Seven of the 10 highest-ranked cities that offer the best quality of life are in Western states, according to a study that identifies American “dreamtowns.”
Topping the list is Bozeman (MT) where the weather can be very chilly but there are other attractive benefits such as a stunning mountain view and intellectual energy from Montana State University.
Bozeman also was No. 1 because its number of small businesses grew by almost 28 percent during the past five years, its population increased 15.3 percent in the same period and 41 percent of its residents have at least a bachelor’s degree.
American City Business Journals, a nationwide chain of weekly business newspapers, ranked the quality of life in small metropolitan areas. Its study looked at hundreds of cities with populations between 10,000 and 50,000 based on their per capita income and income growth, small business growth, ease of commuting, taxation, education and the number of available managerial and professional jobs.
These are the cities that rounded out the rest of the top 10:
The study was inspired by increasing public interest in small-town life and business opportunities.
Did you know that more than 1.7 million people move from metropolitan areas to small cities or rural counties each year, according to U.S. Census Bureau research.
The study identifies the small communities that would be most attractive to people considering such a move.