Today, MONEY reveals the 2012 list of MONEY's 100 Best Places to Live in America, highlighting small cities across the country with populations of 50,000-300,000. For the annual cover story, on sale Friday, August 24, MONEY looked for places with the optimal combination of economic strength, quality health care, low crime, great schools, and lots to do.

Carmel, Indiana tops this year's list at number one. Twenty minutes away from downtown Indianapolis, Carmel has a strong economy, affordable homes, low taxes, great schools, bike paths everywhere and a new performing arts center. MONEY editors write, "Carmel's business district has the second-largest concentration of office workers in Indiana and an unemployment rate that's a little more than half the national average.... Carmel also has excellent schools, a big sports and recreation center, roundabouts to keep traffic flowing, wide bike lanes, and an off-street bike path with a direct route through the center of town. All that, plus a variety of housing options ranging from older homes to new subdivisions, and you have an irresistible draw for families." Carmel, which has a population of 79,200, ranked at #14 on the Best Places to Live list in 2010, when MONEY last ranked small cities.

MONEY's 2012 Top Ten List:

1. Carmel, IN
2. McKinney, TX
3. Eden Prairie, MN
4. Newton, MA
5. Redmond, WA
6. Irvine, CA
7. Reston, VA
8. Columbia/Ellicott City, MD
9. Overland Park, KS
10. Chapel Hill, NC