Edwards has been named to an exclusive list of America’s best small towns, as featured in a book published today (May 19).
Author G. Scott Thomas has generated a roster of 209 top-flight communities, which he classifies as Dreamtowns. Thomas chose the honorees after a detailed statistical analysis of 2,084 U.S. urban areas with populations between 5,000 and 199,999.
“I measured each small town’s performances in 24 categories, covering everything from education levels and economic growth to job opportunities and housing options,” said Thomas. “The places that landed in the top 10% — the 209 small towns with the best overall scores in my formula — truly deserve to be classified as Dreamtowns.”
Edwards is No. 145 in Thomas’s rankings of the nation’s 2,084 small towns. That puts Edwards ahead of 93.09% of the competition, cementing its Dreamtown status.
Thomas’s 445-page book, which is being published by Niawanda Books, is entitled “Dreamtowns: The 209 Small Towns Where You Can Live Your Best Life.” It is available for purchase through national chains and websites:
• Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dreamtowns-g-scott-thomas/1139281239
• Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780578895581
Interest in small-town life has expanded dramatically since the outbreak of Covid-19, especially since millions of big-city workers have now demonstrated the ability to do their jobs from home.
“Americans have never been fond of crowded urban areas, dating all the way back to Thomas Jefferson, who declared that big cities were ‘pestilential.’ Yet people flocked to metropolitan areas anyway, since they contained most of the nation’s high-paying jobs,” said Thomas. “But the work-from-home revolution is tipping the balance. More workers are now able to opt for the benefits of small-town life, as they seek affordable housing, reduced traffic, and room to breathe.”
All 209 small towns that placed among the elite 10% have been classified as Dreamtowns, though there is a natural interest in the places that achieved the very highest scores. These are the 10 small towns with the best ratings on Thomas’s scale:
1. Summit Park, UT
2. Park City, UT
3. Belterra, TX
4. World Golf Village, FL
5. Roxborough Park, CO
6. Nantucket, MA
7. Evergreen, CO
8. Heber, UT
9. Vistancia, AZ
10. Buckhead (Bryan County), GA
Thomas cautions readers not to fixate on the top 10, but to weigh the strengths of all 209 Dreamtowns.
“There’s no reason to believe that the No. 1 community will be your perfect match,” he said, noting that a particular town might be outside the section of the country a person prefers, or in a climate he or she doesn’t enjoy, or too far from (or too close to) a big city, or simply too expensive.
“My goal was to introduce readers to an array of attractive small towns, allowing them to sift through the relative merits of each place, and eventually winnow down to the town of their dreams — their very own Dreamtown,” Thomas said.
The rankings in Thomas’s book encompass all 2,084 urbanized areas and urban clusters (as defined by the Census Bureau) that fit in the population range of 5,000 to 199,999.
“That’s a broad sweep, broad enough to encompass widely divergent opinions about size,” said Thomas. “If you’re living in an urban canyon in Manhattan or Chicago, an urbanized area with 199,000 residents might seem small enough. But if your ideal is a town that has a compact business district and a limited number of houses, you might be happy going as small as a cluster of 5,000.”
Thomas has been a journalist for more than 40 years, specializing in coverage of demographics, business, politics, sports, and education. “Dreamtowns” is his 13th book, including two others about small towns: “The Rating Guide to Life in America’s Small Cities” (1990) and “Micropolitan America” (2017).
Additional details can be found at the author’s website: https://www.dreamtownsbook.com.