Big cities and small towns undeniably get the most attention in this country -- that's why we told you about these small cities you're totally overlooking. But while we focused on cities whose population were between 100k and 300k, that still leaves a broad spectrum of sub-100k municipalities that just aren't getting the attention they deserve.
Fortunately, the folks at Nerdwallet decided to shine a light on these diamonds, examining more than 1,300 cities with fewer than 75,0000 residents and ranking them based on their affordability, economic health, and quality of life. Basically, all the things you care about when you're looking for a new place to live.
After crunching the numbers, the Nerdwallet team observed two key trends: first, that the list was dominated by midwestern cities, and second, that most of the top 10 were college towns. Moorhead, MN snagged the top spot, thanks to its close proximity to Fargo and low unemployment rate, while Winona, MN took second for its low median rent and short workweek. Marion, IN rounded out the top three, thanks to its burgeoning art scene and low cost of living.
So if you're looking to leave the big city behind and basically pull a reverse Jed Clampett, well, look no further than these 10 cities:
1. Moorhead, MN
2. Winona, MN
3. Marion, IN
4. Cedar Falls, IA
5. Mankato, MN
6. Wooster, OH
7. Stevens Point, WI
8. Marquette, MI
9. Terra Haute, IN
10. Helena, MT
Gianni Jaccoma is a staff writer for Thrillist, and he's never lived in a city smaller than NYC. Follow him into the heaving mass of people on Twitter @gjaccoma