WASHINGTON — Only one Maryland town is listed among Time’s Best Places to Live 2016, and it just so happens to top the list.
Columbia, described by the Magazine as “one of the most successful planned communities in the country,” is about 30 miles north of D.C. and 20 miles south of Baltimore. It has a population of 102,221 people, and an unemployment rate of just 3.5 percent.
It ranks in the top 5 percentile of the 823 towns and cities on Time’s list in terms of job growth and economic opportunity, the schools are among the best in Maryland, and the real estate prices aren’t overwhelming despite its central location.
A masterfully designed town, Columbia thrives in socioeconomic development, and plans to make the city more walkable and bikeable are in the works. There is also a considerable amount of green space and community amenities.
What’s more, Columbia is very culturally diverse, which should be expected given its proximity to D.C. and Baltimore. Per Time, the population is 55% white, 25% black, 12% Asian and 8% Latino.
The other local towns to make the list, of 50 towns, are Ashburn and Hunter Mill — both in Virginia. Ashburn checks in at No. 22 while Hunter Mill comes in at No. 28.
Ashburn has a population of 50,834 and a median home price of $415,000, and its unemployment rate is just 3.2 percent. Hunter Mill, however, has a population of 128,406 and a median home price of 502,000. It, too, has an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent.
The only other representative of the DMV on the list is Matoaca, Va., in southern Virginia. It ranked 42nd.
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