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Good Livin'

The most livable places in Chesterfield.

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Money Magazine's August issue named Midlothian as the 99th best place to live in the country. But let's get more local. In our first annual rankings, Midlothian tops the list of Chesterfield's best communities.

1. Midlothian
Livability index: 9.3
Median household income: $107,000
Population: 300,000*
Community assets: Classic mid-'80s vinyl-based architecture, Chesterfield Towne Center's family-friendly bathrooms, spacious parking lots denuded of obstructive trees, Brandermill Sailing Club, Southside Speedway
Shopping: Chesterfield Towne Center (New in 2009: Red Robin Inn!), Kohl's, Super Target, Sheetz
Economy: Midlothian Motor Mile
Leisure and culture: Short Pump Towne Center
Social and religious diversity: Broad mixture of conservative Christian middle-class blacks and whites
Hidden gem: Tuesday Mom's Club at Chesterfield Towne Center
* Including undocumented Hispanics and homosexuals: 450,000

2. Woodlake
Livability index: 8.9
Median household income: $300,000
Community assets: Lake, woods, stock options
Shopping: Short Pump Town Center
Social and religious diversity: Woodlake Neighborhood Watch
Economy: Portfolio managed by First Market Bank
Crime: Unattended 1999 Honda Civic at 6127 Woodlake Blvd. parked since last Thursday, violates homeowner's association regulations (Covenant No. 168). 1262 Lake Bluff Parkway, paint-chipped blue mailbox. (Covenant No. 13: required mailbox color Woodlake brown.)
Hidden Gem: Pontoon rentals, Woodlake Fitness Centre, Woodlake

3. Chester
Livability index: 8.7
Median household income: $65,000
Community Assets: Softball fields, Dickie King, former member of Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors.
Shopping: Flagstop Car Wash & Quick Lube, Brewster's Ice Cream
Education: G.E.D. program, Chesterfield County Driving School
Social and religious diversity: Broad mixture of conservative Christian black and white construction contractors, Dickie King's Russian wife
Economy: Shoosmith Bros. landfill
Crime: Catalytic converter thefts
Hidden Gem: Dickie King's Catering Service

4. Ettrick
Livability index: 5.2
Median household income: N/A
Community assets: Farms, proximity to cheap labor in Petersburg
Shopping: Southern States
Education: G.E.D. program, Virginia State University
Social and religious diversity: Broad mix of conservative Christian lower middle class blacks
Economy: Pharmaceutical sales
Crime: In Petersburg
Hidden Gem: Campbell's Bridge (out of Petersburg)

5. Bon Air
Livability index: 4.8
Median household income: $125,000
Community Assets: 1940s architecture, Joe's Inn's spaghetti
Shopping: Joe's Inn, Beaufont Mall
Education: Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center
Leisure and culture: Boulder's Office Park, Huguenot Road
Social and religious diversity: Broad mixture of conservative Christian upper-middle class whites and blacks
Hidden Gem: Joe's Out

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