by Dan Rafter
Looking to move? Livability, a Web site that ranks cities across the United States, recommends Rochester, Minnesota.
That city topped Livability’s 2016 ranking of the 100 best small- to mid-size places to live in the United States. The survey, the third that Livability has run, focuses on more than 2,000 U.S. cities with populations between 20,000 and 350,000. Livability’s editors say that they relied on more than 40 data points to compile the list.
Rochester first made one of Livability’s top cities lists in 2014, ranking seventh. Last year, it came in second. So it’s not surprising that Rochester topped the list this year. What pushed Rochester to the top? Livability pointed to the city’s strong public schools, the civil engagement of its residents and its thriving healthcare scene.
But the biggest positive? Rochester boasts a diverse range of affordable housing, according to the Livability study.
The Mayo Clinic also calls Rochester home, and it is at the center of an economic boom in this Minnesota city that Livability says is bringing in thousands of new residents and businesses.
Another Midwest city claimed the third spot, Madison, Wisconsin. Madison earned its high spot thanks to its top-rated healthcare system, strong schools and solid economy. Madison is also Wisconsin’s capital, meaning that the city offers plenty of culture.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Iowa City, Iowa, also ranked high, claiming the eighth and ninth spots on the Livability list. Ann Arbor ranks high thanks in part to its status as one of the country’s top college towns, while Iowa City can lay claim to one of the country’s top healthcare systems.