MORRISVILLE — Move over, Santa Barbara. Morrisville is on the rise.

The Triangle city has made Money magazine’s list of Best Places to Live in America this year, nabbing the No. 10 spot out of 50 cities.

“Morrisville lies in the heart of North Carolina’s Research Triangle, a national hotbed of technological development,” the report noted. “Only 15 miles from Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill — home to North Carolina State, Duke, and UNC respectively — this prime location has made Morrisville one of the fastest-growing towns in the region.”

Topping the list: Evans, Georgia — followed by Parker, Colorado and Meridian, Idaho.

The magazine listed places around the country based on a study that considered cities and towns with a population of at least 25,000. They removed any place that had more than double the national crime risk, a median income level lower than 85 percent of its state’s median, or little to no ethnic diversity.

After gathering over 1,000 communities that met these qualifications, the study weighed economic factors such as employment opportunities, housing, cost of living, diversity, and health and safety. Education, weather, lifestyle, and amenities were also heavily analyzed. Money also took into consideration the safety and unemployment effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Growing strong

From 2000 to 2019, Morrisville’s population ballooned from 5,200 to 26,000, due in part to the arrival of biotech companies like FujiFilm Diosynth and Clinipace, the report noted.

The result: the local median household income is now $103,000, almost twice the state average of $54,000.

The quality of Wake County’s public schools also got a mention: “[They’re] among the highest-ranked in North Carolina and in the nation. The Wake NCSU STEM Early College High School, for example, has a 100% graduation rate.”

Meanwhile, Morrisville has a diverse international community.

“In 2018, nearly one-fourth of new Wake County residents came from other countries. As a result, dozens of world cuisines are represented in restaurants around town: from Guasaca, which specializes in South American stuffed arepas, to C&T Wok, which offers familiar Chinese-American fare alongside authentic Szechuan dishes like pickled chicken feet,” the report said.