This morning CNN Money announced on the Today Show that Ellicott City, MD and Columbia, MD were the #2 Cities in their yearly list of Best Places to Live. Gaithersburg, MD placed #25 and Rockville, MD placed #31.
Here is what CNN Money had to say about the 2010 Best Cities:
- Columbia/Ellicott City, MD
Top 100 rank: 2
Ellicott City boasts grand homes, a lovely 18th-century downtown, and lots of restaurants. Columbia offers a wide range of housing, tons of parkland, and a major music venue. But those varied amenities are far from the only reasons this duo has risen to No. 2 from No. 8 in 2008. It’s also an economic powerhouse with a jobless rate just as enviable as Eden Prairie’s.
The nearby National Security Agency and the Fort Meade Army base together account for more than 8,000 jobs, and the government plans to move thousands more positions there by next year. Baltimore and D.C. are within commuting distance (30 and 60 minutes, respectively).
As for housing, the foreclosure rate is one of the lowest in Maryland, yet homes are affordable — by Northeast standards, anyway. Factor in excellent schools and a diverse population (17% of residents are black, 14% Asian), and you can see why this place has become a magnet for families. –Donna Rosato
- Gaithersburg, MD
Top 100 rank: 25
Gaithersburg’s ability to attract start-up companies has allowed it to rebound from the recession better than many other places. The town offers plenty of incubator-styled office space. Large employers nearby include Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin. Gaithersburg is just an hour’s train ride to D.C. and hour car ride to downtown Baltimore, so residents can work in either town – and soak up the culture of both. –Najib Aminy
- Rockville, MD
Top 100 rank: 31
With a recently rebuilt downtown, Rockville boasts a prime location, great schools, and economic stability. Some of the best primary schools in the country are here.
Just shy of an hour’s commute to both Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, this city is close to the offices of the Federal Drug Administration, the National Institute of Health, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. So there are plenty of good, stable jobs to be had. –N.A.
In 2008 Columbia and Ellicott City were ranked #8, Gaithersburg was #29 and Rockville was #66.
CNN Money bases their “Best Places to Live” on local unemployment rates and jobs, school ratings, populations of 50,000-300000, crime rates and more. Read the FAQs on the selection process.