Best micropolitan for families: Clovis, NM
Clovis, New Mexico is rated the number-one place for families on our list, with the highest number of family households at 9,933.
With 78.4% of the population made up of families, Clovis proves to be a great place to settle down. Clovis also boasts a diverse culture with several museums and historic sites that make for great family activities.
Additional family-oriented metrics:
- Higher child population (26.8%) than the national average (23%)
- 44.9% of the population is married
- 32.9% of the population is married with children; 25.9% of the population represents a single household with children
Best micropolitan for young adults: Ellensburg, WA
Ellensburg, Washington ranks number one for the best place for young adults, with the average age of residents being 24 years old! This rural western town is best known for the Ellensburg Rodeo, which is one of the top 10 in the U.S, and its historic downtown area is like a scene out of a western film.
It’s no wonder post-grads and young adults populate Ellensburg, as it’s filled with rich art, history and delicious food. What more could a 24-year old want?
Additional youth-related metrics:
- 54% of the population falls within the ages of 18-34, compared to the U.S. which is 23.4%
- 72.8% of the population is single
- The projected job growth is 40.5% is 40.5%
Best micropolitan for your career: Williston, ND
If you’re looking for a new job or place to have a secure career, consider Williston, North Dakota. With an unemployment rate of only 2.1% (the national average is 3.9%), Williston may be a place to secure and keep a job – which is more important than ever given the current economic recession.
In fact, the energy industry is especially lucrative in Williston; North Dakota is the second-largest producer of oil in the country, averaging more than 500,000 barrels every day. The state’s largest wind farm is also located in Williston, creating jobs for its residents.
Additional career-related metrics:
- Average household income is $91,359, compared to the national average of $57,652
- More residents make a household income within the $100K-150K range than any other income bucket
- The most popular career industries are mining, quarrying and oil & gas extraction
Best micropolitan for outdoor enthusiasts: Berlin, NH
Air pollution continues to be a major problem across the globe, resulting in 4.2 deaths per year. Air pollution can be especially problematic for people who love spending time outside.
Outdoor enthusiasts, meet Berlin, New Hampshire. This micropolitan has an impressive air quality score of 92.3 (a score of 100 is the best) – making it number one on our list for those who like being outdoors.
Outdoor and nature attractions:
- Berlin is only 17 miles away from White Mountain National Forest
- Home to Jericho Mountain State Park and Jericho Mountain Lake Park
- 90 campgrounds and several hiking trail options
Best micropolitan for homeowners: Torrington, CT
As we spend more time at home, investing in property and becoming a homeowner might be top of mind for you. We found that Torrington, Connecticut is the best small town to buy a home, with the highest number of owner-occupied housing units totaling 15,607, compared to other cities that have a high housing vacancy or rental number.
We can infer from this data that homeowners are purchasing properties to satisfy their own housing needs, and not renting them out to others in order to cover the mortgage or to make a profit. Torrington homeowners seem to love their properties enough to stay in them – which may have something to do with the reasonable average sale price of $146K for a home there.
That said, the Torrington housing market is somewhat competitive, so if you’re considering becoming a homeowner there, you may want to move fast.
Additional housing metrics:
- Average house price is $146,400 compared to the national average of $231,200
- 58.4% of homes are owned, compared to the national average with 56% of homes owned
- The housing cost of living score is 63.3, which is significantly lower than the U.S. average of 100.
Best micropolitan for education: Vineyard Haven, MA
When it comes to education expenditure per student, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts invests the most funds into each of their student’s educational programs and resources. While the national average for education expenditure per student is $13,600, Vineyard Haven invests $21,679 per full-time student.
Education expenditures go towards operation costs, salaries and benefits for employees engaged in instruction, guidance counseling, textbooks and transportation, to name a few. Simply put, the more an area spends on education expenditure per student, the more resources each student will have to help them succeed and get the most out of school.
Additional education-related metrics:
- Total spend per student is $24,809, compared to the national average of $12,383
- Pupil to teacher ratio is 9:1, compared to the national average of 16.8 pupils per student
- 93.2% high school graduation rate
If you’re thinking about trading in your urban upbringing for a rural roots, relocating to a micropolitan might literally be the best move for you. From outdoorsy to career-driven individuals, there’s a small town for everyone. If moving to a new home is in your future, make sure to check out the best home insurance rates for your future ZIP code.