Milton, Melrose Ranked Among Best Small Cities in America

Both scored higher than Portland, Maine.

Melrose Photo by Eric Kilby on Flickr/Creative Commons

Melrose Photo by Eric Kilby on Flickr/Creative Commons

Milton and Melrose were ranked among the best small cities in America, according to a new list by personal finance social network WalletHub.

The alliterative exurbs scored the highest of all Massachusetts municipalities on the list. Milton—birthplace of both former President George H.W. Bush and Dropkick Murphys cofounder Ken Casey—was ranked eighth best, while Melrose, population 27,509, placed 26th. Notably, both towns scored higher than Portland, Maine, that hipster foodie mecca drenched in charm and duck grease.

Wellesley, Northampton, and Lexington all scored within the 97th percentile, on par with Flower Mound, Texas and Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

To compile its ranking, WalletHub compared 1,268 small cities using 30 metrics across five categories: affordability (housing costs, cost of living, median household income), economic health (unemployment rate, population growth), education and health (school system quality, high school graduation rate, low birthweight, adult obesity), quality of life (average commute time, number of restaurants, coffeeshops, bars, and department stores), and safety (violent crime rate, property crime rate).

Wellesley and Brookline had the second and third-highest percentage of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher, behind only Bethesda, Maryland. The top six small cities with the highest percentage of those with health insurance coverage were all in Massachusetts: Needham, Brookline, Lexington, Arlington, Wellesley, and Milton. Somerville, meanwhile, had the fifth-highest percentage of Millennial newcomers.

You can check out WalletHub’s full report here.