100 Most Popular Small Cities To Relocate 2017

We all know big cities like San Francisco, Austin, and Seattle are popular places for people to move.

But what about small-town America?

While millennials continue to seek out the big city life in droves, plenty of Americans are still choosing small towns and suburbs as their preferred destination.

Popular Small US Cities

The question is, which places are the most popular?

To find an answer, we took a deep dive into the thousands of searches people who are planning a move perform each month on our move pricing tool.

From the data we’ve compiled a list of the most searched towns with populations under 10,000 in America.

100. Bar Harbor, ME

Population: 5,264

Bar Harbor, ME

By Cliff – originally posted to Flickr as Bar Harbor, Maine, CC BY 2.0, Link

99. Bayfield, WI

Population: 475

Bayfield is yet another city by the sea which houses a natural beauty alongside quaint storefronts and beautiful parks. The town is primarily built around its lumbering and fishing industries.

98. Harpers Ferry, WV

Population: 291

“Harper’s Ferry is unique and distinctive in its wild, natural beauty, historical national significance, and its townspeople’s respect and commitment to preserving that natural beauty…”

“The Appalachian trail runs through town and we also have a pedestrian bridge that connects us to the C & O Canal Historical Park. There are 100’s of miles of walking, hiking and biking trails here and dozens of small and unique businesses. We also have a historic train station that is walking distance for all residents. Train access to Washington D.C for commuters and the rest of the nation for national and international travelers.

We are a diverse community that includes young families, retirees, professionals, and commuters. My neighbor says that living in Harper’s Ferry is like being on vacation every day!” – Mayor Wayne Bishop

97. Marfa, TX

Population: 1,747

Originally founded as a railroad water stop, Marfa has grown a reputation for housing one of Texas’ thriving contemporary art scenes along with many local businesses and the famous natural phenomenon of the Marfa Lights.

96. Davis, OK

Population: 2,802

95. Mathews, VA

Population: 8,884

94. Ste. Genevieve, MO

Population: 4,493

The Missouri city of St Genevieve is a cozy riverside town which was the first in the state to be settled west of the Mississippi River. It is primarily known for its riverboat, nicknamed “The French Connection” which makes daily trips from Missouri to Illinois.

93. Dyersville, IA

Population: 4,196

92. Porter, IN

Population: 4,846

Once a prominent railway stop from both West Michigan and Chicago, Porter, Indiana has become a peaceful small town with convenient proximity to natural landmarks and attractions such as the Indiana Dunes State Park.

91. Paia, HI

Population: 2,668

90. Mystic, CT

Population: 4,205

“I’m not surprised Mystic is so highly searched. I just took the Town Manager job approximately two months ago. I moved from Michigan and was well aware of Mystic.

Mystic is a gem of southeastern Connecticut. They have a thriving downtown including an exploding restaurant district (just wrote about in the Boston Globe), plenty of retail, and events and activities always happening. If you want energy and excitement, combined with the beauty of the Mystic River, Mystic is the place to go.”

John Burt, Town Manager, Groton, CT

89. Piedmont, OK

Population: 7,422

88. Laurel, MT

Population: 6,865

Laurel, MT

By Forest Service Northern RegionFlickr: yellowstone-river-laurel-mt-10052010-rogermpeterson-010, CC BY 2.0, Link

87. Whitefish, MO

Population: 7,279

86. Abingdon, VA

Population: 8,083

“For a tiny mountain town of under 9,000 people, Abingdon draws huge numbers of arts and outdoors lovers. Barter Theatre is the State Theatre of Virginia, performing Broadway-quality shows year-round, while the famous Virginia Creeper Trail attracts thousands of visitors a year to bike the trail.

Visitors tell me that they love how charming and historic the downtown is, and they love being able to walk everywhere they need to go, to restaurants, bars, live music and an outstanding farmers market.”

Amanda Livingston, Marketing Manager

85. Pevely, MO

Population: 5,712

84. Wickenburg, AZ

Population: 7,115

The city of Wickenburg, Arizona has a rich history of railways and ranches. Today, it more closely resembles a typical American community, with a historic downtown and many of the ranches being converted into things like golf courses while others remain open to guests.

83. Rock Hill, MO

Population: 4,635

82. Huntington Woods, MI

Population: 6,288

The “City of Homes,” Huntington Woods, Michigan, is considered one of the country’s best suburbs. A largely residential area, Huntington Woods also contains a portion of the Detroit Zoo and is popular with families.

81. Helotes, TX

Population: 8,758

80. Newport, NC

Population: 4,684

Newport, NC

By Kd5463 at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

79. Olmsted Falls, OH

Population: 8,890

78. Edenton, NC

Population: 4,846

Edenton, North Carolina is a town full of historic architecture from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, including many public buildings and homes which are registered as national Historic Landmarks. Edenton is a popular destination for heritage tourism and for retirees.

