Known by many as "The City of Trees and Ph.D.s," Claremont can now add another title, with Money Magazine declaring the city one of the best places to live in the United States.
Claremont placed fifth on the list of top 100 towns in Money's "Best Places to Live" feature, which has been published each year in the magazine since 1987. Although this year's edition awarded top billing to No. 1 rated Middleton, Wisc., California had the highest number of towns (nine) making it to Money's just-released list.
"It's absolutely fantastic, phones have been ringing off the hook," says Maureen Aldridge, CEO of the Claremont Chamber of Commerce. "Since news broke about Claremont being fifth on the list, we've been inundated with calls from people all over the country asking for relocation information packets."
For this year's list, the magazine focused on smaller places that struck a harmonious balance between economic opportunity, good schools, safe streets, and a real sense of community.
The magazine considered a pool of nearly 3,000 towns with populations between 7,500 and 50,000. They eliminated retirement-oriented communities, towns where income is less than 90 percent or more than 180 percent of the state median, and areas that are more than 95 percent white. The researchers also eliminated towns with low education scores, high crime rates, declines or sharp increases in population, projected job losses, or lack of access to airports or teaching hospitals.
Money said it then ranked remaining towns that made the cut based on job, income, and cost-of-living data, housing affordability, school quality, arts and leisure opportunities, racial diversity and other factors.