Money magazine on Monday August 15th published its 2011 list of "100 best places to live in America," highlighting small towns across the country with populations of 50,000 or less. For the annual cover story, which hits stands on Aug. 19, Money looked for places with the optimal combination of job opportunities, fiscal strength, top-notch schools, safe streets, good health care, cultural and outdoor activities, and even nice weather.

Money's editors write, "With the current state of the economy -- and the dispiriting sight of the nation's leaders endlessly battling about how to fix it -- the phrase 'small town' conjures up images of a happier time. When unemployment wasn't above 9%. When people didn't stress out about home values. When school budgets weren't under siege. Those were the days, right?"

Here are Money's top 10 places to live in the United States:

1. Louisville, Colo.

2. Milton, Mass.

3. Solon, Ohio

4. Leesburg, Va.

5. Papillion, Neb.

6. Hanover, N.H.

7. Liberty, Mo.

8. Middleton, Wis.

9. Mukilteo, Wash.

10. Chanhassen, Minn.