First Evans, now Martinez.
For the second year in a row, a Columbia County township was named Money magazine’s Top 50 list of places to live in the United States.
Among the cities and towns with a population of 25,000 to 500,000, Martinez was ranked 21st on the publication’s 35th annual list.
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“Things are going well in Columbia County, and that’s putting Martinez back in the spotlight,” said Kerry Bridges, chairman of the board of directors for Columbia County’s Development Agency.
“We’re excited to have Martinez named one of the best places to live in the United States,” said Doug Duncan, chairman of the Columbia County Board of Commissioners. “It’s not just a testament to just how successful Columbia County is, it’s the entire Augusta region.”
In 2020, Evans took first place on the list.
According to Money, the rankings are based on “nearly 100 different metrics,” which include data that falls into nine categories – cost of living; economic opportunity; Diversity; Education; “Fun” (or convenience); Health and safety; Real estate market; Income and personal finances; and quality of life.
Evans didn’t make the list this year because the list’s editors and researchers disqualified last year’s top five churches in an effort to “keep the list interesting” in 2021. In addition, winners were limited to one per county and three per state.
Two other Georgia cities, both in suburbs of Atlanta, made the list – Peachtree City at number 24 and Woodstock at number 31.
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It’s not uncommon for the same county on the money list to spawn a top 50 community in recent years. This year, 21 counties in addition to Columbia County completed the feat.
It is also not the first time that the unincorporated communities have been highlighted in the magazine. When Money curated a top 100 list of the best communities, Evans was ranked 32nd in 2005 and Martinez ranked 76th in 2007.
When describing Martinez, the magazine highlighted many outdoor recreational spots like the Savannah River and several trails for hikers, joggers, and cyclists.
“Aside from its extensive outdoor offerings, Martinez is among the top 5 for economic growth opportunities among the 1,200+ locations we considered for our list this year,” the magazine wrote in its new issue. “Of the 50 positions that have made it, it is No. 6 for job creation in the (past) five years. The suburb also had the third lowest unemployment rate of any city on our list in June at just 3%, well below the 5.9% for the country as a whole. ”
The magazine also cited Fort Gordon’s U.S. Army Cyber Command and Columbia County’s new Amazon facility as evidence of Martinez’s growth potential.
According to the numbers
Columbia County’s Martinez Ward, as reported by Money magazine:
Median household income: $ 82,027
Median house price: $ 180,712
Unemployment rate: 2.6%