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Irvine, Milpitas, Pleasanton Top Three Small California Cities Per Time Money Magazine

Alameda City Hall West. (File photo.)

Alameda City Hall West. (File photo.)

Time Money magazine has ranked Irvine, Milpitas and Pleasanton, in that order, the top three small California cities to live in for 2014. Alameda did not rank.

Nationally, McKinney, Texas, was ranked the number one small city to live in, according to the magazine’s Best Places to Live 2014 survey.

The magazine started with 781 cities, ranging in population from 50,000 to 300,000, and weeded out retirement communities, cities where the median family income was less than 80 percent of the state average mono-ethnic cities, cities with poor educational scores, and cities located more than an hour from the airport.

Excluding extremely wealthy cities (e.g. median family income of more than 210 percent of the state average), they got the list down to 100, and used a proprietary formula to rank the cities according to 45 factors in eight categories, including economic opportunity and jobs, housing affordability, education, crime, health, arts and leisure, ease of living, and diversity.

They then sent reporters to the top 35 scoring communities to seek out intangibles such as community spirit, and see if real experiences lived up to the paper rankings.

Irvine ranked 14th overall, Milpitas 29th, and Pleasanton 31st.

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