Livability ranked Ames as 2018’s second-best college town in the nation followed by Ithaca, NY, the home of Cornell University.


Livability develops digital content to showcase the best places in the nation, based on different categories. Some of these categories include best cities for recent college graduates, best places to visit and even best cities for STEM workers. Livability managing editor, Winona Ediger, believes showcasing cities like Ames, is what the company strives to achieve.


“As big cities get more and more expensive, we strive to highlight places that offer affordability, community and a great quality of life,” Ediger said. “Our readers are looking for cool, accessible, under-the-radar alternatives to places like Portland and Chicago, and Ames is a perfect example of a small, but growing, city where you can have a really fun, full life without going broke.”


Ames Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Dan Culhane, was elated that the city received this recognition. Even though these rankings come from a variety of sources, multiple times throughout the year, he enjoys hearing that the city is being showcased.


“These distinctions never get tiresome and they are truly earned,” he said.


This isn’t the first time Ames was listed in one of Livability’s “best” rankings. In January, the city ranked as one of the top 100 best places to live in 2018. Culhane believes that the city’s determination to continue reinvention is what brings this recognition to Ames.


“The city of Ames continues to invest in things like park spaces and other areas,” he said. “We have great job creation, great capital investment, healthy housing prices and so much more that makes us deserving of this.”


Culhane recognizes the city’s hard work, but also realizes that Iowa State University brings along a mass of publicity to the Ames. To him, the university offers so much to a community that is already thriving.


“We have an exceptional community and a top TIER research university,” Culhane said.


Livability creates an annual list of the top 10 best college towns in the country. They review over 2,000 cities in the Unites States to see which ones are deserving of the recognition. They look at four different criteria to rank the cities.


These criteria include the ratio of the city’s median salary to its July 2018 median one-bedroom rent, the percentage of the population between the ages of 20 to 29, the number of jobs in the education sector per 1,000 jobs in the city and the ratio of the media salary in the city to the nation for education jobs.