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Bozeman ranks 3rd in The Best College Towns to Live In – 2016 Edition |

‘Tis the season of the list.  Bozeman ranks yet again on a top ten list.  This time as a solid university town to live in…read on…

The Best College Towns to Live In – 2016 Edition

Amanda Dixon Sep 13, 2016

A college town can be a fun place to live even as an older adult. There are often endless activities to participate in from football and hockey games to concerts and cultural events. And since the students in the area are probably on a tight budget, you’ll likely have access to cheap bars and restaurants. What’s more, college towns tend to have strong economies that surrounding neighborhoods can benefit from.

SmartAsset created a ranking of the best college towns to live in using the five metrics that we considered in the 2015 edition of our study. We looked at the unemployment rate, property crime rate, violent crime rate, housing costs and the median household income in each college town. We also compared residents’ access to dining and entertainment establishments.

In all, we ranked 126 cities and towns with a population of at least 25,000. In order to be considered a college town, students enrolled in local four-year colleges and universities have to make up more than 20% of the area’s total population. (Read more about our methodology below.)

Key Findings

  • No major changes. Nine of our top 10 college towns ranked as the best college towns to live in last year. Princeton ranks as the No. 1 college town to live in for the second year in a row.
  • Unemployment rates are down. Of the nine college towns that cracked the top 10 in 2015, seven of them saw their unemployment rates fall. Job markets in college towns tend to be relatively healthy since colleges are major employers and bring a need for other services.

3. Bozeman, Montana – Montana State University

The city of Bozeman is located in Gallatin County, Montana. Out of all of the college towns in our study, it has the lowest unemployment rate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 2.7% of its population was looking for work between May 2015 and June 2016.

Bozeman is surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, so there are plenty of things to do if you’re into climbing or camping. It also has the highest concentration of dining and entertainment establishments in our study. For every 10,000 people, there are nearly 30 restaurants, bars and entertainment businesses.

Source: The Best College Towns to Live In – 2016 Edition |