Chapel Hill Ranks on MONEY Magazine’s Best Places to Live

Post Date:09/24/2014
Dog walker in rose gardenChapel Hill has achieved a ranking among the Top 50 Best Places to Live in America based on a survey of cities by MONEY magazine.

MONEY magazine looked at the nation’s top small cities with populations between 50,000 and 300,000 to generate the list. The top 50 places were chosen among a total of 781 cities and evaluated on economy, schools, housing and other factors.

"We are honored to be recognized on MONEY'S Best Places to Live," said Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt. "This ranking reflects the special place where we live. The natural vibe that pulses through Chapel Hill makes those who live in or visit our community feel really good and connected."

Chapel Hill has consistently earned a spot on Money magazine’s Best Places to Live with rankings of No. 36 in 2014, No. 10 in 2012 and No. 40 in 2010. Here's how MONEY Magazine describes Chapel Hill:

"Picture a college town, and you’re likely to conjure up a vision of Chapel Hill. The leafy campus, dating back to 1793, forms the heart of a vibrant downtown. The city draws a racially diverse, well-educated crowd of all ages (three-quarters of the population have a college degree or higher). Superb education is also a key draw for relocating families–80% of high schoolers participate in AP-level classes.

As part of the Research Triangle, along with Raleigh and Durham, Chapel Hill is in a prime place for jobs in technology, healthcare, life sciences and other white-collar fields, and it’s an easy commute to the other two cities. In Chapel Hill, you can leave your car at home, its widespread bus system is free of charge. That’s not to say the city is overall a great deal; home prices are above-average for the area, and property taxes are high."

In a recent community survey, about 88 percent of residents reported satisfaction with the overall quality of life in Chapel Hill. Town services that received 80 percent or higher satisfaction include police, fire protection, trash collection, park maintenance, and library services. Exceedingly high satisfaction ratings were recorded for how safe residents feel in their neighborhoods during the day (99 percent), fire protection (94 percent), trash collection (93 percent), and library services (91 percent). 

About Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC, is a multicultural university town that is home to UNC-Chapel Hill and a resident population of 59,000. With more than 700 acres of parks and additional protected natural areas, it's sometimes easy to forget that you're in an urban area and not in the middle of a forest. The town is located in the Triangle region of North Carolina, which includes the Research Triangle Park, a major complex of research and research-oriented manufacturing facilities.

Chapel Hill boasts excellent education (noting than nearly half of adult residents have a graduate degree), abundance of healthcare jobs, and quality of life advantages. Hailed as “America’s Foodiest Small Town” by Bon Appetit Magazine, Chapel Hill has become a hot spot for pop American cuisine. It’s a trend-setting playground full of sights, sounds and tastes that make it the kind of place that authors, musicians, and artists call home.

Chapel Hill ranks No. 36 on MONEY Magazine's Best Places to Live 2014. More notables for Chapel Hill include Best Cities for Education in America, Best Places to Raise Children, Most Livable City ( and Top 25 Small Cities for the Arts. For more, see

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