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47 of 50
47. Pelham, AL
Pelham, AL
47
Top 50 rank: 47
Population: 22,297

This Birmingham suburb is a town on the rise. With new residents attracted by its steady job growth and low property taxes, Pelham's population has more than doubled over the past 20 years. The local unemployment rate, at 4.5%, is one of the lowest on the list.

Tucked up against Oak Mountain State Park, Alabama's largest, where visitors can bike, fish, go boating, and more, the area offers no shortage of outdoor adventure. --S.M.

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Pelham, AL
Town stats
Median family income (per year)
$78,027
Job growth % (2010-2012)
5.80%
Median home price (2012)
$135,000
Reading test scores (% above/below average)
10.4%
Math test scores (% above/below average)
12.3%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000)
1
Property crime incidents (per 1,000)
18
Financials
Town stats
Median family income (per year)
$78,027
Family purchasing power (annual, cost-of-living adjusted)
$88,136
Sales tax
8.00%
State income tax rate (highest bracket)
5.00%I
State income tax rate (lowest bracket)
2.00%I
Auto insurance premiums (Average price quotes, for the state)
$1,214
Job growth % (2010-2012)
5.80%
Housing
Median home price (2012)
$135,000
Average property taxes
(2012)
$1,055
Education
Reading test scores (% above/below state average)
10.4%
Test scores math (% above/below average)
12.3%
% students attending public/private schools (located within town limits)
99.9/0.1
Quality of life
Air quality index* (% of days AQI ranked as good)
86.2%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000)
1
Property crime incidents (per 1,000)
18
Median commute time (in minutes)
24.3
% population with commute 45 mins. or longer
15.2%
% population walk or bike to work
1.9%
Leisure and culture
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts)
0.8
Weather
Annual rainfall (inches)
53.99
% clear days in the area
58%
High temp in July ° F
93.6°
Low temp in Jan ° F
30.8°
Meet the neighbors
Median age
35.2
Completed at least some college (% of residents)
69.7%
Married %
53.9%
Divorced %
9.2%
Racial diversity index (100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity)
87.3
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.
In Alabama, the per-dependent exemption is $1,000 for taxpayers with state AGI of $20,000 or less, $500 with AGI from $20,001 to $100,000, and $300 with AGI over $100,000.
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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 11,944
2. Apex, NC 10,706
3. Westford, MA 6,014
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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