Concord

Clockwise from top left: Kayakers at Frank Liske Park, a honor guard marches during the Concord Christmas Parade, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord City hall and patrons at Cabarrus Brewing Company.

CONCORD- Concord is one of the top 100 places to live in the country.

The city was recently ranked No. 38 in Money magazine’s Top 100 Best Places to Live 2017 list. Working with realtor.com, the magazine looked only at places with populations between 10,000 and 100,000. Cities were eliminated if they had more than double the national crime risk, less than 85 percent of its state’s median household income or a lack of ethnic diversity.

From those 2,400 places that were not eliminated by the first criteria, about 17,000 different data points were collected to narrow the list.

Reporters also researched each spot by visiting to check out neighborhoods and interviewing residents.

The final rankings derived from more than 70 separate types of data based on economy, cost of living, education, housing, crime, amenities and ease of living.

According to the magazine, Concord has a population of 89,301 with a median home price of $196,083 and a high school graduation rate of 90 percent. The article also includes that the average commute time for citizens is 26 minutes and there are 214 clear days per year.

“Located about 25 miles outside of Charlotte, Concord boasts modest home sale prices, and a median income that’s above the state median,” the article says. “The local economy is healthy, with many residents employed by local government and the health care industry.”

Robert Carney, Jr., executive director of Cabarrus Economic Development, said the publicity from the list is positive because it’s important for the nation and world to recognize how amazing Concord really is and what the city has to offer.

“I see everything from an economic development standpoint and I think the biggest thing that the magazine got right is that we have a thriving workforce right now,” Carney said. “We do have a lot of highly-skilled individuals that are living in this area.”

He also added that the growing amount of amenities, from Rob Wallace Park in Midland to developments in Mount Pleasant, add up to help the quality of life growth in Concord.

“I do like the fact that it does recognize Concord Mills, NASCAR and Charlotte, but I believe that Concord is so much more than that,” he said. “Those things are foundational assets and amenities that we love but there’s also a lot more to Concord as well, and I think that is starting to get out.”

Donna Carpenter, president and CEO of the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau, added that she believes milliennials continue to move to Concord and Cabarrus County because of the quality of life.

“Research shows millennials don’t just move for a job. Quality of life is factored in when deciding on a place to take root including entertainment destinations and convenient places to eat and shop,” Carpenter said. “Concord and Cabarrus County currently have all of those and continue to add to a variety of local entertainment options such as breweries, eateries and distilleries. With this development of attractions that visitors and residents alike can enjoy, the hospitality and tourism industry plays a significant role in creating a sense of place and awesome quality of life here in Concord.”

And while he agrees this accomplishment is something to celebrate, Concord Mayor Scott Padgett said he is pleased to see the magazine recognizing something he already knew.

“We appreciate Money recognizing what we already know in naming Concord, North Carolina as the 38th Best Place to Live in the USA,” Padgett said. “The key to a community’s continued success is always working together to improve. Fortunately, we are blessed with momentum and great people to keep getting better.”

Coming in at the No.1 spot on the list is Fishers, Indiana with a population of 86,357, a high school graduation rate of 95 percent and a median household income of $87,043.

No. 2 on the list is Allen, Texas and Monterey Park, California came in at No. 3.

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