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The Twenty Best Small Cities in America, Including Three in Colorado

Denver gets a lot of love from list-makers, as witnessed by the community being named the best place to live in America by U.S. News & World Report earlier this year.

But Colorado is hardly a one-city state.

As evidence, eyeball WalletHub's roster of 2016's Best Small Cities in America. The site analyzed 1,268 towns with a population of between 25,000 and 100,000, and three from Colorado were among the twenty highest scorers — the only state in the country to achieve this distinction. And plenty of other Colorado cities landed in the upper reaches of the rankings.

Below, count down the photo-illustrated top twenty, featuring WalletHub data. That's followed by a Q&A with WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez, who offers more insight into the excellent performance of small cities in Colorado, as well as a complete methodology. Click to see the complete survey.


Number 20 (tie): Castle Rock, Colorado

Total score: 66.48
"Affordability" rank: 151
"Economic Health" rank: 72
"Education & Health" rank: 31
"Quality of Life" rank: 429
"Safety" rank: 130


Number 20 (tie): Carmel, Indiana

Total score: 66.48
"Affordability" rank: 16
"Economic Health" rank: 68
"Education & Health" rank: 35
"Quality of Life" rank: 686
"Safety" rank: 27

Number 18: Leesburg, Virginia

Total score: 66.5
"Affordability" rank: 242
"Economic Health" rank: 44
"Education & Health" rank: 46
"Quality of Life" rank: 318
"Safety" rank: 213


Number 17: Parker, Colorado

Total score: 66.61
"Affordability" rank: 61
"Economic Health" rank: 24
"Education & Health" rank: 14
"Quality of Life" rank: 648
"Safety" rank: 100


Number 16: Cedar Park, Texas

Total score: 66.66
"Affordability" rank: 128
"Economic Health" rank: 8
"Education & Health" rank: 182
"Quality of Life" rank: 505
"Safety" rank: 206


Number 15: Los Altos, California

Total score: 66.72
"Affordability" rank: 351
"Economic Health" rank: 83
"Education & Health" rank: 92
"Quality of Life" rank: 234
"Safety" rank: 36


Number 14: Dublin, Ohio

Total score: 66.73
"Affordability" rank: 9
"Economic Health" rank: 80
"Education & Health" rank: 413
"Quality of Life" rank: 244
"Safety" rank: 66


Number 13: Sammamish, Washington

Total score: 66.78
"Affordability" rank: 77
"Economic Health" rank: 64
"Education & Health" rank: 89
"Quality of Life" rank: 1,185
"Safety" rank: 13


Number 12: Saratoga, California

Total score: 66.83
"Affordability" rank: 209
"Economic Health" rank: 21
"Education & Health" rank: 100
"Quality of Life" rank: 464
"Safety" rank: 62


Number 11: Saratoga Springs, New York

Total score: 66.87
"Affordability" rank: 832
"Economic Health" rank: 210
"Education & Health" rank: 211
"Quality of Life" rank: 26
"Safety" rank: 372


Continue to count down WalletHub's ten best small towns in America for 2016, including the top-ranked finisher from Colorado. Also on hand is an interview that drills deeper into data from the three Colorado communities that made the cut.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts