Boulder, Colo.

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Boulder takes the prize for top college town this year. The city boasts first place in demographics, quality of life, and economic conditions. The weather is perfect and the surrounding creeks, trails, and mountains attract those with a mad love of the outdoors. In fact, Boulder became the first U.S. city to tax itself specifically to preserve open space. The result? Great urban outdoor space for those who love the outdoors. In addition, it is one of the most accessible college towns in the country, with over 20 percent of commuters choosing public transportation or cycling up and down the Boulder Creek Corridor. The educated, relatively diverse, and fit populace enjoys a great bar and restaurant scene with the best fair-trade coffee and microbreweries in the Rockies. If this is not enough, Boulder also brags favorable labor markets and high innovation levels, in thanks partly to the University of Colorado’s flagship campus.

#1 Boulder, Colo.

POPULATION: 199,129
STUDENTS: 31,958
RANKING DETAIL:
#1 COLLEGE EDUCATED
#14 DIVERSITY

Quality of life

#2 CITY ACCESS
#1 ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
#6 BARS AND RESTAURANTS

Economics

#14 YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT
#2 LABOR FORCE
#1 INNOVATION
#18 RENT

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