Boca Raton is the highest-ranked small city from Palm Beach in the United States, according to a new study released by Wallet Hub. As a whole, Boca came in ranked as the 116th best small city in America out of a ranking of 1,268 — which is pretty darned good, all things considered.
The study looked to identify what Wallet Hub's Dian Popa calls "small cities where Americans can enjoy good quality of life and affordable living costs."
Analysts from the website compared small cities with a population of 25,000 to 100,000, coming up with the 1,268. They then looked into 22 key metrics ranging from housing costs to school-system quality to the number of restaurants per capita.
According to the metrics, Boca ranks highest in the "Quality of Life" category, coming in 39th, just two points behind the overall number-one city, Princeton, New Jersey. Boca ranks 327th in "Economic Health" and 430th in "Education and Health."
Boca ranked the lowest in "Affordability," coming in at 889th.
Back in January, New Times ranked all 38 cities in Palm Beach County, and the results were not all that different, though the methodology was purely subjective.
While we ranked Delray number one, Boca was not far behind, ranked fourth.
Here's what New Times said about Boca:
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4. Boca Raton
Pro: While Boca usually finds itself on the end of many punch lines about South Florida's elitist culture, there is much to love about this city. Boca has that one quality all great cities must possess: options. What are you into? Food? Yup, Boca is delicious. Music? From Mizner Park to Sunset Cove, Boca's got that too. Art? We'll drop you off at the Boca Raton Museum of Art.
Con: Unfortunately, there remains a hard plastic shell of snootiness surrounding this city named after a mouse's mouth. While Boca certainly has expanded, there are still barely enough parking spots for all those Lamborghinis. And as you walk its streets, you can't help but feel fat, poor, and an overall sense of just not being good enough. Boca is that friend who sits in front of you eating a salad while you dive teeth-first into an ice cream cone.
Bottom Line: While being rich helps, it's no longer a requirement. And even if you're on a budget, you can find your happy place in Boca.
Several small cities in Palm Beach made Wallet Hub's list, with Royal Palm Beach coming in at 549th, Wellington 477th, Delray 463rd, and Palm Beach Gardens 378th.
But Boca came out on top among them.
So, there you go, Boca. Bragging rights.