Houghton makes the list of top 100 most livable towns

HOUGHTON — The Upper Peninsula is home to many great communities, but only one of them made it onto a national list of the most livable small towns in the country.

With more than 12,000 small towns considered, the city of Houghton was selected to be in the top 100 of the most livable small towns in America. The Copper Country city was ranked 96th on the national list released by Livability.com — one of three Michigan cities to make the list and the only one in the Upper Peninsula.

To qualify, the city must have a population of less than 20,000 and offer many of the same amenities of a larger city. To those who live here, the ranking is an honor but not necessarily a surprise.

“I understand that this, too, looked at employment and schools and even grocery shopping,” said Houghton City Manager Eric Waara. “For as remote as we theoretically are, we’ve got a lot of those amenities that people are looking for here so it’s great to be included on the list.”

Houghton was credited for having a year–round tourist season, affordable housing, and good job availability. The city also benefits from being at the heart of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

“We’ve got the university, we’ve got the recreational opportunities in town here,” said Waara. “This has always been somewhat the center of things.”

Number one on the list was Lebanon, New Hampshire with Michigan’s Traverse City coming in at number eleven and Petoskey at 54.