100 Most Popular Small Cities To Relocate 2017

Small cities offer the allure of big-city action while also being affordable and less crowded.

It’s hard to deny the popularity of major metropolitan areas like Chicago, Philadelphia, and Miami.

But as popular cities continue to swell and grow ever more expensive, more people are seeking out smaller cities.

Popular Small Cities Relocate 2017

But exactly which small cities are people moving to?

In an attempt to figure this out, we took a look at all the data from our popular moving cost estimator to determine which small cities were most searched as destinations in 2017.

From our research, we’ve determined the 100 most popular small cities with populations between 10,000 and 50,000 in the United States.

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100. St. Augustine, FL


Population: 14,280

St Augustine, Florida

By Detroit Publishing Co. – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID ppmsca.18022.This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information. Restoration by trialsanderrors: The Alcazar, St. Augustine, Florida, 1898, Public Domain, Link

99. Dublin, OH


Population: 41,751

98. Falls Church, VA


Population: 13,892

97. St Charles, IL


Population: 32,717

St Charles, Illinois

By I, G LeTourneau, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

96. Port Washington, WI


Population: 11,250

95. Saginaw, MI


Population: 48,984

94. Waukee, IA


Population: 19,284

Waukee, Iowa
By IowahwymanOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

“Waukee’s population has doubled in the last decade, from approximately 10,000 people to 20,000,” said Waukee Mayor Bill Peard. “We pride ourselves on having a great ‘hometown’ feel and big city amenities. Our schools, festivals, and community organizations tie the community together. But, Waukee residents also have access to great outdoor amenities, nearby shopping and dining, and commutable job locations.”

Summer Evans, Marketing & Communications Director

93. Kent, NY


Population: 13,507

92. Gulf Shores, AL


Population: 11,689

91. South Kingstown, RI


Population: 27,921

South Kingstown, Rhode Island

By Pi.1415926535Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

90. Windsor, CA


Population: 27,555

89. Trophy Club, TX


Population: 12,166

88. Alexandria, MN


Population: 13,568

Alexandria, Minnesota

By McGhieverOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

87. Jackson, WY


Population: 10,529

86. Durango, CO


Population: 18,503

85. Madison, NJ


Population: 16,072

Madison, New Jersey

CC BY-SA 2.5, Link

“I have been a resident since my parents moved to Madison when I was five years old. What attracted the Conley family to Madison so many years ago is what still is attracting families today: Train access to NYC; cultural opportunities through a strong arts community, Drew University and the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ; a thriving downtown; great schools; beautiful neighborhoods and a sense of community.”

Mayor Robert Conley

84. Pooler, GA


Population: 23,744

83. Garner, NC


Population: 28,776
“Garner offers a great overall quality of life in one of the country’s most desirable regions to live, work and raise a family. We have great schools and amenities, and we have a warm, hometown feel that people love.

We’re also a convenient 10-minute drive to downtown Raleigh, which seems to be on everyone’s list these days as one of the top five or so best cities to be. Despite everything Garner has going for it, we remain a great deal. We’re still a little bit of a secret for savvy people who are ‘in the know.’ Housing remains very affordable, and there is a good range of housing options for individuals and families.”

Rick Mercier, Communications Manager

82. Red Bluff, CA


Population: 14,076

Red Bluff, CA Farmer's Market

Stay and play in Red Bluff, Tehama County California Adventure is tops in Tehama County where you can enjoy outdoor living year-round. Teeming with parks, lakes, and rivers, Tehama County is a go-to destination for hunting, fishing, boating, horseback riding, camping, and hiking. “It’s a great community,” remarked Dave Gowan, the chief executive officer of Red Bluff-Tehama County Chamber of Commerce. “The weather is wonderful.” Real Estate is excellent compared to other Northern California areas. Our downtown area is strong and progressive. Our businesses provide many services for the community as well as for visitors.”

81. Newcastle, WA


Population: 11,567

80. Fayetteville, GA


Population: 17,519

Fayetteville, Georgia

By Michael RiveraOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

79. Malvern, AR


Population: 10,941

78. Lebanon, NH


Population: 13,513

77. Amherst, MA


Population: 37,819

Amherst, Massachusetts

By Kevin Rutherford, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

76. New Franklin, OH


Population: 14,149

“New Franklin is the last frontier in Summit County. There’s plenty of rural room to live and grow a family.”

