Bizjournals compared 140 micropolitan areas in 20 statistical categories, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. A micropolitan area consists of a central community with 10,000 to 50,000 residents, along with the surrounding countryside. It is, in effect, a small-scale version of a metropolitan area. The study identified America's 10 "dreamtowns," the small towns that offer the best quality of life without metropolitan hassles. Guess who made number eight!
Here's what bizjournals says about Oak Harbor's quality of life:
Oak Harbor hugs the eastern shore of Whidbey Island in Puget Sound. It's reasonably close to Seattle, yet bills itself as part of Washington's sun belt, less prone to stormy weather. This is a rapidly growing area, with more than a third of all homes being built since 1990.
Area population: 81,489 (actually, that's all of Island County, but we won't quibble)
Population growth since 2000: 13.9%
Average commuting time: 25.5 minutes
Median household income: $49,022
Homeownership rate: 78.9%
Median house value: $267,300
Adults with bachelor's degrees: 27.3%
Well, we certainly love it here...and we're happy that the library is at the center of it all! Mary C
Want to read more about best places to live or retire? Try these titles:
Nextville : amazing places to live the rest of your life, by Barbara Corcoran. 2008.
Who's your city? : how the creative economy is making where to live the most important decision of your life, by Richard Florida. 2008.
Best places to raise your family: the top 100 affordable communities in the U.S. by Bert Sperling and Peter Sander. 2006.
Places rated almanac : the classic guide for finding your best places to live in America, by David Savageau. 7th ed., 2007.
101 best outdoor towns : unspoiled places to visit, live & play, by Sarah Tuff & Greg Melville. 2007.
Where to retire : America's best and most affordable places, by John Howells. 6th ed. 2006.