77. Cody, WY

Population: 9,836

76. Kearney, MO

Population: 9,790

75. Camilla, GA

Population: 5,170

Camilla, GA

By Michael RiveraOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

74. Lindsborg, KS

Population: 3,338

73. Deadwood, SD

Population: 1,263

“Deadwood is a small community that provides a wonderful and quality place to live, work, & play. The quality of our education and healthcare plus opportunities for arts and culture rival communities much larger in size; plus we are an entertainment hub, offering something for everyone.

All this is wrapped into a beautiful location in the Black Hills, SD which provides recreational opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast whether they are a novice or expert.”

Lori Frederick, Executive Director

72. Santa Clara City, UT

Population: 7,065

71. Warrenton, VA

Population: 9,861

Warrenton, VA

By StrawserOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

70. Rock Hall, MD

Population: 1,298

“Rock Hall is a small charming Chesapeake Bay Town. Settled in 1706, beginning as a small harbor town, Rock Hall has been an important part of the historical fabric of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Watermen and their families have worked the bay for generations which has created a wonderful cornerstone for this close, friendly community.

Rock Hall is unique in many ways. Anyone that visits Rock Hall is greeted with the “Rock Hall Wave” and is welcomed with open arms… We have something for everyone, boating, seafood, hunting, fishing, biking or hiking! Be sure to visit our public beach or the nearby Eastern Neck Island Wildlife Refuge.”

Mayor Brian Jones

69. Chadron, NE

Population: 5,725

68. Lindsay, OK

Population: 2,828

The city of Lindsay, Oklahoma was once a prominent railroad hub and has since settled into being a cozy American city best known for the Brick Main Street running through its Historic District filled with many local businesses.

67. Nevada City, CA

Population: 3,046

66. Stowe, VT

Population: 4,314

Stowe, VT

By StevageOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

65. Southside, AL

Population: 8,600

64. Galena, IL

Population: 3,255

Originally founded around its mineral mining industry, the history, architecture, and annual events hosted in its rejuvenated downtown has transitioned Galena, Illinois into a charming small town with a thriving tourism industry.

63. Bloomfield, WI

Population: 5,537

62. Snowmass Village, CO

Population: 2,900

The municipality of Snowmass Village, Colorado has seen a recent building boom of luxury homes, condos, and mansions which are drawing more attention to the area’s picturesque landscapes and its abundance of opportunities for skiing and snowboarding.

61. Boiling Spring Lakes, NC

Population: 5,372

60. Custer, SD

Population: 1,952

Custer, SD

By puroticorico – http://www.flickr.com/photos/puroticorico/3647813769/, CC BY 2.0, Link

59. Cheraw, SC

Population: 5,780

“Cheraw is and always has been a great small town because of our friendly people and the quality of life that we have to offer.”

Andy Ingram – Mayor

58. Page, AZ

Population: 7,599

page arizona scenery

“Because of its incredible beauty, outdoor recreation and living opportunities, and the wonderful people.”

Kimberly Johnson, Community Development Director

57. Kent, CT

Population: 2,979

56. Prosser, WA

Population: 6,040

Prosser, WA

By Dene’ Miles –, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

55. Lambertville, NJ

Population: 3,812

54. Avalon, CA

Population: 3,767

Avalon, California is the only incorporated city located on Santa Catalina Island. The waterfront city is a major tourism hub but is also the home of many small homes and businesses.

53. Port Townsend, WA

Population: 9,335

52. Dahlonega, GA

Population: 6,437

“The charm of Dahlonega has been characterized as being “about 40% Asheville and 60% Mayberry” — and recent recognition has included the Great American Main Street award in 2016.

The town is best known as the site of the first major gold rush in the United States — even before Colorado, California and Alaska — and when you hear the phrase “there’s gold in them thar hills” — they’re talking about Dahlonega. The new gold is tourism and a burgeoning wine industry, which makes this an appealing place to visit — and live.”

David Zunker, Tourism Director

51. South Berwick, ME

Population: 7,220

50. Mineral Point, WI

Population: 2,491

Mineral Point, WI

By User:JeremyAOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

49. Glenwood Springs, CO

Population: 9,997

48. Brevard, NC

Population: 7,822

47. Decorah, IA

Population: 7,918

“Decorah is an energetic city with rich natural resources, diverse entertainment and year around cultural activities. Our natural amenities include 670 acres of community parkland with bike trails, natural springs, and a river.

