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Money Magazine's Hottest Towns
Whether you like big cities or small towns, these are the most desirable places to live in America.

REGIONS:
  Eastern, over 100,000
  Eastern, under 100,000
  Central, over 100,000
  Central, under 100,000
  Western, over 100,000
  Western, under 100,000
To find America's hottest places to live, we started with statistics on 271 U.S. cities provided to us by OnBoard LLC, a real estate information company. These cities in that list had the highest median household incomes in the nation and above average population growth.

Then, combining OnBoard's statistics with MOSAIC lifestyle segmentation data provided by Applied Geographic Solutions, we narrowed the list down to these 87 cities. To read more about our analysis, click here »».

EAST
Rank City Population Increase from 1990 Median household income Median home price
Eastern region, over 100,000 population
1 Cary, NC 104,210 118% $77,091 $207,000
2 Ramapo, NY 112,684 20% $64,954 $330,875
3 Coral Springs, FL 128,715 68% $62,632 $218,500
4 Alexandria, VA 131,918 19% $59,976 $290,000
5 Sully district, VA 152,169 63% $92,942 $290,000
6 Chesapeake, VA 209,986 38% $53,758 $150,000
7 Hunter Mill district, VA 115,428 27% $93,987 $290,000
8 Dranesville district, VA 110,480 19% $109,502 $290,000
Eastern region, under 100,000 population
1 Sugarland Run district, VA 29,115 178% $103,350 $278,250
2 Manalapan, NJ 34,018 27% $91,245 $410,000
3 Centreville, VA 50,347 91% $77,243 $250,000
4 Randolph, NJ 25,643 28% $104,121 $444,500
5 North Andover, MA 27,725 22% $79,169 $342,500
6 Franconia, VA 33,321 71% $84,537 $290,000
7 Wellington, FL 41,993 86% $76,076 $230,000
8 Collierville, TN 31,817 104% $85,716 $230,000
9 Brentwood, TN 26,308 69% $107,866 $338,250
10 Chantilly, VA 43,134 49% $94,864 $320,000
11 Oakton, VA 30,720 27% $90,824 $341,000
12 Dunwoody, GA 34,151 30% $86,971 $315,000
13 Gaithersburg, MD 57,089 42% $64,944 $220,000
14 Marlboro, NJ 37,875 35% $108,759 $379,975
15 Bridgewater, NJ 45,602 40% $93,484 $316,000
16 Newtown, CT 25,407 22% $97,723 $358,500
17 Peachtree City, GA 33,745 74% $79,805 $214,500
18 Ellicott City, MD 60,181 45% $83,583 $248,000
19 Roswell, GA 78,864 38% $76,530 $226,450
20 Hoover, AL 64,553 54% $64,431 $170,450
21 Bernards, NJ 26,355 53% $112,435 $279,900
22 Matoaca district, VA 70,562 69% $65,149 $135,000
23 Olney, MD 33,174 26% $100,716 $287,450
24 Reston, VA 58,255 21% $85,264 $240,000
25 Columbia, MD 93,794 23% $77,033 $199,000
26 Lower Makefield, PA 33,836 35% $102,997 $205,000

