Top 20 Best College Towns in America

source: Google-Image

According to a new list from the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), Boulder, Colorado is the top-ranked college town in the U.S.

The city has approximately 200,000 population and earned the No. 1 spot thanks to its accessibility. More than 20% of commuters take public transportation or ride their bicycle around Boulder Creek Corridor, and of course, diverse and educated students.

The list is compiled using nine economic, demographic, and quality of life factors – it defines college town as having less than 250,000 residents within the town.

Beside from the overall ranking of the institutes, the cities’ individual scores for noteworthy metrics including rent, earnings, bars, and restaurants.

Let’s look at the list of the 20 best college towns in America.

  1. Bellingham, Washington – Western Washington University

1Population: 208,832

College student population: 24,926 

Demographics

#16 College Educated

#9 Diversity 

Quality of Life

#10 City Access

#4 Arts and Entertainment

#14 Bars and Restaurants

Economics

#20 Youth Unemployment

#11 Labor Force

#15 Innovation

#20 Rent

  1. La Crosse, Wisconsin – University of Wisconsin at La Crosse

2

Population: 136,824

College student population: 16,081

Demographics

#19 College Educated

#20 Diversity

Quality of Life

#12 City Access

#12 Arts and Entertainment

#16 Bars and Restaurants

Economics

#1 Youth Unemployment

#3 Labor Force

#17 Innovation

#9 Rent 

  1. Jacksonville, North Carolina – University of Mount Olive 

3

Population: 186,684

College student population: 15,297 

Demographics

#20 College Educated

#3 Diversity 

Quality of Life

#14 City Access

#16 Arts and Entertainment

#11 Bars and Restaurants

Economics

#15 Youth Unemployment

#7 Labor Force

#18 Innovation

#3 Rent

  1. Blacksburg, Virginia – Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech)

4

Population: 180,649

College student population: 41,438

Demographics

#18 COLLEGE EDUCATED

#18 DIVERSITY 

Quality of life

#13 CITY ACCESS

#19 ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

#3 BARS AND RESTAURANTS

Economics

#8 YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT

#18 LABOR FORCE

#3 INNOVATION

#13 RENT

  1. Rochester, Minnesota – University of Minnesota at Rochester

5

Population: 170,519

College student population: 11,363

Demographics

#10 College Educated

#15 Diversity

Quality of Life

#16 City Access

#20 Arts and Entertainment

#13 Bars and Restaurants

Economics

#13 Youth Unemployment

#6 Labor Force

#6 Innovation

#4 Rent

  1. State College, Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania State University 

6

Population: 159,341

College student population: 39,577

Demographics

#7 College Educated

#16 Diversity

Quality of Life

#6 City Access

#17 Arts and Entertainment

#5 Bars and Restaurants

Economics

#7 Youth Unemployment

#17 Labor Force

#12 Innovation

#19 Rent

  1. Athens, Georgia – University of Georgia

7

Population: 159,341

College student population: 39,577

Demographics

#15 College Educated

#4 Diversity

Quality of Life

#17 City Access

#8 Arts and Entertainment

#7 Bars and Restaurants

Economics

#17 Youth Unemployment

#20 Labor Force

#16 Innovation

#2 Rent

  1. Fargo, North Dakota – North Dakota State University

8

Population: 167,166

College student population: 21,346

Demographics

#12 College Educated

#19 Diversity

Quality of Life

#20 City Access

#15 Arts and Entertainment

#8 Bars and Restaurants

Economics

#9 Youth Unemployment

#1 Labor Force

#19 Innovation

#1 Rent

  1. Lafayette, Indiana – Purdue University 

9

Population: 212,704

College student population: 44,252

Demographics

#13 College Educated

#10 Diversity

