46. Waynesboro, Virginia
> Population: 21,366
> 5 yr. population change: +1.7%
> Median home value: $158,800
> Median household income: $45,097
Waynesboro, an independent city in northern Virginia, is notable for its affordability, safety, and scenic beauty. Goods and services in the city are about 7% less expensive than they are nationwide on average. Additionally, the violent crime rate of 182 incidents per 100,000 people is less than half the U.S. violent crime rate of 383 per 100,000.
Located in the Shenandoah Valley, Waynesboro offers easy access to the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Trail. The South River cuts through the city, providing a water trail for residents to fish and enjoy by boat. Waynesboro also has a higher than typical concentration of restaurants, movie theatres, and museums.
47. Snoqualmie, Washington
> Population: 12,510
> 5 yr. population change: +28.3%
> Median home value: $471,800
> Median household income: $131,453
Snoqualmie, Washington, is one of the safest places in the country, with just 15 violent crimes for every 100,000 city residents in 2017. The town’s property crime rate of 1,077 incidents per 100,000 residents is also less than half the national rate.
Areas with higher median household incomes tend to have less crime than lower income areas. The median annual household income in Snoqualmie, which is within commuting distance of Seattle, is $131,453 a year, one of the higher incomes among American cities. In addition to the culture and entertainment Seattle has to offer, Snoqualmie has a higher than typical concentration of restaurants, bars, museums, and movie theatres.
48. Bridgeport, West Virginia
> Population: 8,364
> 5 yr. population change: +3.9%
> Median home value: $199,000
> Median household income: $80,462
In Bridgeport, 45.3% of adults have graduated from college, nearly the highest share of cities in the state. The high college attainment rate has likely contributed to the town’s relatively high median household income of $80,462 a year. Not only is Bridgeport wealthy, but it is also inexpensive. Goods and services are 15% less expensive than average in the city.
When it comes to culture and entertainment, Bridgeport residents have options. The city is home to a far higher concentration of restaurants, bars, recreation centers, golf courses, and movie theatres than is typical nationwide.
49. Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
> Population: 14,088
> 5 yr. population change: +0.4%
> Median home value: $350,700
> Median household income: $105,156
Whitefish Bay, a Milwaukee suburb along the shore of Lake Michigan, ranks as the best place to live in Wisconsin. The high quality of life in Whitefish Bay is partially the result of a strong job market. The area’s average unemployment rate over the last five years stands at just 3.2% — less than half the comparable nationwide rate of of 7.4%.
Whitefish Bay is also one of the safest communities in the country, with a violent crime rate of just 36 incidents per 100,000 people. For reference, there were 383 violent crimes per 100,000 people nationwide in 2017.
50. Jackson, Wyoming
> Population: 10,279
> 5 yr. population change: +7.6%
> Median home value: $573,400
> Median household income: $70,517
The resort town of Jackson ranks as the best place to live in Wyoming. Jackson boasts a high concentration of restaurants, bars, museums, and movie theatres, as well as access to Jackson Hole, one of the most famous ski resorts in the United States.
Incomes are relatively high in Jackson. The typical area household earns $70,517 a year, about $11,000 more than the typical Wyoming household. Higher incomes are not enough to offset the area’s high cost of living, however, as goods and services are about 35% more expensive in Jackson than they are on average nationwide. Housing is particularly expensive as most area homes are worth over half a million dollars.
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