Names the Top 10 College Towns 2013

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Fourth Annual List Ranks America’s Best College Towns Top 10 College Towns 2013 Top 10 College Towns 2013

For a small to mid-sized town, having a great college or university can add immeasurably to the livability.

The best college towns appeal not just to potential students, but to potential residents and businesses looking for strong economies and opportunities to grow. With this in mind, has named the Top 10 College Towns 2013, the fourth installment in an annual listing of the best college towns in America.

For this installment of the List of top college towns, editors narrowed their search to cities with a high quality of life based on a range of factors from cost of living and walkability to cultural amenities and pollution levels. They then focused on those cities where a university is the top employer and key economic driver.

And finally, they considered student to resident ratios, educational attainment, college-led community outreach programs and the percentage of 21- to 34-year-olds (to show that people stick around or move in after graduation).

"For a small to mid-sized town, having a great college or university can add immeasurably to the livability," says Editor Matt Carmichael. "Schools provide a level of economic stability, a constant influx of new residents, and cultural and sporting events that cities couldn't produce on their own."

Top 10 Best College Towns 2013
1. Boulder, CO
2. Ann Arbor, MI
3. Gainesville, FL
4. Columbia, MO
5. Lexington, KY
6. Iowa City, IA
7. Missoula, MT
8. Madison, WI
9. Fayetteville, AR
10. College Station, TX

About explores what makes small to mid-sized cities great places to live, work and visit. We examine issues related to livability such as walkability, cultural amenities, transportation, urban planning, and sustainability through exclusive research and discussions on our blog. We celebrate the accomplishments of these cities through our monthly top 10 lists, our annual ranking of livable cities and our interactions on social media. is a product of Journal Communications Inc.

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Matt Carmichael
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