By now you’ve most likely heard Clarksville was named the number 1 “Best Place to Live in America” for 2019 according to Money.com (Money).
Let’s just start by saying this: the list of The Best Places to Live, is a prestigious one, in fact, it’s one that has been around for over 30 years, and that says quite a bit in and of itself. Money publishes its Best Places to Live in America list yearly and uses “economic health, cost of living, ethnic and economic diversity, public education, income, health and safety, ease of living, and amenities metrics”. All provided by research partner Wilytic according to Money.com.
For some, being named number one comes as no surprise, while others may want to know just what was considered when Money determined its ranking – according to Money.com they put the greatest weight on economic factors: housing, health and safety, diversity and cost of living.
When you take those factors into account its clear to see why we stood out. Our housing market is RED HOT, with the average listing active for only 37 days; and affordable with the average cost of a single-family home at $194,800 (Clarksville Association of Realtors). As of last week, we only had 913 homes on the market and 960 under contract. Supply is very low.
And in terms of diversity, we are truly noteworthy in comparison to most communities, in large part due to Fort Campbell military base being located nearby as one of the top five largest and most active military bases.
Quality of life, education and local amenities were also critical components according to Money.com. In this department Clarksville truly shines with an amazing K-12 school system, last year 16 of our schools were in the top 5% across the entire state. And CMCSS continues to grow and excel in state and national rankings going into this year. We can’t forget Austin Peay State University, one of the fastest-growing universities in the state of Tennessee. I can promise you APSU president Dr. White is not letting up on her pressure to be the best all-around university in the entire United States.
But even before anyone knew Clarksville was in the running for the Best Place to Live, and beyond the statistical metrics – two associates from Money.com, Shaina Miskin and Viktoria Muench came to experience Clarksville for themselves. This spur of the moment, unannounced visit became the inspiration for Clarksville’s feature article http://money.com/money/longform/clarksville-best-place-to-live-in-the-us-2019/ on Money.com. I’ve talked to Shaina and I can tell you they were impressed, with Clarksville’s amenities, charm, but most of all with the people, the genuine hospitality our community members extended to them during their exploration – and for that I would like to thank each of you who did what you do best, share the story of our great community and why you love it so much.
Here is what Shaina and Viktoria had to say about our great city: “Our visit to Clarksville was everything we could have hoped for. Coming from a place like New York, Viktoria and I were immediately impressed by Clarksville's sense of community. Everyone we ran into, whether we were formally interviewing them downtown or just trading pleasantries at Target, was friendly and excited to tell us all about their city. Then, of course, there's the city's growing job market and affordable cost of living, some of the most important factors when we made our decision”.
One thing is for certain, the announcement of Clarksville as the “2019 Best Place the live in America” is truly an honor and a distinction that we as a community should share and be proud of.
Do we celebrate and throw a party? We probably should, but one thing we must do is work even harder to stay at the top and work together over the next 360 days to leverage this accolade, as a resource, to utilize its value and invest it properly to accomplish specific goals. What do we want to achieve as a community from such an amazing announcement? Specifically, what end result would you consider the greatest win to come from this? At the Economic Development Council (EDC) we would like to see our residents’ quality of life continue to be enhanced – pushed to the next level, with a 20% increase in household income and the investment of higher than average paying new jobs. What would you like to see?