Nearest big city: Huntsville
Surrounded by a wealth of good jobs, Madison’s unemployment rate of 2.9% is the second lowest on Money’s list of Best Places to Live this year. Software company Hexagon PPM has its headquarters in town, employing about 1,100 people.
However, about half of Madison’s residents commute to nearby Huntsville, which is home to more than 25 biotechnology firms, two Boeing facilities employing 3,000 workers, and a brand new $2.3 billion Mazda-Toyota manufacturing plant that’s expected to create an estimated 4,000 jobs.
It’s no surprise, then, that Madison’s median household income is $93,090, 35.5% higher than the national average. Madison is also one of the most affordable cities to live on this year’s list of Best Places to Live. A typical home here costs only $254,053, and groceries cost 4% lower than the national average.
Looking for fun activities? Check out the town’s 38,000-square-foot skate park, 24-player laser tag arena and new minor league baseball stadium. — Daniel Bortz