America's Top-Rated Smaller Cities

“The fact that this massive reference tool is now in its twelfth edition suggests its continuing value and importance despite the rise of various Internet sites and print publications attempting similar but less detailed rankings of various cities, states, and other geographical areas.... A total of 130 cities are included, 65 in each volume. Some 55 cities are new to this 2018-2019 edition. Background summaries introduce each city. The large format pages, packed with numbers, tables, and charts, permit the inclusion of dozens of variables for each of the cities examined. For example, Business Environment variables appear in 39 tables and 42 tables present Living Environment statistics. The cities included appear alphabetically by state and also alphabetically within states. Small cities, towns, or townships are included provided their population ranges from 25,000 to 100,000 residents.

Grey House employs a “unique rating system” (p. xxv) to rank the cities with seventeen categories based primarily on population growth, income, housing affordability, crime rate, educational attainment, and unemployment. Statistics have been culled from 257 books, articles, and research reports and range from the Cleanest Metro Areas to the Recreational Marijuana Tax to the Fittest Cities. Also included in these volumes are a list of 100 “Honorable Mention Cities,” five color maps showing city locations, and five appendices with 77 tables comparing cities plus definitions of metropolitan areas and contact information for State Departments of Labor and the relevant Chambers of Commerce.

Some users will need a magnifying glass to view all of the dense statistical data, but careful readers ranging from business executives and real estate developers to retirees seeking new homes and job seekers of all ages will find the search rewarding. This set is an essential purchase for all but the smallest public and academic libraries as well as business collections in special libraries.”
-ARBA, 2019

“…features make this work especially valuable to business people, people looking to relocate, government workers, real estate consultants, and students. This is a useful compendium of data about America’s smaller cities and the enhancements to this edition greatly improve its usefulness.” -ARBA

“This work will appeal to private individuals or businesses considering relocation, professionals considering expanding their business or changing careers, or just readers searching for reliable statistical data. Recommended for public and academic libraries and specialized collections.” –Library Journal

“A quick and handy (although weighty) reference tool, this work will have a wide and grateful audience. For those considering a move or concerned with business or market expansion, or for the just plain curious, this volume should more than meet their beginning information needs regarding city profiles. This guide is recommended for public and academic libraries.” –ARBA