Utica shows up right near Pearl City, Hawaii and Flagstaff, Arizona. And Rome is similar to Bowie, Maryland and Lafayette, Indiana. So we got that going for us, which is nice.

With the COVID-19 pandemic spurring some Americans to migrate out of big cities, the personal-finance website WalletHub has released its report on 2020’s Best Small Cities in America. Many New York state towns, like Utica and Rome appear in the list.

To help Americans put down roots in places offering good quality of life and affordability, WalletHub compared more than 1,200 U.S. cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 across 43 key indicators of livability. They range from housing costs and school-system quality to restaurants per capita and COVID-19 cases in the last seven days per 100,000 residents.

The towns were ranked in four separate large categories--Economy, Education, Quality of Life, and Safety--and each town received an overall score.

Sammamish, Washington, a suburb of Seattle, was #1 overall, one of a handful of citiies in the 99th percentile.

Here's a smattering of towns in the Empire State, in and outside of Central New York, and their percentiles:

  • Utica (35th percentile)
  • Rome (58th)
  • Saratoga Springs (98th)
  • Ithaca (82nd)
  • Albany (69th)
  • Poughkeepsie (25th)
  • Spring Valley (1st)

Utica's best category was Education. Rome's top scores were in Education and Safety. The worst place to live overall: Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

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