College towns also did well on our list, particularly those in states that are both less expensive and outside the Great Lakes. Although universities--and their endowments--are feeling the recession's pinch, they continue to attract students. In fact, colleges saw a bumper crop of applicants this year, as members of the huge millennial generation, encompassing those born after 1983, reach that stage of life. More recently, college towns have emerged as incubators for new companies and as attractive places for retirees.
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