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Looking for best peaceful places to live in US? Here is the list of top affordable small towns

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Elmira, a small town in New York, has been ranked the best small city and town in the US, according to All Star Homes. NBC
Elmira, a small town in New York, has been ranked the best small city and town in the US, according to All Star Homes. NBC

In a world of bustling cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, the allure of silent and peaceful small towns is undeniable. 

All Star Homes, a company specialising in roofing, siding, and gutters, recently conducted a study to identify the most affordable and appealing small towns across America. The analysis focused on towns with populations below 100,000 and took into account four key metrics: community, safety, affordable living and education. 

These towns were evaluated on a 100-point scale. The evaluation process drew information from respected sources including Zillow Home Values, the National Center for Education Statistics, FBI Crime Data Explorer, US Census Bureau, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Park Service.

Five small towns in New York claimed the first top five positions among ten. Leading the pack as the number one small town in the entire US is Elmira, located in the southern tier of New York, a stone’s throw from the Pennsylvania state line. Elmira secured an impressive overall score of 75 out of 100.

Elmira, New York tops the list with a community score of 43, a safety rating of 80.9, and a student-to-teacher ratio of 16.49. 

In July 2023, the median home list price in Elmira rose by 20.6% from the previous year, with a median price per square foot at $81, according to data from Rocket Homes. 

Remarkably, Elmira holds a significant historical connection, as it serves as the resting place of renowned author Mark Twain. The town proudly preserves Twain’s study, where he penned some of his most iconic works like “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.”

Securing the second spot on the list is Corning, New York, recognised as the headquarters of Corning Incorporated, a Fortune 500 company specialising in glass and ceramic products, counting Apple among its clients. 

The Corning Museum of Glass, boasting one of the world’s largest collections of glass objects, is also nestled in this city. Zillow data shows the average home value in Corning at $151,198, up 0.9% over the past year.

The third place belongs to Utica, also located in New York state, with a notable overall score of 71. Like its New York counterparts, Utica boasts numerous farmer’s markets within a 30-mile radius, a commendable 66% diversity ranking, and reasonably priced homes. 

According to Zillow, the average Utica home value reached $172,350, reflecting a 4.5% increase over the previous year.

Top 10 small cities/towns in the US

  1. Elmira, N.Y.
  2. Corning, N.Y.
  3. Utica, N.Y.
  4. Binghamton, N.Y.
  5. Hattiesburg, Miss.
  6. Bowling Green, KY and Hannibal, M.O. (tie)
  7. Charlottesville, Va., Greenwood, Miss., Watertown, N.Y. (tie)
  8. Meridian, Miss. and Saint Joseph, M.O. (tie)
  9. Steubenville, Ohio
  10. Quincy, Ill.

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