New Albany named top suburb in the nation

New Albany is the best suburb in America — or at least Business Insider, a business-focused website, has put the Columbus suburb on top of its annual list of the “Best 50 Suburbs in America."

“It speaks to the strength and beauty of our community,” said New Albany spokesman Scott McAfee.

Business Insider cites the 21-minute commute to Columbus, good schools, low crime, recreational and cultural activities, housing affordability and homeownership rates for the ranking.

Four other Columbus suburbs also made the list — Powell, No. 12; Dublin, No. 16; Upper Arlington, No. 26; and Bexley, No. 35.

“It really goes to show how great a place the Columbus region is to live and to work,” McAfee said. “The really interesting thing is that if you look at these five communities, we’re all different.”

In addition to the schools, 30 miles of walking trails and low crime rate, he said many people don’t realize what a job generator the suburb is, with 13,000 people working in a city with fewer than 9,000 residents.

“We’re an aspiration community,” McAfee said. “What’s great personally about working for the city is that the city’s appointed and elected officials are trying to find ways to make things better.”

Things that help New Albany stand out include the presence of Abercrombie & Fitch’s headquarters, a major Discover Card operation and the planned Amazon data center, said Cherie Nelson, executive director of the New Albany Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s always s been a great place to live, and now it’s a great place to work,’’ she said.

Business Insider looked at data on nearly 300 suburbs, focusing on cities with populations of between 5,000 and 100,000 people within about 25 miles of the nearest metro area.

“Our list was dominated by the Midwest, or more specifically, by Ohio suburbs,” the website says. “This is likely due to several factors, most notably a reasonable cost of living.”

Besides the five Columbus suburbs, two Cincinnati suburbs and an Akron suburb made the list.

“It says a lot about the Midwest with great communities and great suburbs people want to move to,” said Megan Canavan, spokeswoman for No. 12 Powell.