Cultural offerings help Northfield to rank high on top 10 list for small towns

  • Updated: July 26, 2014 - 2:00 PM

Culture and colleges have helped land Northfield on a Top 10 list for American small towns.

Livability.com put the city at No. 2 among cities under 20,000 people.

The website praised Northfield’s proximity to hospitals, including the Mayo Clinic, as well as its schools, parks, farmers markets and “excellent cultural amenities.”

The Cannon River, the Mill Towns Trail and River Bend Nature Center “offer spectacular outdoor recreation opportunities for residents,” the editors said in a written announcement.

The two private colleges are key.

“Both St. Olaf College and Carleton College provide programs that Northfield residents enjoy, such as Christmas festivals, lectures, theaters, art galleries and continuing education opportunities.”

An initial screening was done using statistics on cost of living, health care spending, racial and socioeconomic diversity, adult obesity, crime, civic engagement, air quality and natural amenities, among 41 data points.

The full list:

1. Los Alamos, N.M.

2. Northfield

3. Lebanon, N.H.

4. Hood River, Ore.

5. Port Angeles, Wash.

6. Glenwood Springs, Colo.

7. Spearfish, S.D.

8. Heber City, Utah

9. Traverse City, Mich.

10. Hailey, Idaho

Staff reports

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