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Best Cities 2010: 10 Cities with the Strongest Economies

  • Belinda Hankins Miller / Wikimedia (CC Licensed)

    One of the keys to a strong community is a thriving economy. Parents worrying they'll lose their job (or their home), or a commute so long it cuts into evening family time don't make for a happy, stable home. Here, we round up the cities from our list that that have been weathering the economic turmoil well.

    See the list of the cities with the worst-hit economies

    (Our list was compiled by using a list of the top 100 cities by population, adding in well-known smaller cities too, and removing cities so close to other large cities that they would have similar data. Then we crunched numbers in 6 economic categories to come up with our rankings.)

    #1: Little Rock, AR
    Low unemployment, a manageable commute of about 17 minutes, and home values that held steady all combined to keep Little Rock's economy strong.

    Read more about Little Rock

    Want to check out these towns? Save a bundle when you book your trip online through Parenting Privileges. You'll get cash back on your reservations at Expedia, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, or Priceline.com!

  • #2: Billings, MT
    How would you like to be at work in 15 minutes? You could if you lived in Billings; that's the average commute time. Billings also has a lower-than-average unemployment rate of only 6 percent.

    Read more about Billings

  • Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau

    #3: Sioux Falls, SD
    With one of the lowest unemployment rates of any city on our list, and a plethora of good jobs, the outlook for Sioux Falls is rosy.

    Read more about Sioux Falls

  • #4: Salt Lake City, UT
    Tons of desirable jobs can be found in this Utah city, where the average commute is only about 20 minutes. Property values fell here, but not as steeply as they did in other areas of the country.

    Read more about Salt Lake City

  • #5: Tulsa, OK
    Home values actually rose in Tulsa, where the travel time to work is only about 18 minutes.

    Read more about Tulsa

  • Greater Oklahoma City Chamber & CVB

    #6 Oklahoma City, OK
    The second OK city to make our list, Oklahoma City also boasted rising home values. Unemployment is a low 6.7 percent.

    Read more about Oklahoma City

  • #7: Anchorage, AK
    If you lived in Anchorage, your drive home after work would be a manageable 18 minutes on average.

    Read more about Anchorage

  • Virgina Beach CVB

    #8: Virginia Beach, VA
    Home values were up in Virginia Beach, and unemployment is a low 8 percent.

    Read more about Virginia Beach

  • #9: Raleigh, NC
    Great jobs and a community that supports local businesses can be found in this North Carolina town, as well as a booming real estate market.

    Read more about Raleigh

  • Arlington Convention and Visitors Service

    #10: Arlington, VA
    The second Virginia city on our list, Arlington (our top city overall) boasts an unemployment rate of only 4.8, and home values that seem to be holding steady.

    Read more about Arlington

    Want to check out these towns? Save a bundle when you book your trip online through Parenting Privileges. You'll get cash back on your reservations at Expedia, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, or Priceline.com!

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