Mayor Al Bollas

75. Mankato, MN


Population: 41,720

74. New Milford, CT


Population: 28,142

73. Oro Valley, AZ


Population: 43,781

72. Burlington, VT


Population: 42,260

Burlington, Vermont

By Tony Webster from Minneapolis, Minnesota – Burlington, Vermont Waterfront, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

71. Charlottesville, VA


Population: 46,597

70. Coppell, TX


Population: 41,360

69. Leander, TX


Population: 42,761

“Leander has a total population of 52,606 in 2017, nearly doubling in size since 2010. Leander’s rapid growth is driven by a low cost of living — four percent lower on average than other areas in the Greater Austin region — an award-winning school district, commuter rail access to downtown Austin, and convenient toll road access into the center of Austin’s retail and business districts. The city also benefits from its close proximity to the Texas Hill Country and Lake Travis.”

Mike Neu, Public Information Officer

68. Pella, IA


Population: 10,255

67. Sedona, AZ


Population: 10,397

66. Muskego, WI


Population: 24,882

65. Golden, CO


Population: 20,696

Golden, Colorado

By Roman Eugeniusz, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

64. Carlisle, PA


Population: 19,162

63. Berkley, MI


Population: 15,272

62. Kennesaw, GA


Population: 33,627

“Kennesaw is a thriving, progressive community offering small town charm with big city amenities. Founded in 1887 and located 25 miles northwest of Atlanta, this growing city of over 35,000 residents has a unique and rich history as well as an exceptional quality of life and a strong focus on family values.

You’ll find a wide range of attractive, well-maintained neighborhoods as well as a vibrant, emergent down­town. Flourishing businesses blend seamlessly with parks and green spaces as well as a variety of shopping and dining options. Our area residents also enjoy outstanding academic options at every grade level; Kennesaw State University, Georgia’s third largest university, is located two miles from downtown.”

Pam Davis, Communications Director

61. Traverse City, MI


Population: 15,479

Traverse City, Michigan

By Iulus Ascanius at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Xnatedawgx using CommonsHelper., Public Domain, Link

60. Emporia, KS


Population: 24,816

59. Cary, IL


Population: 18,271

58. Keller, TX


Population: 46,646

57. Clawson, MI


Population: 11,970

“Clawson is a small, family-friendly city where you can walk to the library, school, restaurants, and shopping from your home. Traditional events like the 4th of July parade and fireworks, Car show on Main Street, Farmers Market, Trick or Treat Trail at the City Park and many more events bring neighbors together.

We have a magic store, a candy store, a comic book store, resale shops and Michigan’s only harp store along with many other interesting sites. We are always ranked as one of the safest cities in Michigan and one of the hottest real estate deals in the area. We have free parking in our business districts. You are welcome in Clawson!”

Mark Pollock, City Manager

56. Miami Lakes, FL


Population: 30,873

55. Clinton, UT


Population: 21,672

54. Enumclaw, WA


Population: 10,669

Enumclaw, Washington

By Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

53. Deer Park, TX


Population: 33,782

52. Williamsburg, VA


Population: 15,052

51. Seabrook, TX


Population: 11,952

Seabrook, Texas

By No machine-readable author provided. Railgun~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims). – No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 2.5, Link

50. Maple Valley, WA


Population: 22,684

49. Walla Walla, WA


Population: 32,132

“Over the years, Walla Walla has earned a fantastic reputation worldwide for its wine, food, natural beauty, and downtown. And the city is only getting better. Our community is growing, and we’re thrilled that so many people are seeking to share in the wonderful quality of life we enjoy here. Every day’s a beautiful day in Walla Walla!”

Nabiel Shawa, City Manager

48. Sahuarita, AZ


Population: 25,259

Sahuarita, Arizona

By Musides at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

47. Newark, DE


Population: 33,398

46. Erie, CO


Population: 22,803

45. Hewitt, TX


Population: 14,322

“Hewitt is a great community in which to relocate. It combines affordability with close amenities, great schools, beautiful parks, and much more.”

Katie Allgood, Managing Director of Administration

44. Huron Charter Township, MI


Population: 15,879

“Home to Lower Huron, Willow and Oakwoods Metroparks, Huron Township boasts numerous miles of linked bike paths and kayaking courses as well as a multitude of other recreational opportunities including fishing, golf, and a family aquatic center.

