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/ Source: TODAY
By Julie Pennell

Looking for a small city to live, work, and raise your family? Money magazine has some suggestions.

The magazine released Monday its list of the best small towns to live in America. The list was drawn after inspecting towns that offer “great jobs, strong economies, affordable homes, great schools and something special,” the magazine said on its website.

Snoqualmie, Washington
Snoqualmie, WashingtonRobert Laberge / Getty Images

Fifty towns across the country have been ranked on the list — here are the top 10:

  1. Apex, North Carolina
  2. Papillion, Nebraska
  3. Sharon, Massachusetts
  4. Louisville, Colorado
  5. Snoqualmie, Washington
  6. Sherwood, Oregon
  7. Chanhassen, Minnesota
  8. Coppell, Texas
  9. Simsbury, Connecticut
  10. Solon, Ohio

Apex, North Carolina, which has a population of 42,150, received the top honor because of characteristics like its “charming downtown, top-notch schools, community spirit, and the high-paying tech-industry jobs that help make the quality of life here second to none.”

Jobs were also an important factor in the ranking. Snoqualmie, Washington, had the highest median income within the top 10 cities — $122,004 — although that’s not the reason it landed on the list. The magazine cites the recent improvements made throughout the town including the development of Snoqualmie Ridge (a planned community a few miles from downtown), a beautification project in the historic district, a new hospital, and an extensive renovation of the only high school.

A strong sense of community also helped these towns get recognized. For example, the bleachers are filled with locals at Chanhassen, Minnesota’s high school games where the mayor moonlights as the game-time announcer, and in Coppell, Texas, the residents of the small town gather for ice cream socials, outdoor concerts, and block parties.

Many of the cities did have what could be considered relatively expensive housing prices — an average three-bedroom in Sharon, Massachusetts. has a listing price of $540,000 and relatively high property taxes, but as the magazine points out, “You get what you pay for.”

To see the full list of Money magazine’s America’s Best Places to Live 2015, click here!