Money's list of America's best small cities


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49. Chandler, AZ
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Chandler
Crowds turn out for a downtown block party.
WINNER
Top 100 rank: 49
Population: 247,100
Compare Chandler to Top 10 Best Places
This sunny Phoenix suburb is a cultural hotspot. There's the Arizona Railway Museum, the Chandler Center for the Arts, and a weekly farmers' market. The city recently drew 15,000 people to its Barbeque & Beer event. The city's largest employer, tech-giant Intel, has plans to open another multibillion-dollar facility here next year. Bank of America and Wells Fargo are also major employers. While the housing market suffered huge declines in the bust, sales are picking up briskly. On the downside, crime isn't unheard of. --L.G.
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Chandler stats
  City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$82,886 $96,825
Job growth %
(2000-2011)*
26.91% 25.01%
See jobs near Chandler
Median home price $161,000 $269,768
See Chandler homes for sale
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
9.1% 28.2%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
19.6% 29.2%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 3 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 30 20
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
3,666 3,134
High temp in July ° F 105.5° 86.8°
Low temp in Jan ° F 41.0° 18.4°
Median age 33.1 35.2
Financial City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$82,886 $96,825
Family purchasing power
(annual, cost-of-living adjusted)
$85,803 $93,218
State sales tax 6.60% 5.57%
State income tax rate
(highest bracket)
4.54%I 7.31%
State income tax rate
(lowest bracket)
2.59%I 3.08%
Auto insurance premiums
(Average price quotes, for the state)
$1,280 $1,596
Job growth %
(2000-2011)*
26.91% 25.01%
See jobs near Chandler
Housing
Median home price $161,000 $269,768
Average property taxes N.A. $6,517
See Chandler homes for sale
Education
Colleges, universities and
professional schools (within 30 miles)
23 8
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
9.1% 28.2%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
19.6% 29.2%
% students attending public/private
schools (located within town limits)
94.0/6.0 91.5/8.5
Quality of life
Air quality index*
(% of days AQI ranked as good)
27.3% 77.3%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 3 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 30 20
Median commute time (in minutes) 22.6 22.2
% population with commute
45 mins. or longer
13.4% 14.9%
% population walk or bike to work 2.7% 3.2%
Leisure and culture
Movie theaters
(within 15 miles)
37 33
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
3,666 3,134
Bars
(within 15 miles)
234 199
Public golf courses
(within 30 miles)
241 169
Libraries
(within 15 miles)
53 70
Museums (accredited by AAM;
within 30 miles)
5 10
Ski resorts (within 100 miles) 1 6
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts) 0.5 1.4
Weather
Annual rainfall
(inches)
9.18 34.21
% clear days in the area 58 32
High temp in July ° F 105.5° 86.8°
Low temp in Jan ° F 41.0° 18.4°
Median age 33.1 35.2
Completed at least some college
(% of residents)
70.1% 72.6%
Married % 59.4% 57.9%
Divorced % 9.4% 8.0%
Racial diversity index
(100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity)
114.5 118.4
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.

(I) Income tax notes:
For joint returns, taxes are twice the tax on half the couple’s income.
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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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