WASHINGTON — A Maryland community has been rated by Money magazine as the best place to live in the United States.
Columbia, a planned community in Howard County that turns 50 next year, has topped Money’s survey based on house prices, job growth, schools and diversity.
“It ranks in the top 5 [percent] of the 823 places on this year’s list for job growth and economic opportunity,” Money writes. “The schools are among the state’s best. And in this pricey corner of the country, Columbia’s median home price is just over $300,000, 11 [percent] less than in Gaithersburg, one county over.”
Money notes that a feeling of community was built into Columbia in the 1960s: Apartments, town houses and single-family houses stand together, so as to promote socioeconomic diversity.
To be sure, planned communities aren’t usually cheap, and Columbia charges its residents plenty of fees, Money says, but the “vast communal greeneries” (36 percent of the land is set aside for open space) more than make up for it in the magazine’s eyes.
One other area community made the list: Ashburn, Virginia, came in at No. 22.
The top 10 best places to live in the U.S. ranked by Money: