NEWTON, MA — What makes a town or a city the best place to live? When it comes to Massachusetts it's the proximity to Boston and colleges, public transportation and an excellent school system — at least according to Money Magazine. This year, for the second year in a row, the magazine gave bragging rights to the City of Newton as the top place to live in the Commonwealth. Newton also ranked the top 12th city to live in the country.
"Living near Boston is notoriously pricey, and Newton is no exception. But for residents of the affluent town whose median household income reaches nearly $132,258, the price is well worth it," reads Money Magazine's list.
The list noted that Newton had plenty of MBTA stops, making the rush-hour commute into the city "less painful." While that's debatable, Money Magazine gave a shout out to the Newton Public School system which has a 97 percent graduation rate, one of the highest on the list. But it also gave a shout out to Commonwealth Avenue's Heartbreak Hill and Chestnut Hill Reservoir park, which was originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.
Last year Money Magazine gave love to the small businesses in the Garden City, too.
"The great thing about Newton is that it's a collection of small businesses and interesting shopping districts and there are still a strong number of mom and pop shops and a terrific amount of restaurants as well as the commercial districts... where larger employers can thrive, too, " said Greg Reibman of the Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce when Newton won the award last year, too.
Newton has a population of about 86,131 and a median household Income of $132,258. The median home listing price: $1,470,000.
The report included only cities with populations of 50,000 or more, but excluded communities with more than double the national crime risk, less than 85 percent of their state's median household income or lack of diversity.
According to the rankings, these are the 12 Best Places To Live In America:
Ellicott City, Maryland
Cary, North Carolina
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Lower Merion, Pennsylvania
The rankings were released Monday in partnership with realtor.com and compiled by looking at more than 135,000 data points including economic health, cost of living, diversity, public education, crime and income, according to Money Magazine. Reporters also researched each community, interviewed residents and checked out neighborhoods, they said.
Article reprinted courtesy of Newton Patch