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Forbes names Hamilton, N.Y., as one of friendliest towns in America

By Tim O'Keeffe on December 21, 2012
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Village Green

The Village Green is a focal point for many activities in Hamilton, whether it’s lunch from one of the village restaurants, a symphony concert, or an antique car show. (Photo by Andy Daddio)

Smile, Hamilton, N.Y.! Or more specifically, keep smiling, because you’ve just been named one of America’s most friendly towns by Forbes magazine.

The beautiful home of Colgate University was ranked No. 11 in a story on Forbes.com.

Here is what the article had to say about Hamilton:

“This tiny historic Central New York town — home to a village by the same name — was founded in 1795 as Payne’s Settlement. Today it is perhaps best known as the location of prestigious Colgate University. Crime rates are markedly lower than the national average and despite being a college town, the rate of home ownership is more than 60%. The Village Green offers local eateries and merchants as well as some of the area’s most historic homes. Neighbors gather for fundraisers, holiday parties, safety awareness events, holiday charities and fitness groups, according to Nextdoor.”

To create the list, Forbes said it teamed up with Nextdoor.com, a San Francisco, Calif.-based social network for neighborhoods, to assess 500 small metro areas with populations between 5,500 and 150,000.

Using data from the U.S. Census, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, and City-Data.com, it ranked the towns based on four data points: percentage of owner-occupied homes (studies have shown a direct correlation between homeownership and neighborhood stability); the crime rate; charitable giving; and the percentage of college graduates (research has found that college-educated folks typically display more civic engagement, with higher rates of voting and volunteering).

Nextdoor then conducted qualitative surveys among its membership in the towns that rated the highest to help finalize the ranking of the top 15.

Village of Hamilton

Downtown Hamilton is lit up for the holidays. (Photo by Andy Daddio)

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