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National Perspective | LIFESTYLES

Where the Living Is Easy

June 12, 1997|Associated Press

And you thought exciting things only happened to New Hampshire every four years.

An annual ranking of the best places to live in the United States, released today by Money magazine, has three cities from New Hampshire among the top six spots.

Ranked No. 1 overall is Nashua, a former mill town along the Massachusetts border with a booming economy and surrounding areas that "ooze classic Yankee charm," Money said in its July issue.

Matthew Chabot, co-owner of the Nashua Athletic Club, has no problem understanding why his city is No. 1.

"It's centrally located. You want to hit the mountains, you're there. You want to go to the ocean, you're there. You want to do the lakes, you're there. You want to go to the city ... you're 45 minutes from Boston," Chabot said.

Survey Strategy: Money compiles it by asking readers to name factors most important to them and collecting relevant data. Among the key criteria listed this year were low crime, clean water and air, good schools and inexpensive living.

****

Best Places

Rank*

1. Nashua, N.H. (42)

2. Rochester, Minn. (3)

3. Monmouth/Ocean counties, N.J. (38)

4. Punta Gorda, Fla. (2)

5. Portsmouth, N.H. (44)

6. Manchester, N.H. (50)

7. Madison, Wis. (1)

8. San Jose, Calif. (19)

9. Jacksonville, Fla. (20)

10. Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (18)

****

Worst Places

291. Youngstown, Ohio (224)

292. Waterloo, Iowa (274)

293. Topeka, Kan. (121)

294. Billings, Mont. (272)

295. Decatur, Ill. (287)

296. Sioux City, Iowa (288)

297. Lima, Ohio (296)

298. Anniston, Ala. (226)

299. Rockford, Ill. (300)

300. Davenport, Iowa (297)

* last year's ranking in parentheses

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