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Top 100 rank: 86
Population: 38,600
Compare Ankeny to Top 10 Best Places
This suburb 10 miles north of Des Moines is growing so fast that the local school district is building four new schools, one set to open in 2011. Though many residents commute 20 minutes to the city, Ankeny is also home to offices of manufacturing and biotech companies such as John Deere and Monsanto. Residents are connected by 37 neighborhood parks, within walking distance of every home. When it comes time to break ground on a new park, or renovate an old one, neighborhood kids get to vote to pick their new playground. --A.W.
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Using statistics from data services company Onboard Informatics, we crunched the numbers in order to zero in on America's best small towns for families. (Last year, we looked at small cities, with populations between 50,000 and 300,000.) More
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