Here's an interesting little (?) study reported by CNN about the Best Places to Live in America. The list actually comes from Money's list of America's best small cities so, the 'small' part may skew the results somewhat. That said many people probably would agree that 'small' is better when it comes to lifestyle and quality of life. Drum role please....
Eden Prairie, Minnesota tops Money's list as the Best Place to Live in America.
Ismat Mangla reports that this small city is family friendly and has a "dynamite economy". For 2010 the unemployment rate was 5.1% which is almost one point less than the rate of the county and more than four percent lower the national average. This small city boasts 50,000 jobs right in town.
The major major companies in Eden Prairie are C.H. Robinson (A Fortune 500 trucking co); Starkey Labs (A major manufacturer of hearing aids) and the beloved Minnesota Vikings, who have their practice facility and their front office based right here in Eden Prairie.
Unlike many small cities in America Eden Prairie doesn't have a vibrant downtown. That's certainly something they could work on and benefit greatly from. If you read my post about San Luis Obispo you may have picked up on the fact they built their small city into the Happiest Place in America by revitalizing their downtown core with extra wide sidewalks and ordinance changes to encourage open air cafes and restaurants. The changes have been a boon for SLO. But that missing piece aside Eden Prairie has an abundance of outdoor beauty including gently rolling hills and 17 nearby lakes which local residents flock to for vacation and liesure. EP residents love their rural liesure pursuits like lake swimming in summer and ice skating in winter. Parks within and around the city are also a major part of the lifestyle here with more than 125 miles of running, hiking, and biking trails. With that kind of activity level it's no surprise that EP residents are among the healthiest people in America too. Finally to put icing on this lovely mid-west cake Eden Prairie is known for it's low crime rate (safety) and top of the class schools. What more does is needed to be one of the best cities in America? I can't think of much else!
A few stats about Eden Prairie:
Ranked #1 pf 100 (Winner) by Money Magazine as the Best Small City to Live in.
Population - 64,000
Unemployment Rate - 5.1%
Moody's Bond Rating - AAA