Special Report

Best City to Live in Every State

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Kansas: Leawood
> Population: 34,570
> 5 yr. population change: +7.1%
> Median home value: $447,100
> Median household income: $149,736
> 5 yr. avg. unemployment: 2.4%

Leawood, Kansas, is a city of just under 35,000 residents located about 10 miles south of Kansas City, Missouri. Within commuting distance to one of the largest cities in the Midwest, Leawood’s five-year average unemployment rate of 2.4% is less than half the comparable 5.9% national rate. The city is one of the safest in the state, with a violent crime rate of just 77 per 100,000 people, about one-fifth the comparable national rate.

The city’s safe streets and a strong job market are likely pulling many new residents and families to Leawood. Over the last five years, the city’s population has grown by 7.1%.

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Kentucky: Fort Mitchell
> Population: 8,237
> 5 yr. population change: +0.5%
> Median home value: $258,500
> Median household income: $66,754
> 5 yr. avg. unemployment: 0.4%

Bolstered by employment opportunities in nearby Cincinnati, Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, boasts one of the strongest job markets in the country. Over the last five years, unemployment in the northern Kentucky city has averaged just 0.4%. The area’s widespread employment has reduced the likelihood of financial hardship, and just 8.3% of Fort Mitchell’s population lives below the poverty line, one of the lower poverty rates in Kentucky.

Quality of life in Fort Mitchell is bolstered by several parks, containing baseball fields, tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts, pavilions, playgrounds, and picnic areas. The city is also one of the safest in the state, with a violent crime rate of just 48 per 100,000 people, about one-eighth of the comparable national rate.

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Louisiana: Harahan
> Population: 9,309
> 5 yr. population change: +0.2%
> Median home value: $233,600
> Median household income: $63,854
> 5 yr. avg. unemployment: 2.9%

Residents of Harahan, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans, benefit from a strong job market. The average unemployment rate in the city was just 2.9% over the last five years, lower than in the vast majority of the state. Widespread job opportunities can help reduce the likelihood of financial instability. In Harahan, most households earn more than $63,000 a year, more than in most parts of Louisiana.

Harahan is also a relatively safe city, with only 127 violent crimes reported for every 100,000 people in 2018 — about one-third the national violent crime rate.

Source: P199 / Wikimedia Commons

Maine: Brewer
> Population: 9,123
> 5 yr. population change: -3.2%
> Median home value: $162,000
> Median household income: $58,403
> 5 yr. avg. unemployment: 2.6%

Residents of Brewer, Maine, benefit from a low cost of living. Goods and services in the small city located just outside of Bangor are about 10% less expensive than they are nationwide on average. Brewer is also a safe city with a violent crime rate of just 134 for every 100,000 people — well below the national rate of 381 violent crimes per 100,000 Americans. Brewer champions itself as a business-friendly community, and industry does appear to be thriving in the area. Over the last five years, the local unemployment rate has averaged just 2.6%, less than half the comparable national rate.

Maine is struggling with weak population growth, and despite ranking as the best city in the state, Brewer’s population is contracting. Over the last five years, the number of people living there has fallen by 3.2%.

Maryland: Mount Airy
> Population: 9,395
> 5 yr. population change: +1.1%
> Median home value: $368,500
> Median household income: $117,341
> 5 yr. avg. unemployment: 3.1%

Mount Airy, Maryland, is a town of less than 10,000 about 40 miles north of Washington D.C. Of all cities and towns tracked by the FBI, Mount Airy is the safest in Maryland, with only 42 violent crimes for every 100,000 people.

As is often the case in safe communities on this list, Mount Airy has a strong job market and a relatively affluent population. The town’s average unemployment rate over the last five years was just 3.1%. Additionally, most households in the area earn over $117,000 a year.