Thanks to the great outdoors, a strong economy and diversity, Washington is teeming with some of the nation’s most livable small to mid-sized cities, according to ranking site Livability.com. Bellevue ranked No. 2 out of 100 small to mid-sized cities on the list. Rochester, Minnesota ranked No. 1. Madison, Wisconsin, Santa Barbara, California, and Boulder Colorado, rounded out the top five spots on the list.
Other Washington cities that made the list were: Olympia (No. 20), Kirkland (No. 25), Richland (No. 64), Renton (No. 66), Bellingham (No. 72), Bothell (No. 80), Pullman (No. 91) and Issaquah (No. 95).
Livability.com cites Bellevue’s quality schools, proximity to outdoor recreation, mix of businesses and ethnic diversity as key reasons why it ranked so well.
The site collaborated with urbanist Richard Florida, assistant clinical professor Steven Pedigo from the Initiative for Creativity and Innovation in Cities at NYU School of Professional Studies, and data specialists Economic Modeling Specialists International to define the ranking methodology which looks at economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education, and health care.