Nashville tops this year’s list of “50 Smart Places to Live,” an annual ranking of U.S. cities based on affordability and quality of life. The smart places study is a cooperative effort between Kiplinger’s, the personal finance magazine pioneer, and Bert Sperling, author of Best and the book Cities Ranked and Rated.

Southern hospitality, a mild climate, wide range of affordable housing options, and a “phenomenal entertainment scene” all helped Nashville earn its top spot on the list.

And Nashville has earned other kudos this year as well. In January, Expansion Management, a business expansion and relocation magazine, identified Nashville as “America’s Hottest City” – an annual survey based on the perceptions of professional site location consultants.

A city press release reports that crime in Nashville fell to a five-year low in the first quarter of 2006 – yet another feather in its cap.

Other cities that made this year’s Kiplinger’s Smart Places list include Minneapolis, Albuquerque and Atlanta. Visit for a complete list of the top 50 “smart places”, a slide show highlighting the sites and scenery in the top ten, and a personal calculator to help readers find a customized list of their own smartest places to live.