Eden Prairie and 4 other 'burbs crowned "best small cities"

Photo: bubzillion

Here's something that the Twin Cities suburbs of Eden Prairie, Plymouth, Woodbury, Eagan and Apple Valley all have in common besides cul-de-sacs: They all made Money magazine's Top 20 "best small cities" list for 2010.

Eden Prairie placed first in the country because of scores related to jobs, crime, housing prices and quality of life.

Sadly, none of the "small cities" broke into the "rich and single" Top 20. Oh well. You can't have everything.

Major employers include Fortune 500 trucking company C.H. Robinson, hearing-aid maker Starkey Labs, and the Minnesota Vikings, whose practice facility and front office are here. As for fiscal strength, Moody's gives the town a perfect AAA bond rating.

While it doesn't have much of a downtown, there's plenty of outer beauty: from gently rolling hills to 17 lakes that residents flock to year-round for swimming and ice skating. Town parks are laced with 125 miles of running, hiking, and biking trails.

The Top 20 (including population):

1 Eden Prairie, MN 64,000 2 Columbia/Ellicott City, MD 155,000 3 Newton, MA 82,000 4 Bellevue, WA 124,000 5 McKinney, TX 125,000 6 Fort Collins, CO 141,000 7 Overland Park, KS 175,000 8 Fishers, IN 69,000 9 Ames, IA 60,000 10 Rogers, AR 57,000 11 Plymouth, MN 76,000 12 Highlands Ranch, CO 98,000 13 Woodbury, MN 58,000 14 Carmel, IN 67,000 15 Eagan, MN 64,000 16 Allen, TX 84,000 17 Shawnee, KS 61,000 18 South Jordan, UT 51,000 19 Broomfield, CO 55,000 20 Apple Valley, MN 50,000

The full list is here.

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