Quality of Life

#7 City Access

#18 Arts and Entertainment

#10 Bars and Restaurants

Economics

#16 Youth Unemployment

#15 Labor Force

#2 Innovation

#10 Rent

  1. Charlottesville, Virginia – University of Virginia10

Population: 227,179

College student population: 26,327

Demographics

#9 College Educated

#7 Diversity

Quality of Life

#9 City Access

#9 Arts and Entertainment

#15 Bars and Restaurants

Economics

#3 Youth Unemployment

#16 Labor Force

#13 Innovation

#11 Rent

  1. Bloomington, Illinois – Illinois State University

11

Population: 189,628

College student population: 25,689

Demographics

#4 College Educated

#12 Diversity

Quality of Life

#18 City Access

#2 Arts and Entertainment

#17 Bars and Restaurants

Economics

#5 Youth Unemployment

#9 Labor Force

#20 Innovation

#17 Rent

  1. Columbia, Missouri – University of Missouri

12Population: 172,738

College student population: 32,287

Demographics

#5 College Educated

#11 Diversity

Quality of Life

#15 City Access

#7 Arts and Entertainment

#18 Bars and Restaurants

Economics

#11 Youth Unemployment

#4 Labor Force

#10 Innovation

#6 Rent

  1. Manhattan, Kansas – Kansas State University13

Population: 98,643

College student population: 17,537

Demographics

#11 College Educated

#6 Diversity

Quality of Life

#11 City Access

#11 Arts and Entertainment

#9 Bars and Restaurants

Economics

#12 Youth Unemployment

#5 Labor Force

#11 Innovation

#7 Rent

  1. College Station, Texas – Texas A&M University

14

Population: 242,453

College student population: 58,018

Demographics

#17 College Educated

#2 Diversity

Quality of Life

#19 City Access

#13 Arts and Entertainment

#1 Bars and Restaurants

Economics

#6 Youth Unemployment

#14 Labor Force

#14 Innovation

#16 Rent

  1. Bloomington, Indiana – Indiana University at Bloomington

15

Population: 163,726

College student population: 41,211

Demographics

#8 College Educated

#17 Diversity

Quality of Life

#8 City Access

#5 Arts and Entertainment

#2 Bars and Restaurants

Economics

#19 Youth Unemployment

#13 Labor Force

#4 Innovation

#12 Rent

  1. Iowa City, Iowa – University of Iowa16

Population: 164,043

College student population: 33,358

Demographics

#3 College Educated

#13 Diversity

Quality of Life

#5 City Access

#10 Arts and Entertainment

#19 Bars and Restaurants

Economics

#4 Youth Unemployment

#8 Labor Force

#7 Innovation

#14 Rent

  1. Ithaca, New York – Cornell University

17

Population: 104,592

College student population: 28,164 

Demographics

#2 College Educated

#8 Diversity

Quality of Life

#4 City Access

#14 Arts and Entertainment

#12 Bars and Restaurants

Economics

#10 Youth Unemployment

#19 Labor Force

#5 Innovation

#5 Rent

  1. Flagstaff, Arizona – Northern Arizona University

18Population: 138,039

College student population: 24,832

Demographics

#14 College Educated

#1 Diversity

Quality of Life

#3 City Access

#6 Arts and Entertainment

#4 Bars and Restaurants

Economics

#18 Youth Unemployment

#12 Labor Force

#9 Innovation

#15 Rent

  1. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

20Population: 207,584

College student population: 47,895

Demographics

#6 College Educated

#5 Diversity

Quality of Life

#1 City Access

#3 Arts and Entertainment

#20 Bars and Restaurants

Economics

#2 Youth Unemployment

#10 Labor Force

#8 Innovation

#8 Rent

  1. Boulder, Colorado – University of Colorado Boulder

21Population: 199,129

College student population: 31,958

Demographics

#1 College Educated

#14 Diversity

Quality of Life

#2 City Access

#1 Arts and Entertainment

#6 Bars and Restaurants

Economics

#14 Youth Unemployment

#2 Labor Force

#1 Innovation

#18 Rent

 

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Sam Lee / Illinois