Money's list of America's best small cities


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7. Overland Park, KS
Overland Park
WINNER
Top 100 rank: 7
Population: 175,000
Unemployment: 5.3%
Compare Overland Park to Top 10 Best Places
Ask residents why they chose this Kansas City suburb and you hear one thing over and over: the schools.

Other draws include a 300-acre arboretum and botanical garden, a biweekly farmers' market, and a brand-new 12-field soccer complex, which hosts local and national tournaments.

Overland Park's biggest challenge in recent years has been from its largest employer, Sprint. The company laid off more than 3,000 people here from 2007 to 2009.

But the town has had enough success attracting new employers that its jobless rate is still well below the national average. What's more, a division of J.P. Morgan plans to move 800 positions here early next year. --Veronica Crews

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Is Overland Park a great town, or what?
Overland Park stats
  City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$107,240 $90,957
Job growth %
(2000-2009)*
15.73% 15.71%
See jobs near Overland Park
Median home price $200,000 $239,391
See Overland Park homes for sale
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
15.3% 22.9%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
15.3% 22.9%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 2 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 23 24
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
2,467 2,967
High temp in July ° F 89.5° 86.2°
Low temp in Jan ° F 19.9° 21.3°
Median age 37.0 35.3
Financial City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$107,240 $90,957
Family purchasing power
(annual, cost-of-living adjusted)
$110,785 $86,860
State sales tax 5.30% 5.45%
State income tax rate
(highest bracket)
6.45%I 7.35%
State income tax rate
(lowest bracket)
3.50%I 2.96%
Auto insurance premiums
(Average price quotes, for the state)
$1,586 $1,707
Job growth %
(2000-2009)*
15.73% 15.71%
See jobs near Overland Park
Housing
Median home price $200,000 $239,391
Average property taxes N.A. $3,418
See Overland Park homes for sale
Education
Colleges, universities and
professional schools (within 30 miles)
19 25
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
15.3% 22.9%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
15.3% 22.9%
% students attending public/private
schools (located within town limits)
88.3/11.7 87.8/12.2
Quality of life
Air quality index*
(% of days AQI ranked as good)
97.0% 77.8%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 2 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 23 24
Median commute time (in minutes) 17.7 21.4
% population with commute
45 mins. or longer
4.4% 13.6%
% population walk or bike to work 1.1% 3.6%
Leisure and culture
Movie theaters
(within 15 miles)
39 31
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
2,467 2,967
Bars
(within 15 miles)
242 207
Public golf courses
(within 30 miles)
125 162
Libraries
(within 15 miles)
62 72
Museums (accredited by AAM;
within 30 miles)
3 10
Ski resorts (within 100 miles) 1 12
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts) 0.7 1.5
Weather
Annual rainfall
(inches)
39.51 37.40
% clear days in the area 33 29
High temp in July ° F 89.5° 86.2°
Low temp in Jan ° F 19.9° 21.3°
Median age 37.0 35.3
Completed at least some college
(% of residents)
83.6% 71.5%
Married % 61.8% 56.6%
Divorced % 8.4% 8.4%
Racial diversity index
(100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity)
53.3 94.9
From the August 2010 issue
Notes: *County data

(I) Income tax notes:
For joint returns, the taxes are twice the tax imposed on half the income.
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Find Your Best Places
Region
Northeast South
Midwest West
Ranking
Top 100 winners only
Population
8.4M
46,000
Home Prices
2009 median sales prices
$1.2M
$36K
Video
Using statistics from data provider 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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