Lodging accommodations have been increased with a New Marriott Fairfield hotel that just opened. The annual Nordic Fest Norwegian festival creates an atmosphere of community spirit. As home to Luther College, many graduates find their retirement home in Decorah. Two new micro-brewers have also added interest in our community.”

Don Arendt, Mayor

46. Fort Kent, ME

Population: 4,097

Fort Kent, Maine

“Fort Kent is a picturesque service center town located in Northern Maine on the Canadian Border. The town has a rich heritage in French Canadian background that is instilled in the community. The area is a tourist attraction with some of the best snowmobiling in the state, excellent ATV trails, 10th Mountain and Lonesome Pine Ski Clubs, and excellent hunting and fishing.

Fort Kent is known as the “Little Town That Could” with a reputation for thriving under circumstances that are challenging to say the least, and the community’s ability to be involved in many events that require a multitude of volunteers.

The education process is unique in that students can complete pre-k through college within a quarter mile on the same street. The economy is driven by forestry, agriculture, and tourism, with the majority of occupations in sales, management/professional services, health services, farming/forestry, construction, production, and transportation.”

Cindy Bouley, Kent Office of Planning

45. West Point, VA

Population: 3,314

West Point, Virginia

By self – My phone, CC BY 3.0, Link

44. Pigeon Forge, TN

Population: 6,199

43. Houghton, MI

Population: 7,987

The city of Houghton, Michigan is one of the largest towns in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The town is known for its abundance of sports and other recreational activities as well as being relatively close to Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

42. Liberty, SC

Population: 3,252

41. Winfield, WV

Population: 2,357

40. Breckenridge, CO

Population: 4,896

Breckenridge, CO

By Carol M. Highsmith – Library of CongressCatalog: http://lccn.loc.gov/2015633639Image download: https://cdn.loc.gov/master/pnp/highsm/33600/33624a.tifOriginal url: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.33624, Public Domain, Link

39. Hailey, ID

Population: 8,218

38. Berlin, MD

Population: 4,608

“Downtown Berlin is relaxed, welcoming, helpful, clean, friendly, safe, caring, beautiful and alive. We have one of the best high schools in the state, the hospital is here in Berlin and Assateague Beach and Ocean City are only 7 miles away.

People love living in a vibrant downtown where there’s always something going on.”

Ivy Wells, Economic & Community Development Director

37. Longboat Key, FL

Population: 7,326

36. Abilene, KS

Population: 6,469

Abilene is a quiet Kansas town with a unique historic district, many great museums, and is home to both the burial site and the Presidential Library of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

35. Hampshire, IL

Population: 6,247

34. Rutherfordton, NC

Population: 4,147

“Chartered in 1787, Rutherfordton is one of the oldest towns in Western North Carolina. Our founding along a ridgeline offer vistas of a rolling countryside, leading to a backdrop of the great Blue Ridge Mountains. Our history runs deep here, and we are a community of firsts. You can still sense our past in the traditional historic brick buildings in downtown, as well as the stately antebellum homes that line our streets.
Today, we are known within the region for our unrivaled quality of life, the beauty of our place, and our pride in our community. We provide a wealth of cultural and creative arts more commonly found in a large city, and an abundance of outdoor recreation activities found only in more rural places. Our downtown is the heart of activity and energy in our community, where new discoveries are made every day.
Perhaps our most unique claim is our singular place in the North Carolina gold rush, where an inventive spirit minted the first $1 gold coins in the United States. Bechtler minted over $2 million in gold coins, and while continually inspected by federal authorities, the coins were always found to be of exceptional quality and purity, far exceeding federal standards for US mints.
That purity and creative energy that was cast early in Rutherfordton’s history is alive and well in the community today. Whether it is the spirit of enterprise found in our independent downtown businesses, the rush of creativity evident in our cultural offerings, or the inventive fever being forged in our young minds, Rutherfordton continues to mint a quality of life that is the gold standard for Western North Carolina.”

Doug Barrack, Town Manager

33. Elkin, NC

Population: 4,064

32. Spring Arbor, MI

Population: 7,577

Spring Arbor, Michigan is a pleasant township that’s been recognized as a great place to raise a family as well as being the home of the liberal arts college Spring Arbor University.

31. Fairbury, NE

Population: 3,714

“Fairbury is a picturesque town with brick streets, historic buildings, and true Midwestern charm. It’s the beauty, safety, and security that draws families from all over the country, some who are returning to their roots, while others to start new lives. Fairbury is the perfect place to make new memories. Fairbury is a safe community, with great schools, healthcare facilities, historic homes, unique retail shops and growing industry and is the perfect place to raise a family or retire and age gracefully.”

