Livability.com Releases Annual Ranking of the 10 Best College Towns in America

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New data-driven list ranks the best small to midsize cities for the top US college towns.

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"From job opportunities to weekend activities to beloved campus traditions, these are places that offer something special for residents at every stage of life, where students can settle down and build a life after graduation, and alumni from all over the world keep coming back."

Livability.com has released its 2019 10 Best College Towns rankings for the ninth year in a row, in partnership with ABODO Apartments, the leading off-campus and young professional apartment search engine in the United States.

With schools across the country celebrating a new academic year, Livability.com has named the 2019 10 Best College Towns. The rankings focused on quality of life, local economy and diversity and feature colleges and universities that range from Ivy League, private, large and public.

To determine the 10 best college towns in the country, Livability first found all U.S. cities with a population between 20,000 and 350,000 and at least one college campus. We formed this list by cross-referencing 2019 city population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division with data from the U.S. Department of Education on all college campuses in the U.S. by city. This gave us a list of 223 cities, which we ranked by considering four weighted factors:

  • 30% – The ratio of the city’s median salary (from the Bureau of Labor Statistics) to its September 2019 median one-bedroom rent (from ABODO listings)
  • 30% – The percentage of the population that is aged 20 to 29
  • 20% – The number of jobs in the education sector per 1,000 jobs in the city
  • 20% – The ratio of the median salary in the city to the nation for education jobs

"This year’s 10 Best College Towns are great places to live for everyone — not just students," says Livability.com Editor-in-Chief Winona Dimeo-Ediger. “From job opportunities to weekend activities to beloved campus traditions, these are places that offer something special for residents at every stage of life, where students can settle down and build a life after graduation, and alumni from all over the world keep coming back.”

The 10 Best College Towns:
1. Ithaca, NY
2. Manhattan, KS
3. Ames, IA
4. Fairbanks, AK
5. Corvallis, OR
6. Lawrence, KS
7. College Station, TX
8. Champaign, IL
9. Greenville, NC
10. Gainesville, FL

For more information about the 2019 10 Best College Towns or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Winona Dimeo-Ediger, Livability.com Editor-in-Chief: wdimeo-ediger@livability.com

About Livability.com:
Livability.com explores what makes small to mid-sized cities great places to live, work and visit. We examine issues such as affordability, cultural amenities and talent attraction, and celebrate the accomplishments of these cities through our monthly top 10 lists, our annual ranking of the Top 100 Best Places to Live, and daily articles exploring the who, what, why and how behind the “where.” Livability.com is a division of Journal Communications, Inc.

About ABODO.com:
Founded in 2012 and now a team of more than 35, ABODO is the country’s leading hyper-local apartment search service. The company is driving the rental search experience by combining the largest inventory of available apartments with a simple and intuitive user experience. ABODO is a privately held venture-funded company headquartered in Madison, WI.

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Winona Dimeo-Ediger
@livability
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