2015 Best Small Towns

Recently, Livability released their yearly small town rankings –
The 2015 Top Best Small Towns

The list is produced to shine light on cities and towns that seem to go unnoticed in comparison to the big metropolises. To create the list, Livability examined more than 40 points each for more than 12,000 towns with populations between 1,000 and 20,000.  These scores were weighted based on an exclusive survey conducted for Livability by the leading global market research firm, Ipsos Public Affairs. These cities and towns allow for the tight-knit communities key to small-town living coupled with the amenities you’d expect in larger cities.

Of the 100 Towns, three of our local service areas made the top 50!



Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Ranking 16th place on the list. Population: 18,816
Located in Cumberland County, PA.

Nestled in the highly productive Cumberland Valley agricultural region, Carlisle provides a quaint setting for families. While school age children attend the Carlisle Area School District, higher education classes can be taken at Dickinson College, U.S. Army War College and the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. The Carlisle Regional Medical Center offers excellent care, and many residents enjoy the borough’s 18 public parks. Green spaces, restaurants and cultural attractions provide many things to do in Carlisle.

Carlisle Amenities
As redevelopment in one part of the town continues, Carlisle retains its enviable status as one of the country’s loveliest, most livable small towns, graced with a historic downtown full of 18th-century buildings and the stories that go with them. Among its other amenities are great shopping and a vibrant cultural and social scene enriched by international residents who come to the Army War College, the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet or Dickinson College, and Penn State School of Law, all headquartered here.

Thousands of visitors also flock here for the famous Carlisle collector car events, historic sightseeing and numerous outdoor recreational attractions.

A highly rated public school system and the availability of “a good healthy mix of housing, from large homes to neighborhoods with row houses, condominium and apartments” make Carlisle a very livable community.


Bel Air, Maryland
Ranking 42. Population: 10,228
Located in Harford County, MD

Founded in 1780, Bel Air has 25 homes and buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, including an entire Bel Air Courthouse Historic District and Harford Furnace Historic District. The town today has amenities like Harford Mall as well as five neighborhood parks, and residents are proud of a thriving arts community with theater, art galleries, concerts and festivals. A 182-bed Upper Chesapeake Medical Center tends to the area’s health needs.


Hershey, Pennsylvania
Ranked 46th. Population: 13,876
Located in Dauphin County, PA.

Often referred to as “The Sweetest Place on Earth” or “Chocolatetown USA,” Hershey, Pa., offers a range of cultural and recreational amenities that make life sweet for residents. Of course, it’s home to the Hershey Chocolate Factory as well as roads like Cocoa Avenue and streetlights shaped like Hershey Kisses. Affordable housing options, Amtrak rail service and a Tanger Outlets shopping complex sweeten the scene. Schools in Hershey provide strong education options that include Derry Township School District and Penn State College of Medicine.


Content belongs to Livability.com 

“Top 100 Best Small Towns.” Top 100 Best Small Towns. Journal Communications, June 2015. Web. 15 June 2015. <http://livability.com/best-places/top-100-best-small-towns/2015&gt;.


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