Cincinnati named in top 10 of 'Best Value Cities'

Kiplinger's Personal Finance has named its top ten cities that provide the best value, and Cincinnati is on the list.

'Value' is defined as low living costs, strong economies and great amenities.

To identify the winners, Kiplinger's teamed up with Kevin Stolarick, research director at the Martin Prosperity Institute – a think tank that studies economic prosperity.

"We searched beyond traditional economic measures and included quality of life and the ability to tap people's creative potential," says Stolarick, who this year provided data to evaluate U.S. cities for livability and greatest overall value. "People today are choosing locations based as much on  amenities and atmosphere as they are on financial opportunities."

Kiplinger's staff members visited each of the top ten cities to help determine the final rankings.

The magazine says Cincinnati is "flexing its economic muscle and revamping its downtown." The cost of living in Cincinnati is about 7 percent below the national average, and has a park within one mile of every resident.

These cities have several common themes. Public-private partnerships have been vital not just to creating great public spaces, but also to helping nurture business environments that attract employers and bring high-paying jobs. Low living costs, especially when it comes to housing, make these cities ideal for people looking for value, or business owners seeking great places to open new operations. And our top ten also put a premium on livability, including lots of free amenities, music and arts venues, and outdoor activities.

"It's this trifecta of vitality, livability and low costs that we know our readers are interested in," says Kiplinger's senior editor Robert Frick. "And because all these cities have a high percentage of residents in the creative class—basically creative, educated people—which closely mirrors our readership, we think our 2011 Best Value Cities are communities where they'll feel right at home."

Omaha, Neb. topped the list, followed by Charlotte, Nashville, Colorado Springs, Knoxville, Lexington, Ky., Little Rock, Wichita and Cedar Rapids

This year's picks are profiled in the September issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, and online at with additional interactive features.

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