Fayette County

Lexington is the No. 5 college town among best places to live, website says

The University of Kentucky campus
The University of Kentucky campus

The website Livability.com has named Lexington one of the top 10 college towns in America.

Livability.com showcases America's best places to live, providing what it says is an in-depth look at the most livable cities in North America.

Lexington ranked fifth after Boulder, Colo.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Gainesville, Fla.; and Columbia, Mo., according to a news release.

Livability.com editors considered a range of factors, including cost of living, walkability, cultural amenities and pollution levels. They then focused on cities where a university is the top employer and a key economic driver.

They considered student-to-resident ratios, educational attainment, college-led community outreach programs and the percentage of residents ages 21 to 34 (for evidence that people stick around or move in after graduation).

"For a small to mid-sized town, having a great college or university can add immeasurably to the livability," editor Matt Carmichael said. "Schools provide a level of economic stability, a constant influx of new residents, and cultural and sporting events that cities couldn't produce on their own."

"We're proud to be on that list," Lexington Mayor Jim Gray responded in a statement Friday, "Lexington is more than a college town; we are a university city. We get all of the positives of brilliant students, professors and graduates — from the University of Kentucky and also Transylvania University and Bluegrass Community & Technical College ... ."