36. Newcastle, Oklahoma
> Population: 9,030
> 5 yr. population change: +21.0%
> Median home value: $180,300
> Median household income: $78,144
Newcastle is a small city of less than 10,000 just outside Oklahoma City. One of the fastest growing cities in the state, Newcastle’s population spiked by 21% in the last five years. As in other cities on this list, Newcastle residents are actively engaged in bettering their community. The city’s resident-driven Bridge to 2020 initiative launched in 2007 to develop a long-term strategic plan for the community. In addition to nearby amenities in Oklahoma City, Newcastle boasts seven golf courses, six movie theatres, access to four hospitals, and two shopping malls.
A relatively affluent city, Newcastle’s median income of $78,144 is about $30,000 higher than it is statewide and goods and services are about 17% less expensive than they are nationwide.
37. Sherwood, Oregon
> Population: 18,965
> 5 yr. population change: +7.5%
> Median home value: $313,000
> Median household income: $86,111
Sherwood is a small city about 15 miles southwest of Portland. In addition to amenities, attractions, and employment opportunities in the nearby city, Sherwood itself boasts over a dozen parks and a community recreation center and pool.
Quality of life in Sherwood is also bolstered by a low violent crime rate and relative financial stability. There were just 82 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents in Sherwood in 2017, less than a quarter the national violent crime rate. Additionally, Sherwood’s 4.7% poverty rate is less than a third of both the state and national poverty rates of 15.7% and 15.1%, respectively.
38. Franklin Park, Pennsylvania
> Population: 14,228
> 5 yr. population change: +7.9%
> Median home value: $312,200
> Median household income: $121,661
Franklin Park, Pennsylvania, is a borough just outside of Pittsburgh. The area has a relatively high share of residents with high educational attainment. A whopping 70% of adults hold at least a bachelor’s degree, one of the higher college attainment rates among U.S. cities. Those with college degrees are more qualified for specialized jobs that tend to have higher salaries. In Franklin Park, the median household income of $121,661 a year is one of the highest in the country.
Like many affluent, well-educated areas, Franklin Park is relatively safe. The violent crime rate of 14 incidents per 100,000 people is one of the lowest in the country. Nationwide, there were 383 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in 2017.
39. Newport, Rhode Island
> Population: 24,570
> 5 yr. population change: -0.1%
> Median home value: $382,200
> Median household income: $59,794
Newport, Rhode Island is by far the best educated city in the state. More than half — 50.9% — of adult residents completed at least their bachelor’s degree. No other major Rhode Island community exceeded the state’s college graduation rate of 32.5%. This high educational attainment qualifies many of the city’s residents for highly skilled jobs and likely helps drive down the unemployment rate. Newport’s unemployment rate is just 3.8%, the lowest of anywhere in the country.
Though Newport’s median household income is close to that of Rhode Island as a whole, homes in the area tend to be much more valuable than those in the rest of the state. Newport’s median home value is $382,200, well above Rhode Island’s $238,200 median home value.
40. Tega Cay, South Carolina
> Population: 9,026
> 5 yr. population change: +23.3%
> Median home value: $301,200
> Median household income: $120,346
Tega Cay ranks as one of the best cities to live in part because of its relatively high income and the many associated benefits that come with affluence. The city’s median household income of over $120,000 is more than double the U.S. median. In a city with a high percentage of affluent households, there are also very few residents struggling with serious financial hardship. Just 0.9% of residents live in poverty.
Tega Cay lies near the border of the Carolinas and Lake Wiley. The water access gives residents a chance to swim, boat, and fish. As a tourist destination, the city has a high number of bars and restaurants per resident. Tega Cay is growing quickly. It was home to fewer than 5,000 people in 2009. As of 2016, more than 9,000 people lived there.