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The Most Charming Small Town in America

In this article, we will reveal the most charming small town in America. If you wish to look at our detailed rankings, you can go to the 30 Most Charming Small Towns in America.

Small towns in America play an important role in contributing to tourism and economic well-being. They attract visitors with their charm, history, and local culture, bringing in significant economic benefits. Preserving small towns in America is essential as these towns reflect the core values on which the country was built.

Agriculture has traditionally been a major revenue source for towns in rural America. The sector provides jobs not only on farms but also in related industries such as food processing, transportation, services, and retail. The income from these jobs supports the local economy by circulating within the community.

However, small towns across the country face many challenges, including limited job opportunities and rising poverty. According to a report from USDA, small towns recorded a decline of over 1.4 million jobs between 2007 and 2010. The 2009 recession played a major role in this downturn.

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Although employment gradually increased from 2010 to 2019, it never returned to pre-2007 levels. Unemployment in small towns is often due to a lack of available work, even for those actively seeking jobs.

Rural communities are experiencing a shift in their workforce dynamics now. According to American Progress, the service industry now employs the largest segment of the small-town workforce. This marks a change from the past when agriculture, manufacturing, and mining were the primary employment sectors in these areas.

Data from the US Census revealed that in 2016, 10.9% of rural Americans worked in retail trade, while 7.3% were employed in the entertainment, arts, accommodation, and food services sectors. These roles are all categorized under the service industry. These figures together account for 18.2% of the workforce, almost one-fifth.

Amazon's Role in Small-Town Economies

Small towns frequently struggle with residents leaving for larger cities in search of work. Creating even a few jobs in these areas can make a significant difference. Companies such as Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) have played an important role in supporting small towns and expanding their economies.

Many of Amazon.com Inc’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) fulfillment centers are situated in small towns across the US, with a population of fewer than 50,000. These centers have a positive influence on these communities by generating employment opportunities and supporting local businesses. In the last five years, Amazon.com Inc’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) fulfillment centers have averaged employment for over 750,000 individuals, with 40% of these positions in small towns.

The jobs created in these communities open up new opportunities for residents. On average, 47% of individuals hired for logistics positions by Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) did not have jobs earlier. These roles offer an average hourly wage nearly three times the federal minimum wage.

Research conducted by economists at Amazon and The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, indicated that for every 10 positions Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) directly creates, nine additional jobs are generated indirectly at other places in the county where the facility is situated. Furthermore, the establishment of an Amazon facility is estimated to result in an annual increase of $1,225 in median household incomes and an average decrease in poverty rates by up to 3.3% in the county.

The Most Charming Small Town in America
The Most Charming Small Town in America

Pixabay/Public domain

Our Methodology

To shortlist the 30 most charming small towns in America, we used a consensus methodology. We referred to multiple credible sources such as Far & Wide, Travel and Leisure, NC Travel Guides, HGTV Quora, and Reddit threads. Our approach focused on gathering insights into each town's scenic beauty, historical significance, and other attractions. Following the shortlisting of the cities, we assigned a score to each city based on the number of times it appeared across our sources. In the case of cities having the same score, tiebreaking was done on the basis of which city was outranking the other in our sources. The most charming small towns in the US have been ranked in ascending order of their scores.

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The Most Charming Small Towns in America

Taos, New Mexico

Score: 4

Taos is a small town in northern New Mexico that is celebrated for its rich cultural heritage. The town is surrounded by the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The town’s notable landmarks include Taos Pueblo. This multistory adobe complex has been inhabited by Native Americans for centuries.

As of 2022, Taos was home to around 6,460 people, with a median age of 49.3. The town has a median household income of $40,185. Over the year from 2021 to 2022, Taos' population saw a slight decrease from 6,524 to 6,458, reflecting a decline of over 1%. During this period, the median household income in Taos increased from $37,083 to $40,185, marking an 8.37% rise.

Discover which town secured the second spot. You can visit the 30 Most Charming Small Towns in America.

At Insider Monkey, we delve into a variety of topics, ranging from the most charming small towns in America to business aspects; however, our expertise lies in identifying the top-performing stocks. Currently, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology stands out as one of the most promising fields. If you are looking for an AI stock that is more promising than NVDA but that trades at less than 5 times its earnings, check out our report about the cheapest AI stock.

READ NEXT: Analyst Sees a New $25 Billion “Opportunity” for NVIDIA and Jim Cramer is Recommending These 10 Stocks in June.

Disclosure: None. This article is originally published on Insider Monkey.