The Lansing State Journal turned me on to another one of those "Best Of" lists, this time compiled by the website Niche. It lists the best places to live in America, and Mid-Michigan has a top five nation wide community...Okemos.

Niche is based out of Pittsburgh. They use hard data and statistics to determine the best communities in the U.S. in terms of qualities of life and education. For this particular list, the towns were ranked based on public education, crime, job opportunities, cost of living, and local amenities.

Okemos is ranked as the fifth best community in America using that criteria, number one in Michigan. Okemos was given an A+ overall grade. Perfect grades were given for its public schools, housing, and family friendliness. There were twelve categories graded for each town. Okemos has those three A+ grades, an A, three A-minuses, and three B-pluses on its report card. It's lowest grade is a C+ for weather...shocking!!

One area where Okemos received a NG grade was crime. I'm pretty sure it doesn't stand for "Not Good". I would lean towards it meaning "Not Graded" since the community of Okemos is technically an unincorporated community, governed and policed by Meridian Charter Township. I would imagine any crime data compiled through the FBI would also include the entire township, including Haslett. Haslett is ranked the number 22 community in Michigan, also with an A+ rating and NG crime grade.

According to this list of best Michigan communities, Niche has Okemos and Haslett ranked as the top two communities in all of Mid-Michigan, and the only communities in the Top 25.