The city of Manhattan is once again the No. 2 college town in America, according to Livability.com.
The website, which provides analysis on small- to medium-sized cities, ranked all U.S. cities with at least one college campus and a population between 20,000 and 350,000 based on the ratio of the city’s median salary to its median one-bedroom rent, the percentage of the population aged 20-29, the number of education jobs per 1,000 jobs, and the ratio of the city median salary to the national median for education jobs.
K-State’s “elite academics, greats sports teams and friendly Midwestern vibe” joined the city’s big but not-too-big size, affordability, outdoor recreation opportunities and jobs at Fort Riley and K-State in putting the city at No. 2.
The list also highlighted the “Wabash Cannonball” as the university’s coolest campus tradition, the Konza Prairie as the best place to get out and about and Varsity Donuts as the best fourth meal. Aggieville was named the place to be on a Saturday night, while Tallgrass Tap House and Little Apple Brewing Company shared the title of most beloved breweries.
The Dusty Bookshelf was named the best bookstore in town, with Arrow Coffee Co. taking the title of favorite coffee shop study spot.
According to the list, K-State’s core sense of family contributes to Manhattan’s college town feel and keeps alumni coming back to town.
This is the second year Manhattan ranked No. 2 on Livability.com’s list.
Manhattan is ranked ahead of fellow Big 12 towns, Ames, Iowa, and Lawrence, homes to Iowa State University and the University of Kansas, respectively.
Livability.com’s top 10 U.S. college towns
10. Gainesville, FL (127,559) — University of Florida
9. Greenville, NC, (88,598) — East Carolina University
8. Champaign, IL (84,008) — University of Illinois
7. College Station, TX (101,141) — Texas A&M
6. Lawrence, KS (91,305) — University of Kansas
5. Corvallis, OR (54,981) — Oregon State University
4. Fairbanks, AK (32,193) — University of Alaska Fairbanks
3. Ames, IA (62,815) — Iowa State University
2. Manhattan, KS (55,769) — Kansas State University
1. Ithaca, NY (30,565) — Cornell and Ithaca College