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Newton ranked fourth best place to live by Money Magazine

Posted by Laura Franzini  August 20, 2012 10:31 AM

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Money Magazine ranked Newton the fourth best place to live in the U.S. in a survey released today.

What was number 1? Why Carmel, Ind., followed by McKinney, Texas, and Eden Prairie, Minn. -- last year's winner.

Newton's educational opportunities and community activities are what boosted it to the top of list, which ranks 100 cities and towns across the United States.

"You might think folks in Newton are obsessed with education," the magazine states, citing the city's many elementary schools and its partnerships with MIT and Boston College.

"The city is divided into 13 villages built around elementary schools," it said, "making it easy for kids to walk to school amid the city's lush greenery." Indeed, you see the villages here.

The magazine highlighted Crystal Lake, Newton Centre, and the Spring Seasonings event as some of the city's biggest draws. It said that families say "the perks" of Newton are worth the high housing prices.

Money Magazine annually rates the best small cities in America, based on criteria like job opportunities, schools, crime rates, health care, housing prices, and community attractions. Newton ranked third in the 2010 survey, and 22nd in 2006.

"Though housing prices are high," the survey said, "families say the perks are well worth it."

Milton, Sharon, Acton, and Hopkinton have all made the list's top-20 at least once in the last three years.

Laura Franzini can be reached at laura.franzini@globe.com.

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