Julie Katz, CMO

30. Conshohocken, PA

Population: 7,982

Conshohocken, PN

By TastyPoutineOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

29. Middlebury, MT

Population: 8,496

28. Sitka, AK

Population: 8,863

Sitka refers to both a City and a Borough in Alaska which encompasses the areas around the Sitka Channel. The city was built around fishing and canning facilities and is now home to a branch of the University of Alaska Southeast.

27. Rockport, TX

Population: 9,133

26. Ketchikan, AK

Population: 8,208

Ketchikan, Alaska

By Randy Roach from Fate, TX, United States – DSC00892, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

25. Cazenovia, NY

Population: 2,756

24. Sebastopol, CA

Population: 7,678

23. Ketchum, ID

Population: 2,753

“As a Ketchum native, yet globetrotter, I know just how fortunate I am to live in the best basecamp in the World. Ketchum is an authentic mountain community surrounded by unparalleled beauty and recreation.”

Mayor Nina Jonas

22. Duvall, WA

Population: 7,701

21. Dillon, MT

Population: 4,257

Dillon, Montana is an extremely pleasant town that offers affordable city services and a great place to raise a family. The city is great for a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities like fly fishing and hunting as well as being home to Montana Normal College.

20. Enoch, UT

Population: 6,568

19. Grand Marais, MN

Population: 1,339

Grand Marais, MN

By U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, photographer not specified or unknown – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual LibraryImage pageImage description pageDigital Visual Library home page, Public Domain, Link

18. Louisburg, KS

Population: 4,382

“Louisburg is a community with great schools where people care about each other.”

Mayor Marty Southard

17. Hawthorn Woods, IL

Population: 8,164

“In Hawthorn Woods, we have created a distinctive lifestyle that is a small town oasis from the Chicago region, and have been recognized as the safest city in the State of Illinois and one of the most desirable places to live.

Hawthorn Woods offers a diverse selection of beautiful homes nestled among woodlands and lakes, providing state of the art recreational amenities for all ages and award-winning schools for families. From Friday night free concerts to an old-fashioned December holiday sing along, Hawthorn Woods creates a friendly, hometown lifestyle that is warm and welcoming to all.“

Pamela Newton, Chief Operating Officer

16. Taos, NM

Population: 5,763

“People have described Taos as otherworldly,” said Karina Armijo, Director of Marketing and Tourism for the Town of Taos. “I would agree with that. This town doesn’t look or feel like anywhere else in the world – I think that’s what people like about it,” she said. “Living here is about being a part of a really tight-knit community in a completely enchanting location.”

15. Hamilton, AL

Population: 6,739

14. Maize, KS

Population: 4,438

13. Nashville, IN

Population: 1,067

Nashville, IN

By Chris LightOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

12. Rockland, ME

Population: 7,179

11. Zillah, WA

Population: 3,144

“Zillah is home to the historical “Teapot Dome” and we have GREAT schools and top-notch restaurants. Zillah is also centrally located among the many wineries in the region and our residents are some of the finest people in the world.”

Sharon Bounds, City Administrator

10. Bel Aire, KS

Population: 7,661

9. Auburn, NE

Population: 3,299

Auburn, NE

By AmmodramusOwn work, Public Domain, Link

8. Ojai, CA

Population: 7,585

“I think people are drawn to the fact that Ojai vigorously maintains its small-town atmosphere. It’s a fantastic place to raise a family.”

Steve McClary, City Manager

7. Hood River, OR

Population: 7,292

6. Monticello, IL

Population: 5,585

“Monticello is located in east central Illinois and is the County seat for Piatt County. In our beautiful historic downtown square, you will find quaint eclectic shops, fabulous dining opportunities, and entertainment. All of which is centered around the historic Courthouse.

Our school system excels in academia, athletics and extracurricular activities, continuously receiving high marks. Monticello also offers a safe place to reside it is currently ranked as 30th safest cities in Illinois and is home to the Kirby Medical Center.

Local attractions include a family aquatic center, multiple historic districts including “Millionaire’s Row”, Eli Field, Monticello Railway Museum, Allerton Park and several walking and biking trails throughout the community.”

Terry Summers, City Administrator

5. Estes Park, CO

Population: 6,017

4. Summerville, GA

Population: 4,360

3. Abbeville, AL

Population: 2,603

The city of Abbeville, Alabama combines the tight-knit community of a pleasant small town with great schools and medical facilities as well as being host to some excellent fishing and dining options.

2. Edgartown, MA

Population: 4,067

Edgartown, MA

By Mr SenselessOwn work, Public Domain, Link

1. New Castle, DE

Population: 5,357

New Castle, Delaware is a town with an incredibly rich history that is packed with colonial architecture and national landmarks. This charming village has all the benefits of a small town with the added convenience of being a short drive away from Wilmington, Delaware.


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