In July 2012, Murray was named the Friendliest Small Town in America by Rand McNally and USA Today. Calloway County offers a low cost of living, low property taxes, a four-season climate and excellent educational systems. This, along with being named one of the 100 best communities for young people, makes Murray an ideal place to live.
With nearby access to Interstate 24, Murray is just a matter of hours from Nashville, St. Louis, Louisville and Memphis. With close proximity to these major cities, residents can spend time enjoying the attractions of a large city, then at the end of the day drive back home to the small town atmosphere they love.
Murray has long been known for its attractiveness to retirees. In 2008, the city was recognized by Back Home in Kentucky magazine as one of the top retirement communities in Kentucky. In 2001, Murray was selected as one of only eight cities in the state as a Certified Retirement Community by the Kentucky Tourism Development Cabinet. Nationally, Where to Retire magazine featured Murray in a cover story in 2007, naming it a "low-cost haven". RetirementAmerica.com also rated Murray highly, "If you are seeking a well-rounded community with plenty of outdoor recreation, low housing costs with a four season climate, then Murray may be just what you're looking for."
Specific criteria are important in designating this community as a great place to settle down. These criteria include a low crime rate, high-quality medical care, low cost of living, low tax rates, mild climate, availability of adult education, close proximity to a major city and a friendly atmosphere.
Murray-Calloway County Senior Citizens Center
607 Poplar Street
Population, 2008: Calloway County-- 36,240; Murray-- 16,557
Median Age: 34.1 years of age
Geography: Centrally located with easy access to an interstate highway system, within a day's drive of 60% of the nation's population.
Average price of home in 2006: $85,250
Average price of new home: $125,050
People who own their own home in Calloway County: 68.4%
Sales tax: 6% (Prescription drugs and groceries exempt)
Churches: over 120 in Calloway County and region
Annual average temperature: 58.37 degrees
Calloway County Retail Sales: $10,141 retail sales per capita (compared to KY average of $8,530)
Libraries: 562,000 volumes available in Murray
School Systems: Two K-12 public school systems that consistently rank in the upper tier of testing.
Murray is no stranger to awards. In addition to being named the Friendliest Small Town in America by Rand McNally and USA Today, the community has also received high praise, recognition and awards. Playful City USA is an award created to recognize towns across the country that have encouraged playing as an essential element of a child's development. In 2009, Murray was one of only 93 cities in the United States and the only in Kentucky to be named a Playful City. This is the second year the community has received the award.
In addition to be honored as a Playful City, Murray was also named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People for the third time. According to the America's Promise Web site, the community has continuously made the list because of its "emphasis on strengthening families and improving outcomes for children and youth by identifying needs, opportunities and priorities for future action; promoting effective city and school collaboration; encouraging and supporting youth voice, engagement and leadership; and measuring progress over time."
These awards are showing the country something residents already know-- that Murray is great place to call home.
Murray is home to two public school systems, one private school and one public university.
Calloway County schools provide opportunities for students to pursue a range of academic and extracurricular activities. The Preschool has been called a "center of quality" by the Kentucky Department of Education. The system offers over 30 extracurricular activities.
The Murray Independent School System has been recognized regularly for its academics as well as its learning environment. The student to teacher ratio is approximately 15 to 1, creating personalized learning for students.
Eastwood Christian Academy, a private school, works to build and maintain high academic standards along with spiritual training.
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