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Nearest city: Wichita
Median family income: $55,663
Runners-up: Lawrence, Olathe
Salina, located 95 miles north of Wichita, Kan., is one of the world's largest wheat-producing areas, a regional trade center, and a major manufacturing center for lighting, automotive batteries, and foods. It shot to the top of our list because the cost of living and crime rate are low and school test scores are relatively high.