Discover your path to most affordable, calm living in US

Corning, a small town in New York, has been ranked the second best city and town to live in the United States. NBC
Corning, a small town in New York, has been ranked the second best city and town to live in the United States. NBC

For those seeking the charm of small towns to avoid the bustle of cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, a new list offers insight into the most affordable and liveable options. 

All Star Homes, a company that deals in roofing, siding, and gutters, recently ranked the best small towns across America. These small towns, each with populations under 100,000, were evaluated based on four key metrics of community, safety, affordability and education.

To establish their rankings, these towns were scored on a 100-point scale, drawing data from reliable 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 took the first five spots in the top 10 spots, showcasing their appeal to those seeking a more serene lifestyle. 

The ultimate winner of the title ‘Number 1 Small Town in the US’ is Elmira, which is located in the southern region of New York, just a short distance from Pennsylvania’s border. 

Elmira achieved an impressive overall score of 75 out of 100 with a community score of 43, a safety rating of 80.9, a student-to-teacher ratio of 16.49. 

Recent data from Rocket Homes indicates that the median home list price in Elmira rose by 20.6% in July 2023 compared to the previous year, with a median price per square foot of $81. 

The town also boasts historical significance as the resting place of the renowned author Mark Twain. Twain’s study, where he penned several of his well-known works, such as “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” is still preserved.

Corning, another small of New York, secured second place. Corning is known for housing the headquarters of Corning Incorporated, a Fortune 500 company specialising in glass and ceramics, catering to clients like Apple. 

The Corning Museum of Glass, boasting one of the world’s most extensive collections of glass objects, is a highlight. 

Zillow data indicates that the average home value in Corning stands at $151,198, reflecting a 0.9% increase over the past year.

Utica, another New York town, clinched the third spot with an impressive overall score of 71. Like other fellow New York towns, Utica flaunts 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 hit $172,350, marking 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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