Forbes partnered with Nextdoor.com, a social network for neighborhoods, to determine the friendliest towns in America. A total of 500 towns with populations between 5,500 and 150,000 were included in the study and ranked on the percentage of owner-occupied homes, crime rate, charitable giving, and percentage of college graduates. Studies have shown home ownership can increase neighborhood stability and college-educated people have been found to display more civic engagement.
The following towns emerged as the top 6 friendliest towns in the nation, according to the study:
- Sammamish, Wash.: a Seattle suburb where nearly 90 percent of households own their own homes.
- Orinda, Calif.: Just outside of Oakland, this suburb boasts a 92 percent of owner-occupied units.
- Fishers, Ind.: This town has a very low crime rate and year-round community activities.
- Seal Beach, Calif.: An “Orange County seaside enclave” in which about 75 percent of residents own their homes.
- Westerville, Ohio: A Columbus suburb boasts about 40 parks, and a very low crime rate.
- Frisco, Texas: Fast-growing suburb in which the population has grown from 40,000 to 120,000 since 2000 and 80 percent of its risdents own their homes.
Source: “America’s Friendliest Towns,” Forbes (December 2012)
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