Two Massachusetts communities cracked the top 20 in Money magazine’s list of the 50 best places to live in the U.S.
Somerville hit No. 7 on the annual list, which looks at quality of life, economic opportunities, and diversity, among other factors, to determine the rankings.
Also making list from Massachusetts was the town of Milton, which was ranked No. 17.
While the Money authors touted Somerville for its delectable Fluff Festival, profusion of breweries, and schools, the city was also lauded for its Department of Racial and Social Justice. The department, which operates through the mayor’s office, works “to eliminate the institutional and structural systems that create racial inequities, social disparities, and injustices,” according to the city’s website.
Somerville also scored high for public transportation and its proximity to top-flight universities like Harvard, MIT, and, of course, Tufts, which is located in Somerville and Medford.
All that access doesn’t come cheap. Money magazine estimated the median Somerville home price at $818,437. But that’s substantially lower than the year-to-date median compiled by the Warren Group, which tracks local real estate trends. They peg the median Somerville home price at $1,150,000.
At No. 17, Milton gets points for its “tree-lined streets,” low crime rate, and good schools, according to Money. But the magazine also highlights the leafy 7,000-acre Blue Hills Reservation, part of which is located in Milton (as well as in Quincy, Dedham, and Randolph), and the Blue Hill Observatory & Science Center, which dates back to 1885.
The Money list says “compared to other Boston suburbs, Milton real estate is on the affordable end (though higher than the national median).” While they list the median home price in Milton at $787,500, the Warren Group says the year-to-date median home price is $905,095.
Two other communities in New England also made Money’s 50 best places to live list: South Burlington, Vt., came in at No. 34, and Nashua, N.H., just made the cut at No. 44.
The top-ranked city, according to Money, was Atlanta. Among the reasons: strong job growth, a diverse population, great colleges, and a stellar culinary scene.
“No matter what kind of person you are, Atlanta is a place where you can feel at home. And, just as important, it’s also a place where you can find a job,” according to the magazine.
Here’s Money’s list of the top 20 places to live:
1. Atlanta, Ga.
2. Tempe, Ariz.
3. Kirkland, Wash.
4. Raleigh, N.C.
5. Rogers Park (Chicago), Ill.
6. Columbia, Md.
7. Somerville, Mass.
8. Ann Arbor, Mich.
9. Tampa, Fla.
10. Jersey City, N.J.
11. Boise, Idaho
12. Chapel Hill, N.C.
13. Irvine, Calif.
14. Fort Lee, N.J.
15. Arlington, Va.
16. Naperville, Ill.
17. Milton, Mass.
18. Fremont, Calif.
19. Carmel, Ind.
20. Rockville, Md.