Three summer ago, Norman was basking in the glow of being chosen as the sixth Best Small City to live in by Money Magazine.

Norman ranked high in the ranking of best small cities under 300,000 population.

The magazine’s editors cited great schools, affordable housing, low incidence of crime, strong economies and low commutes. The editors also liked the low cost of housing and the University of Oklahoma.

Some of those same factors went into the newest ranking for the area.

In an exclusive ranking for Businessweek.com, Bloomberg Rankings chose Cleveland County as the third most affordable place to live in the nation.

Cleveland County is the state’s third largest in population and second-fastest growing county. Canadian County is the fastest-growing county.

Bloomberg analyzed government-gathered data on more than 3,000 counties across the U.S.

Besides housing costs, crime, unemployment and educational attainment, editors looked at family income, poverty, commute time, air quality, diversity and share of families with children.

The top counties were in the Midwest and the bottom rankers were in coastal states like Florida, California and Rhode Island. States with generally high costs of living did not fare well.

Businessweek.com said the county’s population of 248,408 had a median family income of $64,350 and a 5.7 percent unemployment rate. More than 30 percent of the adult population had bachelor’s degrees.

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