CONNECTICUT —South Windsor and Chesire rank among the 50 best places in the United States to live, according to a new ranking by Money magazine. The annual list, released this week, ranks communities based on factors such as safety, cost of living and diversity.
Out of communities on this year’s list, Cheshire ranked #28, and South Windsor came in a very respectable #12.
To determine this year’s Best Places To Live, Money analyzed a list of 1,890 communities with a population of at least 25,000. The publication then analyzed 115 separate data points on each community’s economy, housing market, education system, employment, weather and more.
Reporters then researched each location to ensure the statistics were an accurate representation of each community.
Money added several additional factors this year to account for the coronavirus pandemic and recent unrest stemming from racial inequality. The publication incorporated new filters in two key areas: countywide unemployment and housing distress as a result of COVID-19 economic disruptions; and demographics, to ensure locations selected for this year’s list were racially diverse and well-integrated.
To ensure geographic diversity, the publication limited the number of communities each county and state could have on this year’s list — one community per county, and two per state.
Read more on the methodology used to determine 2020’s Best Places To Live.
Money’s editors were impressed by Chesire’s annual Strawberry Festival and the Barker Character, Comic and Cartoon Museum, which features vintage toys, comic books and more.
“At around $294,000, homes prices in Cheshire are only slightly over the national median, and the community is extremely safe. The town’s overall crime rate is just 65 percent of the U.S. average — one of the lowest rates of all cities we considered,” the editors said. Likely that’s because the town’s home to not one, but two of Connecticut’s prisons — the state’s Department of Correction is Cheshire’s No. 3 employer. The town’s unemployment rate is 9.9 percent, in a population of 30,000. The median household income of Cheshire residents is $101,000.
Meanwhile, over in South Windsor, Money’s editors were wowed by the area around Main Street, which they described as “a parade of Georgian and Greek Revival-style buildings that will make you feel like a character in a period movie.”
The magazine also took note of the town’s “relatively steady” economy, which it attributed to large, stable employers in the Hartford metro region like insurers Aetna and The Hartford, as well as aerospace manufacturer Raytheon Industries, which employ a combined 21,000 people in the area. The median household income is $98,000, and the median price for a home is $214,000. The unemployment rate in South Windsor is 10.3 percent.
“For a town of just 27,000 residents, South Windsor has a lot to offer, including 10 public parks within city limits, featuring spaces for hiking, fishing, and bird-watching. If you’re a fan of fresh produce, there’s plenty in the area,” according to Money.
So, where is the best place to live in the United States? According to this year’s list, it’s Evans, Georgia. A city of 36,000 perched on the Savannah River just northwest of Augusta, Evans has been attracting new residents with plenty of good-paying jobs in health care and administration, as well as at a nearby U.S. Army base, Fort Gordon.
Here are the top 10 Best Places To Live, according to Money:
Morrisville, North Carolina
See the full list of Best Places To Live.
This article originally appeared on the Across Connecticut Patch