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"We knew it all along! This is a great place to live!"

The Auburn - Opelika area is named in a list of the top 50 "best small communities" in America.

Auburn-Opelika ranks 46th, according to the recently published book, "The Rating Guide to Life in America's Small Cities." The book was compiled by G. Scott Thomas, who assigned points in 10 categories: climate, economics, education, health care, housing, public safety, transportation, urban proximity, sophistication and diversions.

The latter two categories measured such things as voter turnout, population turnover, newspaper readership, movie theaters, parks, golf courses, restaurants and retail stores.

Scores ranged from 559 to 335 out of a possible maximum of 1,000 points.

The best small community to call home is San Luis Obispo, California, says Thomas. The worst: the twin towns of Nampa/Caldwell, Idaho.

The book ranks all 219 "micropolitan" areas for their livability.

San Luis Obispo's "easygoing charm" and "mild climate" helped earn it the top rating.

Micropolitan areas are defined by the author as cities of between 15,000 and 50,000 people in counties of at least 40,000 population.