The October Applefest featuring locally grown produce is just one of the many community events that bring families together during the year.

Conveniently located just minutes from Detroit Metro International Airport with major freeways and railways, Huron Township is a prime business development venue and is home to such leading automotive suppliers as Inergy and Brose.”

David A. Glaab, Huron Township Supervisor

43. Glastonbury, CT


Population: 34,427

42. Arcata, CA


Population: 17,974

Arcata, California

41. Morton, IL


Population: 16,287

40. Tiffin, OH


Population: 17,545

“Tiffin is a small, yet dynamic community, with a welcoming atmosphere. Our city offers a wide variety of opportunities at a great cost of living and within reach of large metropolitan areas. Downtown Tiffin is once again thriving thanks to concentrated revitalization efforts, economic development is strong, creating jobs in all sectors and encouraging entrepreneurship, educational opportunities abound, with two university and both public and private schools, and there are more family-friendly recreational options than ever, with our budding trail system and new outdoor venue.

More than its physical aspects, Tiffin offers meaningful connections. Not everyone in Tiffin is from Tiffin, but once you’re here, you’re family.”

Mayor Aaron Montz

39. Sherwood, OR


Population: 19,294

38. Moody, AL


Population: 12,823

37. West Lafayette, IN


Population: 45,872

West Lafayette, Indiana

By QsthomsonOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

36. Mauldin, SC


Population: 25,188

35. Narragansett, RI


Population: 15,868

34. Louisville, CO


Population: 20,801

33. Los Alamos, NM


Population: 12,019

Los Alamos, New Mexico

By AllenSOwn work, Public Domain, Link

32. Brecksville, OH


Population: 13,425

31. Foster City, CA


Population: 30,567

30. Farmington, MI


Population: 10,514

“It’s not just that Farmington boasts the kind of outdoor treasures you’d expect to see in the foothills of the Ozarks. It’s not just that it boasts terrific outdoor recreational opportunities, from the wine trails to bicycle trails, some of the best all-terrain vehicle courses to spectacular parks and golf courses to beautiful hiking and canoeing nearby.

It’s that you can do these things in Farmington. It’s that nothing is out of reach – in price, in location, in the size of the crowd trying to get in.

Farmington is a community with a remarkably low cost of living for all of the comforts and attractions it affords.”

29. Westfield, IN


Population: 37,221

28. Onalaska, WA


Population: 17,736

27. New Britain Township, PA


Population: 11,070

26. Mt. Kisco, NY


Population: 11,103

Mt. Kisco, New York

By Sonja Lovas from Newport, Oregon, USA – Mt. Kisco Elementary School, CC BY 2.0, Link

25. Madison, AL


Population: 47,959

24. Lexington, NC


Population: 19,105
“A Lexington NC native, ROBIN BIVENS: “Location: We’re centrally located geographically with the beach and mountains close by, and also close to the three cities of Asheville, Greensboro, and Charlotte. Lexington also has a great highway system and ameneties similar to those of a major city.”

Robin Bivens, Lexington Tourism Authority

23. Riverview, MI


Population: 12,103

22. Johnstown, CO


Population: 15,389

21. Paducah, KY


Population: 25,145

“When I moved to Paducah, Kentucky 17 years ago, I was impressed with its bustling downtown, beautiful floodwall murals, and its location at the confluence of two major rivers, the Ohio and Tennessee. After living here, I have learned some of the secrets that have led to the City’s success.

It’s a city of about 25,000, but during the day, the population more than triples due to being a hub for shopping, medical facilities, and businesses especially river industries.

A low cost-of-living, friendly atmosphere, and great school systems led me to make this area my home and raise my family. Another secret about Paducah is that community leaders always are looking to improve the quality of life for residents and visitors. Among its many attributes, Paducah has an impressive 1800-seat performing arts center, the designation as a UNESCO Creative City, and numerous projects underway to expand parks and greenway trails. I encourage everyone to visit Paducah. You may want to make it your home.”

Pam Spencer, Public Information Officer

20. San Luis Obispo, CA


Population: 47,536

19. La Puente, CA


Population: 39,816

18. Castle Rock, CO


Population: 48,231

Castle Rock, Colorado

By SmallbonesOwn work, Public Domain, Link

17. Huntley, IL


Population: 26,611

16. Port Angeles, WA


Population: 19,833

15. Gardner, KS


Population: 21,110

“I am gratified to hear that Gardner was identified as being one of the most popular towns under 50,000 in population, but I’m not surprised. Gardner is consistently ranked as one of the safest and most peaceful towns in Kansas.

