“Best” can be a subjective term, particularly when we ascribe a location as “the best place to live.” But niche.com takes an analytical approach to that idea, ranking communities through data. Its searchable database uses information from the U.S. Census Bureau, FBI, CDC and other places to tally up which communities have the least crime, the best schools, healthiest people — in other words, which ones are the “best.”
Here are the top 5 communities in St. Charles County, based on the niche.com ranking:
No. 1: Cottleville
Population: About 5,000
Like all of the communities on this list, Cottleville is largely considered a suburb of St. Louis. It is only about 30 minutes from the city. The oldest community in St. Charles County, Cottleville has deep roots and a rich history despite its small size. Niche gives it A ratings in public schools and housing, an A+ in the “good for families” category, A minus in crime and safety, a B in nightlife and a B minus in diversity. It also seems to be growing fairly quickly: At the 2010 Census, its population was right around 3,000 people.The average home is worth $261,900 and the average rent is $1,250.
No. 2: O’Fallon
Population: About 86,000
Another St. Louis suburb, O’Fallon is much larger than nearby Cottleville and has been growing rapidly. With low crime, good schools and plenty to do, it’s not hard to understand why. Niche gave O’Fallon As and Bs in every category, with an A+ in “good for families.” The average home costs $198,100 and average rent is $1,020 a month.
No. 3: Dardenne Prairie
Population: About 12,000
Located in the “Golden Triangle,” Dardenne Prairie is bigger than a very small town, but still has room to grow. Interestingly, Niche does not give Dardenne Prairie a rating for crime and safety, but it gets As and Bs in every other category.
No. 4: Lake St. Louis
Population: About 15,000
A new community by Missouri standards, Lake St. Louis started in 1966 as a recreational lake community. Now, the full-fledged community offers all the amenities of a city with the lake as a scenic backdrop. It scored all As and Bs on the Niche report card. The median home value is $245,500, and average rent is $987 per month.
No. 5: St. Peters
Population: Between 55,000-57,000
Located just off Interstate 70, St. Peters is another St. Louis suburb with easy access to both more and less populated areas, depending on which direction you drive. St. Peters was founded in the late 1700s by French traders, then populated by German immigrant farmers in the early to mid-1800s. It scored all As and Bs on its Niche report card, with As in its family friendliness and education strength, and an A minus in housing. The median home value is $168,400, and average rent is $898.
Honorable mention: No. 6: St. Charles
Population: About 69,000
Sharing the name as the county in which it resides, St. Charles County packs a lot in. Located on the Missouri River, it offers beautiful scenery, and also is home to many of the 2017 Best of St. Charles (County) Places published by the St. Charles County Suburban Journals (via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Niche scored it lower than the top 5 communities in most categories, however; St. Charles’ highest scores were A minuses for its schools and family friendliness. It scored B pluses for housing, nightlife and diversity, and a B minus for crime and safety. The median home value is $179,200 and average rent is $885.
Want to know how St. Charles County compares to Lincoln County or elsewhere? Give us a shout!