Are you a small city or big city person?

Ask yourself if you are someone who grew up in a small city where everybody knew you and your family? Did you attend grade school in a one-room school house versus a big building filled with other students. Maybe your dad worked in town for a local mom and pop shop. Perhaps you lived in a rural city or town where it was not only OK to leave the door unlocked when you went out for the day but you could also ride your bike into town to pick up groceries from a small town general store.

If you’re missing any of these small city or town ways, maybe it’s time to get back to your roots and head back to a place where you can relive your younger years or enjoy a different way of life. It could very well be time for you to leave the big or medium-size city you’re now living behind for a smaller one.

With recently released U.S. Census Bureau data showing that suburban population growth outpaced city growth in 2017, the website WalletHub recently released its report on 2018’s Best Small Cities in America.

To help Americans put down roots in places offering good quality of life and affordability, the site compared more than 1,200 U.S. cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 across 40 key indicators of livability. They range from housing costs to school-system quality to restaurants per capita.

Here are its rankings:

Top 20 Small Cities in America
1Leawood, KS11Arlington, MA
2Carmel, IN12Melrose, MA
3Princeton, NJ13Fishers, IN
4Brentwood, TN14Wellesley, MA
5Milton, MA15Mason, OH
6Needham, MA16Franklin, TN
7Los Altos, CA17Southlake, TX
8Littleton, CO18Highland Park, IL
9Newton, MA19Westport, CT
10West Fargo, ND20Kirkland, WA

Here are some of the findings that might surprise you in terms of small cities and what they offer.

Best vs. worst

  • McLean, Virginia, has the highest median annual household income, $190,258, which is 9.7 times higher than in Carbondale, Illinois, the city with the lowest at $19,515.
  • Plainfield, Illinois, has the lowest share of the population living in poverty, 1.90 percent, which is 27.1 times lower than in Statesboro, Georgia, the city with the highest at 51.50 percent.
  • East Lansing, Michigan, has the fewest average hours worked per week, 28.4, which is 1.7 times fewer than in Fort Hood, Texas, the city with the most at 49.3.
  • Castle Rock and Parker, Colorado, have the lowest share of adults in fair or poor health, 8.29 percent each, which is 4.2 times lower than in Eagle Pass, Texas, the city with the highest at 34.91 percent.

If you like what you see and want to know more in order to consider moving your family to a smaller city or town, it would behoove you to look into the possibilities more closely.

Of course, discuss the options and different scenarios with your loved ones and start to research the town (s) and city (ies) you want to move. Check out the schools, the neighborhoods, the economic climate as well as the job market. It’s best to learn more about an area before you just show up and hope for the best.

To view the full report click here.