Smallest smart town brimming with millionaires: Los Alamos

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Livability.com has named the Top 10 Small Towns 2013, the second installment in an annual listing of those towns sprinkled between the major highways and busy airports.

And Los Alamos has made the list.

With one of the highest concentrations of Ph.D. holders in the nation, Los Alamos stands out as the “smartest” small town. Innovative education, health and recreational programs have earned the city and surrounding county national recognition, including such titles as “healthiest” and “wealthiest” places in America. The city’s location atop the Pajarito Plateau, near the Jemez Mountains, not only provides breathtaking views, but gives residents easy access to high-altitude sports such as mountain biking, skiing, rock climbing and hiking.

For this installment of the Livability.com List of America’s Top Small Towns, editors narrowed their search to micropolitan areas, steering clear of big-city suburbs and communities considered part of a larger metropolitan region. Editors also considered population and economic growth rates, comparing employment trends, cost of living and other economic factors.

And finally, they looked at each town’s overall quality of life and factored in those intangible assets and amenities that attract relocating businesses and residents — community spirit, good schools and historic preservation.

“There are many towns in the United States that have small-town charm, but that are part of larger metro areas,” Livability.com spokesman Matt Carmichael said. “This year we decided to focus our list on small towns that stand on their own. What they lack in size they make up for in unique amenities, as well as business opportunities.”

The top ten includes Dickinson, N.D., Oxford, Miss., Rock Springs, Wyo., Oak Harbor, Wash., Brookings, S.D., Los Alamos, Alexandria, Minn., Traverse City, Mich., West Plains, Mo., and Cambridge, Md.

Not only is Los Alamos smart but it is also rich.

Daily Finance listed Los Alamos as having the highest concentration of millionaire households in the country – with 906 households, representing 11.7 percent of the population