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This Midwest City Was Just Named the Best Place to Live in the U.S. for 2024

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If you’re contemplating moving to another city in search of affordable housing and great schools — two usually mutually exclusive categories — consider the Midwest. According to Livability.com’s newest list of the best small to mid-size cities to live in America, Carmel, a community in Hamilton County, Indiana, ranked the highest for housing, health, and economy.

The website considered over 2,000 cities with populations between 75,000 and 500,000 and then compared those in eight categories, including housing and cost of living, amenities, transportation, environment, education, and safety.

“Roughly 30 minutes outside of Indianapolis is Carmel, Indiana, a picturesque city with a stellar arts scene and top-rated schools. Carmel embraces quality of life, and residents in this tight-knit community have access to plenty of cultural events and outdoor activities,” the website notes.

Livability only ranks destinations where the median home value is $500,000 or less, and in Carmel, house prices stand at $380,000, while the median monthly rent is $1,177. At the same time, the median household income in the city is about twice the national average, or $151,115. Livability notes this is due to the city’s thriving economy and highlights Carmel’s Meridian Corporate Corridor, home to over 100 corporate headquarters. The city is also a hotspot for retail activity, thanks to shopping centers like Clay Terrace, Old Town Carmel, and Village Park Plaza.

Top-notch entertainment and recreation are part of Carmel’s appeal to newcomers. Residents benefit from a robust year-round calendar of events like theater productions, concerts, and festivals, and they can also explore over 200 creative-focused businesses, such as galleries and independent boutiques, in Carmel’s arts and design district. And with 700 acres worth of green spaces, parks, and trails, the city is sure to please outdoor enthusiasts, too.

Carmel also scored a high result in the education category, which measures school quality, college access, and years of school. According to Niche.com, Carmel has some of Indiana’s top public and private schools, while CollegeSimply.com notes there are over 30 colleges within 50 miles of the city.

Earlier this year, Carmel was also named the best suburb in America by Niche.com and the No. 1 city for families in Indiana.

Broomfield in Colorado scored second-best on Livability’s best places to live list. And another midwest destination took the bronze medal: Overland Park in Kansas.

You can see the full report at livability.com.

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