City of Carmel                                            One Civic Square, Carmel, IN 46032


Date:           June 8, 2004
Contact:      Nancy Heck (317) 571-2494

Release:      Immediate

Hamilton County Voted One of Best Places to Live in America
by American City Business Journals
Carmel, IN – Hamilton County, Indiana, in which Carmel is located, was voted one of the best places to live in America by a new American City Business Journals study.  Hamilton County ranked eighth out of the top 20 highest-ranking counties in the study.  Counties were selected based on a combination of statistical indicators including median household income, housing size and prices, educational opportunities, and ease of travel.  Carmel was also named one of the best places to live in America for cities under 100,000 population by Money Magazine in December 2003.
“We are extremely pleased that others recognize what we have known for years … that this is one of the best places to live, work and raise a family anywhere.  As we see the completion of significant structures in City Center, such as the Performing Arts Pavilion, the development of the Carmel Arts and Design District in Old Town, and the addition of Central Park to Carmel’s park system we will continue attracting businesses to our area.  This will only improve our rankings in databases such as the one in the American City Business Journal,” said Mayor Jim Brainard.

            The challenges of economic development are to keep up with infrastructure, maintain and enhance quality of life, balance quality of life with growth and livability, and to continue attracting a skilled workforce.  Carmel has played a major role in meeting these challenges and therefore, was an important factor in the 8th place ranking for Hamilton County.  As of 2003, Hamilton County had a population of 207,160 with a median household income of $81,114.  The City of Carmel has an estimated population of 60,000 and has a median household income at $95,394.  Fifty-eight per cent of Carmel adults have a four-year degree, while 50 per cent of adults in Hamilton County have a four-year degree.  Out of the 8,050 total businesses in Hamilton County, Carmel claims 2,875 with a total employment of 51,950.  Carmel is home to many corporate headquarters, such as Conseco, Delta Faucet, Thomson Consumer Electronics and Duke Realty.  Many other corporate headquarters have relocated to Carmel including ADESA, Midwest ISO, and J.D. Byrider.

            Carmel is able to attract many businesses and high-paying jobs because of the high quality of life and many amenities offered to its citizens.  Carmel’s parkland has increased from 40 acres to more than 500 acres, including plans for Central Park that will house a community recreation center, aquatics area and nature preserve.  Carmel has many trails and multi-use paths, such as the 5.2 mile Monon Greenway, that connect parks and neighborhoods throughout the City to promote a pedestrian lifestyle and to limit urban sprawl.  The renovation of Old Town as the new Carmel Arts and Design District will bring art galleries, boutiques, high-end retail and restaurants. 

The City Center development, Carmel’s designated downtown area where residents can gather for community events, will have a performing arts pavilion, museum, amphitheater, veterans memorial, restaurants, retail stores and office space, as well as a variety of residential housing options.  Carmel also provides well-maintained roadways and public spaces, well-equipped and highly trained public safety personnel, a state-of-the-art emergency communications system, and award-winning sewer and water utilities.  

The American City Business Journal used 20 statistical indicators to rate living conditions in all 3,141 counties and independent cities across the nation.  The ratings formula compared each county’s performance against the U.S. county-by-county averages in 20 categories, yielding an overall quality of life score.  Overall scores ranged from a high of 18.99 points to a low of minus –16.04 points.  Hamilton County has a score of 16.32 and ranks 99.78 percent in the national percentile.  To learn more about the study visit the American City Business Journals website at
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