Crowds enjoy the Taste of Bethesda, an annual event held in downtown Bethesda. Credit: BETHESDA BEAT FILE PHOTO

Bethesda is the 20th best place to live in the country, according to Money magazine’s annual ranking released Tuesday.

The community was one of two in Maryland named to the list of the 50 best places, with Ellicott City coming in at No. 4. Frisco, Texas, was named the No. 1 best place to live. Last year, Rockville was the only Maryland community to make the magazine’s list of the top 100 places to live in the country, coming in at No. 39.

Described as a “thriving urban center,” Bethesda was cited as one of the country’s wealthiest and most highly educated communities, and that residents have a “manageable” commute into Washington, D.C.

“A high number of residents hold professional or doctoral degrees; less than 10 percent of the population did not finish high school; and the median family income is just shy of $180,000 a year,” the magazine reported.

The annual ranking, which the magazine produces in partnership with, includes communities with populations of 50,000 or more residents. On its website, the magazine says it considered 583 communities, eliminating from contention any community with “more than double the national crime risk, less than 85 percent of its state’s median household income, or a lack of ethnic diversity.”

The magazine said its team considered “more than 135,000 different data points” when making its selections and reporters researched each place, visiting the community and interviewing residents. No more than two communities per state and one per county were selected in order to ensure geographic diversity.


“We put the greatest weight on economic health, public school performance, and local amenities; housing, cost of living, and diversity were also critical components,” the website said.


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