Why Los Alamos? Quality of life makes town "Best Of"
Real secrets related to Los Alamos have as much to do with quality of life as prosperity and stabilityRecognized by Forbes Magazine as the Richest County in the Western United States in 2012, Los Alamos County residents have a median annual household income of $103,643. LANL is the primary employer of over 7000 scientists, engineers, technicians, and professionals. Unemployment in town is less than 3%, about half the statewide average. And LANL’s presence translates into the highest concentration (68%) of top level jobs— managers, scientists, engineers, lawyers, doctors and teachers among them – in any U.S. county.
Los Alamos County ranks at the top of the healthiest places in the United States in 2012, according to a recent study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin. The study is an annual check-up that highlights the healthiest and least healthy counties in every state. The ranking is based on key factors that influence health such as education rates, income levels, and access to healthy foods and medical care.
Los Alamos also holds a powerful appeal for those who love the outdoors: the mesa-top town is known for its sunny days, blue skies and spectacular views in every direction. Outdoor opportunities are plentiful with endless hiking and biking trails, an aquatic facility where many Olympic hopefuls train, a high altitude golf course and challenging downhill ski area.
At an altitude of 7200 feet, the town is tucked at the base of the Jemez Mountains and enjoys changing seasons, melting snow, emerging buds of spring, summer’s colorful flowers, and changing aspens in the fall. Winters are relatively short with many mild, sunny days, and just enough snow to keep the local ski area thriving during the peak of the season.
Social and community activities are not so typical of a small town, and include a community symphony orchestra, community ballet and theater productions, and regular art and farmer’s markets.
Part of what ranks Los Alamos as an attractive place to live is the high performing educational system. The public school system is academically recognized by a Silver Medal ranking in U.S. News & World Report . The community demands and values high quality education.
Overall, Los Alamos has been a frequent contender on a number of nationally recognized “Best of” lists for a number of years, including a ranking of #10 in 2006 America’s Top Dream Towns; Best Small Town in 2005; and one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People in 2006. But many residents call Los Alamos home because of its slower pace, low levels of crime, noise, and pollution.
The beauty of the landscape mountain views, desert vistas, and the quality of fresh air and blue skies combine to make Los Alamos and Northern New Mexico truly a land of enchantment.
With entrepreneurial and cutting edge science opportunities rare in towns so far from major urban centers, the real secrets related to Los Alamos have as much to do with quality of life as prosperity and stability.