NASHUA — The Gate City has been named among the Top 100 Best Places To Live by Money magazine, the only community selected in New Hampshire.
The 2012 rankings were announced Monday, with Nashua taking the 93rd spot.
“We have a good community with a diverse school system, and the city is in sound financial condition,” Kathy Vitale, alderman for Ward 1, said of the honor. “We are progressive, and I think we are doing a good job. But we can always do more.”
Nashua isn't new to the CNN Money magazine listings. In 1987 and 1997, Nashua claimed the No. 1 spot for the Best Place To Live among small cities in the United States. In 2010, it took 94th place, and in 2006 it ranked 87.
“It is all subjective anyhow, but it doesn't surprise me that Nashua was included,” said Vitale. “I think we have a really nice city to live in.”
Criteria taken into consideration to determine the top 100 list includes housing, education, quality of life, financial status, leisure, culture, weather and neighbors. This year, small cities with populations of 50,000 to 300,000 were considered.
In a small memo highlighting Nashua's selection, Money notes, “Originally built around the textile industry, this 32-square-mile city is now known as the home of high-tech companies such as BAE Systems and Oracle.
“Some Nashua locals make the 50-minute or so commute to Boston for work, but on weekends the traffic often goes the other way, as residents of the big city flock to Nashua's Pheasant Lane Mall or Merrimack Premium (Outlets) to take advantage of New Hampshire's no-sales-tax policy.”
Mayor Donnalee Lozeau said Monday that it is a remarkable honor for Nashua to again be selected among the Top 100 Best Places To Live, even if it is toward the bottom of the list.
“The way I look at, and for most of us, we still say Nashua is number one — hands down the best place to live in the United States,” said Lozeau. “We are always honored to be recognized for what Nashua has to offer.”
Chris Williams, president of the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce, has been in contact with representatives from Money magazine for the past two months, anticipating that Nashua would rank among the top 100.
He noted the healthy retail sector in the city, along with its many thriving businesses.
“At the end of the day, it doesn't matter where you fall on the list, as long as you make the list,” said Williams, adding this is the seventh time that Nashua has been included in Money's Best Places To Live for families.
Realizing that the study can be arbitrary, Williams stressed that Nashua should still be proud of its accomplishment, especially since it is the only New Hampshire community included in the 2012 rankings.
“I am confident that Nashua will regularly appear on lists like these. This city, and our state, has a lot going for it,” he added.