Time’s Money magazine has named Council Bluffs among its top 100 Best Places to Live in America.
Council Bluffs comes in at No. 64 on the rankings — just ahead of No. 65, Papillion, Nebraska.
The magazine teamed with Realtor.com on the rankings, which used criteria including population, median home prices, median household income and weather.
“Our people,” Council Bluffs City Councilman Nate Watson said when asked why he thought the city is a great place. “We go out of our way to help one another.”
The ranking listed the median home price in Council Bluffs at $137,333 and median household income at $46,844, while noting the city has 216 clear days per year. Other factors in the ranking include an average commute time of 18 minutes and a high school graduation rate of 89 percent.
“How exciting for Council Bluffs to be receive this designation and for a broader audience to learn what we already know, that children throughout our community have access to exceptional educational opportunities,” said Council Bluffs Schools Superintendent Vickie Murillo. “We all should be proud that Council Bluffs is a wonderful community that values education and focuses on student success.”
Murillo mentioned Council Bluffs’ designation this summer as an All-America City, too.
“We hope more and more families choose to call Council Bluffs home,” she said.
Money and Realtor.com also listed projected growth in the city at -0.1 percent and the population at 63,642 as factors. The magazine pulled statistics from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Education, Moody’s Analytics and elsewhere.
“I think Council Bluffs is finally getting due recognition on great things that are happening in the community,” Mayor Matt Walsh said.
Walsh pointed to the city recently earning All-America City and Iowa Great Places designations.
“I think it speaks volumes of the great things happening in Council Bluffs,” he said. “We’re excited to be recognized. And think it’s long due.”
Pottawattamie County Supervisor Scott Belt said the ranking benefits the city from an economic development standpoint, helping “to encourage people to come and give a look at what we offer.”
“Any time you get that kind of exposure, it brings some additional visibility to you. Gives people an opportunity to look,” he said. “We have some things coming along in the right direction.”
Belt is running against Walsh and Shawn Burgstrom for mayor.
“The comparatively low cost of living in the Midwest and the low unemployment rate are probably two main factors for Council Bluffs, and other nearby cities, making the list,” Burgstrom said. “It’s good to be recognized, but there is room for improvement.”
The full list is available at goo.gl/An2Z9r.
Locally, La Vista, Nebraska — the city you immediately think of when you hear the word “Papillion” — was also on the list, at No. 69.
Three other cities in Iowa made the list. North Liberty, located just north of Iowa City, ranked No. 75. Two spots after that came Dubuque in north-central Iowa at No. 77. Urbandale — in the Des Moines area — clocked in at No. 87.
No. 1 on the list? Fishers, Indiana, a town of about 86,000 people 16 miles from Indianapolis.