Money's list of America's best small cities


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79. Shelby, MI
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Shelby
WINNER
Top 100 rank: 79
Population: 74,300
Compare Shelby to Top 10 Best Places
Shelby is 45 minutes from Detroit but feels worlds away. The community has a rural feel, with open spaces, well-rated schools, safe streets, and bucolic parks. At 9.8%, however, the area unemployment rate is higher than the average. In June there was a major fire in the small downtown, which destroyed three historic buildings and several local businesses. -- L.M.
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Shelby stats
  City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$82,736 $96,825
Job growth %
(2000-2011)*
3.78% 25.01%
See jobs near Shelby
Median home price $154,439 $269,768
See Shelby homes for sale
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
30.1% 28.2%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
37.7% 29.2%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 13 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 193 20
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
3,422 3,134
High temp in July ° F 77.5° 86.8°
Low temp in Jan ° F 3.7° 18.4°
Median age 37.7 35.2
Financial City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$82,736 $96,825
Family purchasing power
(annual, cost-of-living adjusted)
$81,917 $93,218
State sales tax 6.00% 5.57%
State income tax rate
(highest bracket)
4.35%I 7.31%
State income tax rate
(lowest bracket)
4.35%I 3.08%
Auto insurance premiums
(Average price quotes, for the state)
$2,541 $1,596
Job growth %
(2000-2011)*
3.78% 25.01%
See jobs near Shelby
Housing
Median home price $154,439 $269,768
Average property taxes
(2011)
$1,929 $6,517
See Shelby homes for sale
Education
Colleges, universities and
professional schools (within 30 miles)
23 8
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
30.1% 28.2%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
37.7% 29.2%
% students attending public/private
schools (located within town limits)
N.A./N.A. 91.5/8.5
Quality of life
Air quality index*
(% of days AQI ranked as good)
77.0% 77.3%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 13 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 193 20
Median commute time (in minutes) 24.3 22.2
% population with commute
45 mins. or longer
17.4% 14.9%
% population walk or bike to work 0.8% 3.2%
Leisure and culture
Movie theaters
(within 15 miles)
31 33
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
3,422 3,134
Bars
(within 15 miles)
294 199
Public golf courses
(within 30 miles)
247 169
Libraries
(within 15 miles)
77 70
Museums (accredited by AAM;
within 30 miles)
4 10
Ski resorts (within 100 miles) 4 6
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts) 0.2 1.4
Weather
Annual rainfall
(inches)
31.69 34.21
% clear days in the area 53 32
High temp in July ° F 77.5° 86.8°
Low temp in Jan ° F 3.7° 18.4°
Median age 37.7 35.2
Completed at least some college
(% of residents)
62.9% 72.6%
Married % 61.0% 57.9%
Divorced % 7.6% 8.0%
Racial diversity index
(100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity)
31.8 118.4
From the September 2012 issue
Notes: *County data
Due to erroneous job, cost-of-living, and test score stats for a small number of places, this city's rank changed slightly from an earlier version. Details.

Due to an error by our data provider, an earlier version listed incorrect stats for this city's number of colleges.
(3) Crime incidences are estimates based on FBI 2011 Universal Crime and incidence reports, OnBoard analysis.

(I) Income tax notes:
17 states have statutory provision for automatically adjusting to the rate of inflation the dollar values of the income tax brackets, standard deductions, and/or personal exemptions. Massachusetts, Michigan, and Nebraska index the personal exemption only. Oregon does not index the income brackets for $125,000 and over. Because the inflation adjustments for 2012 are not yet available in some cases, the table may report the 2011 amounts.
In Michigan, includes an additional exemption of $600 for children age 18 and under. Tax rate scheduled to decrease to 4.25% on 10/1/13.
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Using statistics from data services company Onboard Informatics, we crunched the numbers in order to zero in on America's best small cities for families. (Last year, we looked at small towns, with populations between 8,500 and 50,000.) More

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