Money Magazine has chosen the combined Columbia/Ellicott City area as the second-best small city to live in America for 2010. The magazine's annual ranking had the same area as No. 8 two years ago.
Calling the region an "economic powerhouse," the magazine stressed the thousands of federal and related jobs coming to nearby Fort Meade and the National Security Agency in Anne Arundel County as one major reason for the compliment.
The magazine mentions the county's "excellent schools," relatively low foreclosure and unemployment rates (5.2 percent), along with its diverse population and close proximity to Baltimore and Washington. The ranking also lists Ellicott City's "lovely 18th century downtown" and "lots of restaurants."
Eden Prairie, Minn. was No. 1.
County Executive Ken Ulman, a Democrat seeking re-election, was quick to trumpet the word in a news release, noting the area was the only place in the Mid-Atlantic region in the top 20.
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