9. Apex, NC

Apex, NC City of Apex

Top 50 rank: 9

Population: 40,205

Residents enjoy shopping and socializing in Apex’s historic downtown, which plays host to events like a jazz festival and the Peak City Pig Fest. For more outdoor fun, there’s the 400 acres of parks, baseball diamonds, and tennis courts.

The town has a range of affordable homes and is still growing, with residential building permits up 60% in the first quarter of 2013 compared with 2012.

Apex’s growing population means, though, that while the schools still outperform many in the state, they’ve become more crowded. (A new high school is slated to open in 2015.) A new toll road has shrunk the roundtrip drive to the Research Triangle by 40 minutes but costs $3.66. –Taylor Tepper

Apex, NC

Town stats

Median family income (per year) $93,207
Job growth % (2010-2012) 12.45%
Median home price (2012) $225,000
Reading test scores (% above/below average) 23.9%
Math test scores (% above/below average) 17.1%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 1
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 15

Financials

Median family income (per year) $93,207
Family purchasing power (annual, cost-of-living adjusted) $102,651
Sales tax 6.75%
State income tax rate (highest bracket) 7.75%I
State income tax rate (lowest bracket) 6.00%I
Auto insurance premiums (Average price quotes, for the state) $1,424
Job growth % (2010-2012) 12.45%

Housing

Median home price (2012) $225,000
Average property taxes(2012) $2,360

Education

Colleges, universities and professional schools (within 30 miles) 18
Reading test scores (% above/below state average) 23.9%
Test scores math (% above/below average) 17.1%
% students attending public/private schools (located within town limits) 92.3/7.7

Quality of life

Air quality index* (% of days AQI ranked as good) 85.0%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 1
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 15
Median commute time (in minutes) 22.6
% population with commute 45 mins. or longer 10.4%
% population walk or bike to work 2.9%

Leisure and culture

Movie theaters (within 15 miles) 20
Restaurants (within 15 miles) 1,562
Bars (within 15 miles) 161
Public golf courses (within 30 miles) 87
Libraries (within 15 miles) 22
Museums (accredited by AAM; within 30 miles) 5
Ski resorts (within 100 miles) N.A.
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts) 0.8

Weather

Annual rainfall (inches) 43.05
% clear days in the area 59%
High temp in July ° F 88.9°
Low temp in Jan ° F 32°

Meet the neighbors

Median age 34.4
Completed at least some college (% of residents) 81.9%
Married % 61.5%
Divorced % 6.3%
Racial diversity index (100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity) 92.2

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