Auburn ranked in Top 100 Best Small Towns ranks city 73rd out of 12,000 studied
By: Gus Thomson of the Auburn Journal
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Livability’s Top 100 Best Small Towns list includes six California communities:

No. 9 Sebastopol

No. 14 Arcata

No. 12 Los Alamitos

No. 34 Emeryville

No. 39 Pacific Grove

No. 73 Auburn

Auburn is now ranked among the elite small towns of the United States, according to

The website, known for its community rankings in a variety of categories – from walkability to sustainability – crunched the numbers on more than 12,000 towns with populations between 1,000 and 20,000.

It analyzed more than 490 data points for each, ranging from demographics, real estate and health care to social and civic capital. Then it turned that data over to a leading global market research firm to come up with metrics showing Auburn is ranked No. 73 in what the website describes as its inaugural Top 100 Best Small Towns in the U.S.

Auburn is lauded for hosting more outdoor adventure-endurance events than any other community in the world.

“The city is bordered by the American River canyon and the Sierra Nevada, which entice residents to hike and bike,’ the site states. “Auburn State Recreation Area provides opportunities to camp and hike. Sutter Auburn Faith hospital receives praise from patients.”

Positioned between No. 72 Anacortes, Wash. and No. 74 Bemidji, Minn. in rankings released Monday, Auburn is the beneficiary of a ranking system that increased from a Top 10 Small Towns list in 2014.

The No. 1 small town this year is Lebanon, N.H.

Auburn Mayor Keith Nesbitt said Monday that he was gratified to see Auburn ranked as one of the best communities to live or visit.

“Of course, I fell the ranking is a little low because this is my favorite town,” Nesbitt said. “For years we’ve been in transition from pit stop to actual destination. The more time people spend here, I believe, the more they will fall in love with it.”

Nesbitt said Auburn’s attractions go beyond its recreational opportunities to include history and the arts. offers monthly Top 10 lists and an annual ranking of livable cities.

America was built on small towns,” Livability editor Matt Carmichael said. “Regardless of whether these cities and towns are suburbs of major metros, or hamlets unto themselves, they have great character and are great places to live.”

Kevin Hanley, Auburn Chamber of Commerce CEO, said the ranking should help the community as it attempts to encourage more tourism.

“The ranking is going to really help us convince people to stay,’ Hanley said. “I think we’re honored to be recognized as a great small town and the ranking captures what we love about Auburn – small-town charm, outdoor recreation, high quality of life, and good education and healthcare.”