WalletHub's Richie Bernardo measured 22 key metrics--including cost of housing, crime and homeownership rates, income growth, and hours worked per week--against 1,268 metros to determine the nation's top and bottom small cities.
Princeton, N.J. topped the list, ranking No. 1 in the nation for economic health, and seventh for "education & health." It was followed by Littleton, Colo., Dublin, Ohio, Brookfield, Wisc. and Leawood, Ks.
On the flip-side, Bell, Calif. was ranked No. 1,268, followed by Huntington Park, Calif., Bell Gardens, Calif. and Compton, Calif. In fact, the bottom 23 small cities, or Nos. 1,246 to 1,268, all hail from the Golden State.
Much of the rankings were based on quality of life factors:
According to the Economic Policy Institute, a two-parent, two-child family would need to earn $49,114 a year “to secure an adequate but modest living standard” in Morristown, Tenn., compared with $106,493 in Washington. So even with a lighter wallet, a family or soloist can enjoy a comparable, or even better, quality of life for much less in a cozy place like Morristown.
Find out where your city ranks among the 1,268 at WalletHub: