Money's list of America's best small cities


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23. Gaithersburg, MD
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Gaithersburg
Celebrate Gaithersburg, an annual street festival, draws thousands to Olde Towne.
WINNER
Top 100 rank: 23
Population: 63,400
Compare Gaithersburg to Top 10 Best Places
The National institute of Standards and Technology, IBM, and Medimmune are just some of the many employers in this quaint city near both Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, whose unemployment rate was just 4.9% as of May. Still, many residents choose to forge their own career paths -- Gaithersburg is widely considered one of the best places to start a business. Other perks include terrific schools and a diverse population (recently 19% African American, 14% Asian). --D.M.
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Gaithersburg stats
  City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$103,068 $96,825
Job growth %
(2000-2011)*
19.95% 25.01%
See jobs near Gaithersburg
Median home price $287,750 $269,768
See Gaithersburg homes for sale
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
16.8% 28.2%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
18.9% 29.2%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 23 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 173 20
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
3,143 3,134
High temp in July ° F 85.4° 86.8°
Low temp in Jan ° F 23.8° 18.4°
Median age 39.0 35.2
Financial City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$103,068 $96,825
Family purchasing power
(annual, cost-of-living adjusted)
$99,969 $93,218
State sales tax 6.00% 5.57%
State income tax rate
(highest bracket)
5.50% 7.31%
State income tax rate
(lowest bracket)
2.00% 3.08%
Auto insurance premiums
(Average price quotes, for the state)
$1,807 $1,596
Job growth %
(2000-2011)*
19.95% 25.01%
See jobs near Gaithersburg
Housing
Median home price $287,750 $269,768
Average property taxes N.A. $6,517
See Gaithersburg homes for sale
Education
Colleges, universities and
professional schools (within 30 miles)
48 8
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
16.8% 28.2%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
18.9% 29.2%
% students attending public/private
schools (located within town limits)
95.0/5.0 91.5/8.5
Quality of life
Air quality index*
(% of days AQI ranked as good)
74.0% 77.3%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 23 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 173 20
Median commute time (in minutes) 29.2 22.2
% population with commute
45 mins. or longer
28.2% 14.9%
% population walk or bike to work 3.1% 3.2%
Leisure and culture
Movie theaters
(within 15 miles)
29 33
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
3,143 3,134
Bars
(within 15 miles)
36 199
Public golf courses
(within 30 miles)
196 169
Libraries
(within 15 miles)
58 70
Museums (accredited by AAM;
within 30 miles)
30 10
Ski resorts (within 100 miles) 4 6
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts) 2.6 1.4
Weather
Annual rainfall
(inches)
43.08 34.21
% clear days in the area 29 32
High temp in July ° F 85.4° 86.8°
Low temp in Jan ° F 23.8° 18.4°
Median age 39.0 35.2
Completed at least some college
(% of residents)
72.7% 72.6%
Married % 51.3% 57.9%
Divorced % 7.8% 8.0%
Racial diversity index
(100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity)
298.7 118.4
From the September 2012 issue
Notes: *County data

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.
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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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