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Salem recognized for school system, homeownership

By Nadine Maeser, nmaeser@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jun 27 2013 05:02:17 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 11 2013 04:48:15 PM EDT

If you're looking for a city that offers a great public school system, affordable living and jobs with hefty incomes - you won't have to look too far.

SALEM, Va. -

If you're looking for a city that offers a great public school system, affordable living and jobs with hefty incomes you won't have to look too far.

The city of Salem claimed the number four spot for “Best Cities in Virginia for Young Families.”

An online group called “nerdwallet” did the study to help put southwest Virginia on the map.

"One of the more exciting parts of recognition I think is that we were the only community outside of the Virginia's golden crescent that was on the list," said Salem Mayor Randy Foley.

Foley said it wasn’t hard to see why the quaint and bustling city made it into the top ten on the list.

"Salem has for generations been a community that values young people looks after its children and by having that as a value set it attracts other young families," he said.

The ranking took a few things into consideration including homeownership. According to the study, it is extremely affordable in Salem.

The average price of a home in Salem comes in at about $166,000.

It also looked at average household income which comes in a little over $48,000, but the recognition doesn't stop there.

"It also reflects the quality of life here, the income levels of the folks in the community and the housing but without a doubt the credit goes to the school system and the quality of the system," said Foley.

The Salem School System helped bump the city into the top five on the list because of efficient test scores coming out of the district.

"We believe if we meet the needs of every child every day the test scores will take care of themselves so they are indicator but they're not nearly as important by doing right by every child," said Salem City Schools Superintendent Alan Seibert.

Below is the top ten list of “Best Cities in Virginia for Young Families.”

  1. Glen Allen
  2. Vienna
  3. Fairfax
  4. Salem
  5. Bon Air
  6. Burke
  7. Mechanicsville
  8. Oakton
  9. McLean
  10. Chesapeake