Virginia communities ranked among Money’s Best Places to Live

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Four Virginia communities have been ranked among Money magazine’s Best Places to Live.

The annual list of 100 small cities includes: No. 7 Reston, No. 17 Centreville, No. 45 Arlington and No. 46 Dale City.

The ranking is based on factors such as median family income, job growth, school test scores, crime rates, weather and amenities such as a high concentration of restaurants.

Ironically, none of the Virginia localities on the list actually meets the commonwealth’s definition of independent city. Reston is a 48-year-old planned community in Fairfax County. Centreville and Dale City are unincorporated communities in Fairfax and Prince William County, respectively. Arlington is a very urban county.

Money’s top 10 cities are: Carmel, Ind.; McKinney, Texas; Eden Prairie, Minn.; Newton, Mass.; Redmond, Wash.; Irvine, Calif.; Reston; Columbia/Ellicott City, Md.;  Overland Park, Kan.; and Chapel Hill, N.C.

The average city on the Best Places list had: a median family income of $96,825; job growth of 25 percent since 2000; a median home price of $269,768; 3,134 restaurants within a 15-mile radius; and a median age of 35.

In Reston’s case, the median family income is $131,559; job growth has been 1.06 percent since 2000; the median home price is $350,000; the median age is 37; and it has 5,502 restaurants within 15 miles.

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