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Marietta named an affordable suburb, best place to live for 2020

By Kristal Dixon, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(CNT) City News And Talk #atlanta-ga

The city of Marietta has been recognized on two national lists as one of the most affordable suburbs and best places to live in the United States.

The city ranked eighth in Zillow’s and Yelp’s Top 10 Affordable Suburbs with a City Feel and 76th in Livability’s 2020 Top 100 Best Places to Live.

Zillow and Yelp ranked hundreds of suburbs based on its “Cityness Index,” which measures housing affordability compared to the nearest large cities and around the country. It also weighs the mix of businesses such as restaurants, nightlife and the arts, customer reviews of those places and social media check-ins.

The cities making the top 10, according to the organizations, are the suburbs “that best strike that type of balanced living.” Marietta, which was the only city in the Peach State named, placed in the top 10 largely because it is more affordable than Atlanta and Smyrna and its “the culinary scene rivals that of Atlanta,” according to the list.

Livability studied information like outdoor recreation, community engagement, affordability, economic stability and safety. New this year is the organization’s “opportunity score,” which weighs a city’s economic growth, job numbers and access to broadband Internet service.

Marietta was one of three Georgia cities making Livability’s list. Livability says Marietta offers “high quality of life and relatively low cost of living,” access to outdoor amenities and a thriving arts community. Other Georgia cities on the list include Athens at number 32 and Alpharetta at number 98.

Marietta City Manager Bill Bruton said he’s honored that these organizations have recognized “our wonderful, vibrant, and diverse community.”

“Our restaurants, nightlife, museums, and arts scene have flourished over the years to create a place where people want to be,” he said. “Our outdoor recreation and parks facilities have made our city a sports destination, while our economic development projects and job growth have steadily continued even during the pandemic.”