Best Places To Live 2013

15. Shrewsbury, MA

201309_BPL_SHREWSBURY
Shrewsbury, MA Shrewsbury

Top 50 rank: 15

Population: 36,048

Shrewsbury offers scenic small-town life with easy access to jobs in Worcester and Boston. While property taxes increased by 5% last year, the town still has one of the lowest rates in the state. The town center is packed with shops and ethnically-diverse restaurants, and more than $8 million worth of renovations are in store for the public library.

For outdoor fun, there are 75 acres of recreation fields and fountains at Dean Park and crew regattas on Lake Quinsigamond. –K.F.

Shrewsbury, MA

Town stats

Median family income (per year) $104,008
Job growth % (2010-2012) 3.83%
Median home price (2012) $288,250
Reading test scores (% above/below average) 34.8%
Math test scores (% above/below average) 45.8%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 0
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 8

Financials

Median family income (per year) $104,008
Family purchasing power (annual, cost-of-living adjusted) $99,605
Sales tax (state) 6.25%
State income tax rate (highest bracket) 5.25%I
State income tax rate (lowest bracket) 5.25%I
Auto insurance premiums (Average price quotes, for the state) N.A.
Job growth % (2010-2012) 3.83%

Housing

Median home price (2012) $288,250
Average property taxes(2012) $3,916

Education

Colleges, universities and professional schools (within 30 miles) 37
Reading test scores (% above/below state average) 34.8%
Test scores math (% above/below average) 45.8%
% students attending public/private schools (located within town limits) 76.4/23.6

Quality of life

Air quality index* (% of days AQI ranked as good) 88.1%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 0
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 8
Median commute time (in minutes) 21.3
% population with commute 45 mins. or longer 20.3%
% population walk or bike to work 1.6%

Leisure and culture

Movie theaters (within 15 miles) 14
Restaurants (within 15 miles) 1,371
Bars (within 15 miles) 137
Public golf courses (within 30 miles) 185
Libraries (within 15 miles) 44
Museums (accredited by AAM; within 30 miles) 15
Ski resorts (within 100 miles) N.A.
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts) 1.2

Weather

Annual rainfall (inches) 42.53
% clear days in the area 55%
High temp in July ° F 81°
Low temp in Jan ° F 15.2°

Meet the neighbors

Median age 39.6
Completed at least some college (% of residents) 74.9%
Married % 60.9%
Divorced % 4.5%
Racial diversity index (100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity) 86.9

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