In addition, our Parks & Recreation Department is award-winning, our city is affordable, and we exist in the fastest growing section of the fastest growing county in the State of Kansas. Every day is a great day when I’m in Gardner, Kansas.”

Chris Morrow, Former Mayor

14. Loganville, GA


Population: 11,674

13. Robinson, TX


Population: 11,493

12. Wylie, TX


Population: 47,701
“Since its spirited beginnings, Wylie has become one of the fastest-growing communities in the country. With a population of almost 50,000, Wylie’s growth reflects a 230-percent increase since 2000.

Its quality of life and spirit of community are but two of the factors cited in Wylie’s ever-lengthening list of awards and accolades. In 2015, MONEY Magazine named Wylie the 25th Best Place to Live in the Nation. Financial website NerdWallet named Wylie the No. 1 Best Small City for Families in the Nation in 2016. It’s also one of the safest cities, with a crime rate that dropped by 28 percent in 2015. Security organization SafeWise and financial website CreditDonkey both named Wylie the 19th Safest City in Texas in 2016. Realtor.com named Wylie the second Best Suburb in the U.S. in 2017.”

11. Bella Vista, AR


Population: 28,406

Bella Vista, Arkansas

By Michaelkrewson at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Premeditated Chaos using CommonsHelper., Public Domain, Link

10. North Ogden, UT


Population: 18,791

9. Firestone, CO


Population: 12,917

8. Los Alamitos, CA


Population: 11,636

Los Alamitos, California

By user:EpolkOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

7. Marquette, MI


Population: 20,570

6. Bardstown, KY


Population: 13,227

“Home to dozens of locally-owned restaurants and shops. More than 300 buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, with nearly 200 in the downtown district.

Bardstown is rich in religious heritage attractions, including the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral, the first Catholic cathedral west of the Allegheny Mountains, and the Abbey of Gethsemani. Founded in 1780, Bardstown is Kentucky’s second-oldest city. In 1789, bourbon was discovered by Baptist minister Elijah Craig.”

5. Northampton, MA


Population: 28,483

4. Morgantown, WV


Population: 30,855

“Morgantown has it all. With the extraordinary land of natural beauty to play on, picturesque scenery, local flavor, ample nightlife, Mountaineer passion and friendly folks–it’s no wonder it’s called, “Almost Heaven.” There is always something new to explore with the many hidden gems and one-of-a-kind events offered throughout the year. The neighborly locals will treat you like you’re one of their own. The town bleeds gold and blue, so whenever you hear “Let’s Go” be ready to yell, “Mountaineers!”

Susan Riddle, Executive Director of Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureaupecialist

3. Danville, VA


Population: 42,082

“We are focused on making Danville a more desirable place to live. That starts with a strong economic development program that makes sure there are opportunities for people to get a good job or build a business of their own.

It also involves creating the kind of quality life that people are looking for when locating in a community. For example, we’ve invested in an outstanding 11-mile long river walk trail that connects parks from practically one end of the city to the other. We also have a variety of housing options available including high-end downtown lofts in our historic River District, grand historic homes in our Old West End historic district, and traditional single-family neighborhoods throughout the city.”

Ken Larking, City Manager

2. Zionsville, IN


Population: 26,784

1. Winchester, VA


Population: 27,284

winchester va

“Winchester is a small, charming and historical independent city located within a large more rural county. Winchester serves as the regional hub for shopping and dining and is known as a great place to raise a family, start a business and retire.

It offers many big-city amenities such as fine dining and a walkable downtown without sacrificing its small-town feel. The historic architecture is unique and well-preserved and our history dates back to the 1700s. George Washington came here when he was 16 as a surveyor (his office is now a museum) and was elected to his first political office in Winchester. Winchester is the childhood home of country music legend Patsy Cline (her home is now a museum) and jazz musician John Kirby. Stonewall Jackson spent some time in Winchester (another museum) and there is a legend that the city changed hands 72 times during the Civil War because of its strategic location (check out the 1840 Courthouse Civil War Museum).

There is much more to Winchester than you would see at first glance and it’s a great place to be.”

Amy Simmons, Communications Director


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