CENTRAL
Rank City Population Increase from 1990 Median household income Median home price
Central region, over 100,000 population
1 Naperville, IL 139,654 56% $94,687 $260,000
2 Lawrence, IN 113,967 21% $52,023 $160,930
3 Overland Park, KS 160,253 42% $66,674 $191,520
4 Olathe, KS 102,617 59% $65,111 $175,560
Central region, under 100,000 population
1 Woodbury, MN 50,701 153% $81,592 $219,000
2 Dublin, OH 33,480 92% $96,828 $355,100
3 Wildwood, MO 33,396 96% $100,278 $320,000
4 Libertyville, IL 52,147 23% $79,360 $350,000
5 Chesterfield, MO 55,768 60% $96,013 $333,000
6 Eden Prairie, MN 55,602 41% $82,730 $292,500
7 Fremont, IL 25,254 77% $81,290 $210,000
8 Leawood, KS 29,864 53% $102,106 $307,230
9 Plymouth, MN 66,476 31% $82,129 $275,000
10 Bartlett, IL 37,372 74% $84,580 $195,500
11 Carmel, IN 44,103 60% $87,251 $196,900
12 Maple Grove, MN 51,824 34% $81,512 $224,000
13 West Bloomfield, MI 66,237 21% $96,880 $276,500
14 Granger, IN 29,310 46% $85,896 $145,595
15 Ela, IL 43,704 35% $106,099 $210,000
16 West Chester Twp., OH 56,804 43% $76,373 $131,000
17 Buffalo Grove, IL 44,294 20% $86,525 $174,750
18 Plymouth Township, MI 28,375 20% $78,740 $100,000

WEST
Rank City Population Increase from 1990 Median household income Median home price
Western region, over 100,000 population
1 Plano, TX 271,090 113% $82,857 $191,520
2 Anaheim, CA 343,855 29% $52,196 $340,000
3 Scottsdale, AZ 223,181 70% $59,596 $263,500
4 Santa Rosa, CA 152,450 24% $54,537 $349,500
5 Irvine, CA 150,450 32% $77,662 $430,000
6 Orange, CA 134,506 22% $63,451 $385,000
7 Santa Clarita, CA 159,446 43% $70,342 $305,000
8 Thousand Oaks, CA 123,752 19% $81,576 $445,000
9 Fremont, CA 209,304 23% $81,318 $425,000
10 Simi Valley, CA 120,358 20% $76,445 $352,000
11 Westminster, CO 106,870 41% $60,552 $194,500
12 Richardson, TX 100,544 32% $66,914 $228,361
13 Anchorage, AK 272,830 21% $59,548 $190,152
Western region, under 100,000 population
1 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 49,898 205% $84,159 $350,000
2 Flower Mound, TX 61,579 277% $99,516 $210,672
3 San Clemente, CA 52,969 28% $68,799 $555,000
4 Tustin, CA 70,551 42% $60,250 $391,000
5 Carlsbad, CA 86,511 40% $68,410 $446,000
6 Laguna Niguel, CA 64,381 46% $85,585 $480,000
7 Danville, CA 44,397 37% $122,092 $703,500
8 Chino Hills, CA 72,333 91% $81,926 $347,000
9 Dublin, CA 31,733 36% $83,254 $432,500
10 Pleasanton, CA 66,336 29% $96,922 $509,000
11 Allen, TX 53,400 160% $84,278 $169,721
12 San Ramon, CA 47,887 32% $106,656 $529,500
13 Livermore, CA 75,272 30% $79,880 $400,000
14 Mission Viejo, CA 98,748 25% $84,060 $427,000
15 Coppell, TX 37,262 122% $102,202 $237,272
16 The Woodlands, TX 65,215 123% $89,746 $191,188
17 Diamond Bar, CA 58,136 18% $72,740 $332,500
18 Sugar Land, TX 73,845 65% $85,006 $183,374

First, we divided OnBoard's 271-city list into three regions: east, central and west. Those lists were sorted by population.

Then, based on careful examination of MOSAIC lifestyle segmentation data, we narrowed the list further by identifying those towns with demographics that closely mirrored that of the typical MONEY reader: college educated, working professional, well-above average median income.

In addition, the town had to be located no more than 60 miles from a major city. That ensures reasonable access art and culture resources. Only cities with median incomes above $50,000 a year and unemployment rates below the national average were included in our search.

We divided the resulting list of cities into three distinct regions and further divided it by population level -- over 100,000 population and under. We ranked each city within the resulting six lists based on population growth and what we call the "housing premium ratio," or the cost of residential real estate relative to local income levels. The formula ranks each city in terms of its category's norms. Many cities do so well on one measure such that they rank near the top despite a low score on the other.

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