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Alexandria: 22nd best small town in U.S.

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The Central Lakes Trail contributes to healthy living for residents in the Alexandria area. (File Photo | Echo Press)2 / 2

Alexandria once again scored high in a ranking of “best small towns.”

According to a list released this week by the website Livability.com, Alexandria is ranked 22nd in the “Top 100 Small Towns” in America.

The list of 100 towns is a first-ever expanded version of Livability.com’s annual “Top 10 Small Towns” index. Alexandria ranked seventh on that list in 2013.

The cities that make the list are described as tight-knit communities that have amenities one would expect in larger cities.

The top 100 list includes towns from more than 35 states from coast to coast. The number-one ranked town was Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Four other Minnesota cities made the list – Marshall (28th), Northfield (33rd), Fergus Falls (62nd) and Bemidji (74th).

Here’s what Livability. com had to say about Alexandria:

“Tabbed as a tourism center because of its many lakes and resorts, Alexandria is ranked as one of the fastest-growing micropolitans in Minnesota. Douglas County Hospital is the largest employer, with 865 professionals. Schools in Alexandria provide many hands-on learning sessions.

Most children are enrolled at the first-rate Alexandria Public Schools ISD 206. Alexandria Technical and Community College provides higher education options.”

More than 12,000 towns with populations between 1,000 and 20,000 were evaluated in the study.

The ratings were based on more than 40 data points that were grouped into eight categories, ranging from demographics, real estate and health care to social and civic capital.

Alexandria scored well in health and education, 88 and 82, respectively, out of a possible 100.

“America was built on small towns,” said Livability.com Editor Matt Carmichael. “Regardless of whether these cities and towns are suburbs of major metros, or hamlets unto themselves, they have great character and are great places to live.”

LIVABILITY.COM

Livability.com explores what makes small to mid-sized cities great places to live, work and visit. It examines issues related to livability such as walkability, cultural amenities, transportation, urban planning, and sustainability through research and discussions on its blog. For a list of top towns and the methodology used, visit www.livability.com.

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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