WINDHAM — To some residents, it was surprise. To others, it was no surprise that Windham has been named one of the top places to live in the country.
The town of 13,599 residents has been ranked 30th out of 50 in CNN Money and Money Magazine’s annual listing of the “Best Small Towns” in the United States. The listing appears in Money’s September edition.
News of Windham’s new celebrity status was spreading like wildfire around town yesterday.
“It’s a great honor for this town and the residents of this town,” Selectmen Chairman Phil Lochiatto said. “It’s the residents who make it such a great place to live.”
Windham is just one of two New Hampshire towns to make the list. Merrimack ranked 23rd.
The top small town on the list was Sharon, Mass. — one of three Bay State communties named. The others are Westford, at No. 11, and Shrewsbury at 15. All the towns have populations between 10,000 and 50,000.
The listing was based on numerous factors, including job growth, average household income, taxes, school test schools and crime rates.
Windham is recognized for its “quaint atmosphere” and natural beauty, including 1,500 acres of recreation and conservation land and location along Cobbetts Pond and Canobie Lake.
The town is also touted for its proximity to Boston and location in a state with no sales or income taxes. Windham is also lauded for its new high school, which opened four years ago.
“It’s a great honor,” Windham Community Development Director Laura Scott said. “Windham is a hidden gem.”
While Scott was initially surprised to hear Windham made the list, it wasn’t a complete surprise when it became a topic of discussion around town earlier this week.
She was contacted by CNN Money staffer Kerry Flynn a month ago and told Windham had been recommended.