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26 of 50
26. Brookfield, CT
Brookfield, CT
26
Top 50 rank: 26
Population: 16,788

Surrounded by the largest lakes in Connecticut, Brookfield is a great spot for water recreation -- not to mention exploring lots of wooded hiking trails and open space. There are few employers right in town, so many residents commute within Fairfield County or to New York City, a 90-minute drive away.

While it is pedestrian-friendly, the town lacks a downtown. However, an area with residential and retail developments is under construction and should be completed within five years. --K.F.

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Brookfield, CT
Town stats
Median family income (per year)
$131,547
Job growth % (2010-2012)
7.14%
Median home price (2012)
$290,000
Reading test scores (% above/below average)
19.8%
Math test scores (% above/below average)
16.8%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000)
1
Property crime incidents (per 1,000)
12
Financials
Town stats
Median family income (per year)
$131,547
Family purchasing power (annual, cost-of-living adjusted)
$89,977
Sales tax (state)
6.35%
State income tax rate (highest bracket)
6.70%I
State income tax rate (lowest bracket)
3.00%I
Auto insurance premiums (Average price quotes, for the state)
$1,866
Job growth % (2010-2012)
7.14%
Housing
Median home price (2012)
$290,000
Average property taxes
(2012)
$6,274
Education
Reading test scores (% above/below state average)
19.8%
Test scores math (% above/below average)
16.8%
% students attending public/private schools (located within town limits)
91.2/8.8
Quality of life
Air quality index* (% of days AQI ranked as good)
84.2%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000)
1
Property crime incidents (per 1,000)
12
Median commute time (in minutes)
21.7
% population with commute 45 mins. or longer
26.9%
% population walk or bike to work
1.7%
Leisure and culture
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts)
1.1
Weather
Annual rainfall (inches)
44.15
% clear days in the area
56%
High temp in July ° F
83.9°
Low temp in Jan ° F
17.6°
Meet the neighbors
Median age
42.7
Completed at least some college (% of residents)
76.8%
Married %
61.5%
Divorced %
7.0%
Racial diversity index (100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity)
31.2
From the September 2013 issue

Source: Onboard Informatics. Details


(I) Income tax notes:
For joint returns, taxes are twice the tax on half the couple's income.
Connecticut's personal exemption incorporates a standard deduction. An additional tax credit is allowed ranging from 75% to 0% based on state adjusted gross income. Exemption amounts are phased out for higher income taxpayers until they are eliminated for households earning over $71,000.
Is Brookfield a great town, or what?
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Money picked the top 100. Now it's your turn: Which town will be our fan favorite? 'Like' your town and it might just make it to No. 1.

Town # of Likes
1. Sharon, MA 11,942
2. Apex, NC 10,693
3. Westford, MA 6,011
4. Peachtree City, GA 5,624
5. Hillsborough, NJ 5,323
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Using statistics from data services company Onboard Informatics and other sources, we crunched the numbers in order to zero in on America's best small towns for families. (Last year, we looked at small cities, with populations between 50,000 and 300,000.) More

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