEY
Pinterest: See place-specific boards with links to local resources at

Extended write-ups, photos, videos and more of the entire list of MONEY's 100 Best Places to Live in America are on the iPad, NOOK Color, and other tablets.

# # #