2019 10 Best College Towns

New data-driven list ranks the best small to midsize cities for the top US college towns


FRANKLIN, TN –  Livability.com has released its 2019 10 Best College Towns rankings for the ninth year in a row, in partnership with ABODO Apartments, the leading off-campus and young professional apartment search engine in the United States.


With schools across the country celebrating into a new academic year, Livability.com has named the 2019 10 Best College Towns. The rankings focused on quality of life, local economy and diversity and feature colleges and universities that range from Ivy League, private, large and public.

To determine the 10 best college towns in the country, Livability first found all U.S. cities with a population between 20,000 and 350,000 and at least one college campus. We formed this list by cross-referencing 2019 city population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division with data from the U.S. Department of Education on all college campuses in the U.S. by city. This gave us a list of 223 cities, which we ranked by considering four weighted factors:


30% – The ratio of the city’s median salary (from the Bureau of Labor Statistics) to its September 2019 median one-bedroom rent (from ABODO listings)

30% – The percentage of the population that is aged 20 to 29

20% – The number of jobs in the education sector per 1,000 jobs in the city

20% – The ratio of the median salary in the city to the nation for education jobs


"This year’s 10 Best College Towns are great places to live for everyone — not just students," says Livability.com Editor-in-Chief Winona Dimeo-Ediger. “From job opportunities to weekend activities to beloved campus traditions, these are places that offer something special for residents at every stage of life, where students can settle down and build a life after graduation, and alumni from all over the world keep coming back.”

The 10 Best College Towns:

Ithaca, NY Manhattan, KS Ames, IA Fairbanks, AK Corvallis, OR Lawrence, KS College Station, TX Champaign, IL Greenville, NCGainesville, FL

For more information about the 2019 10 Best College Towns or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Winona Dimeo-Ediger, Livability.com Editor-in-Chief: wdimeo-ediger@livability.com

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