Ann Arbor named one of the country’s most underrated cities

CommercialCafe ranked small cities in America for study

People are seen marching in the annual FestiFools parade in downtown Ann Arbor. (Credit: WonderFool Productions)

ANN ARBOR – With all the consistent top rankings as most educated city in America and one of the best places to live, we’re not sure “underrated” is a word we’d associate with Tree Town.

But, the college town recently landed on CommercialCafe’s “Top 20 Most Underrated Cities in the Country” list.

The real estate blog narrowed down its rankings by considering communities with 100,000-250,000 residents and factored in home prices, earning potential, local entertainment, crime rates and potential city growth -- or not.

Ann Arbor ranked seventh on the list, with the top three being Alexandria, Virginia (No. 1), Overland Park, Kansas (No. 2) and Bellevue, Washington (No. 3).

For its methodology, CommercialCafe used data from the pre-pandemic 2019 U.S. Census, the FBI Uniformed Criminal Report from 2018 and 2019 and the Census County Business Patterns Survey in 2019.

Here are some metric values for Ann Arbor during that time period:

  • Median earning: $50,919
  • Unemployment rate: 1.63%
  • Median housing value: $370,100
  • Number of art, recreation and entertainment establishments: 45
  • Number of food service establishments: 225
  • Mean commute to work (in minutes): 19.9
  • Violent crime per 100,000 residents: 25.1

For more information and to see which other cities made the list, click here.

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About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.