Money Magazine on Monday awarded the City of McKinney the No. 2 spot on its prestigious 2012 list of the 100 Best Places to Live in the nation.

McKinney's ranking by Money Magazine was revealed Monday morning on the Today Show. The City of McKinney is the only Texas community in the Top 10.

Money editors and writers rank communities based on housing affordability, education, arts and culture, safety, health care, diversity and the economy, including the fiscal strength of the government.

McKinney ranked No. 5 in 2010 and debuted on the list at No. 14 in 2008. In the Best Places to Live listing, Money Magazine ranks cities with populations between 50,000 and 300,000 every other year.

The magazine said that McKinney's downtown offers "cotton mills and feed stores transformed into hip boutiques and art galleries."

"McKinney's location on the fringes of the Dallas area means commuters have a longer drive downtown, but also easy access to rolling green hills, golf courses, and leafy open spaces lacking in neighboring towns," the magazine wrote.

With a population of 136,100, McKinney is one of the oldest communities in North Texas. Money Magazine noted that the city offers numerous options of home styles, from "starter homes to old Victorians and 'Texas-style' five-bedrooms."

"Low taxes have lured companies with white-collar jobs in technology and energy, a new hospital opened in July, and a conference center and hotel complex is in the works," the magazine said.

McKinney was also among only two Texas cities garnering Top 25 honors in Money Magazine's list of 100 best places to live. Allen was No. 13. The top spot went to Carmel, Indiana. Of the Texas communities rounding out the Top 50, Mansfield is No. 28, Flower Mound is No. 32 and Pflugerville is No. 43.

McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller said community leaders were thrilled about the distinction.

“Ranking among the very best places to live in the country is a distinction we greatly value, especially when you consider how rare it is for a city to consistently rank in the top 15 for several consecutive issues on the Best Places to Live list," Loughmiller said.

"McKinney is a great place to live, arguably the best. Our community has a consistently high quality of life for our residents, no matter how we grow and change. It’s amazing what we have in our city, and it’s just going to get better. To move from No. 5 to No. 2 is an honor for our community, and we thank Money Magazine for the recognition," Loughmiller said.

CoCo Good, Director of Communications and Marketing for the City of McKinney, said it's an exclusive distinction for McKinney to have made the list for the last three issues (spanning six years, as the rankings are compiled every other year).

"Only a handful of cities have even made the list -- at any ranking level -- three issues in a row, let alone been ranked in the Top 15 and higher for each of those three appearances," Good said. "To be in the Top 5 for the last two issues is simply incredible. Our strong community leadership and vision as well and our community spirit of coming together to make our community the best it can be clearly shines through."

McKinney Council member Roger Harris took to Facebook on Monday morning to congratulate and praise the entire community for the ranking.

"Every person in McKinney, Texas has something to celebrate today," Harris wrote. "Every citizen contributes and participates in the designation, which is a tremendous honor.

"I'd like to take a minute to thank our Mayor, who spends countless hours working to promote McKinney and points out to everyone he comes in contact with the benefits and unique aspects of life in McKinney," Harris added in his post. "Brian Loughmiller is without a doubt the best ambassador a city could ask for. Brian performs his job with integrity and commitment second to none. Congratulations, Mayor, for a job well done!"

 Money writers visited McKinney in July to interview residents and city leaders and to assess traffic, parks, and gathering places. They also evaluated intangible qualities like community spirit. In addition to set criteria, they noted job availability and the great historic downtown full of activities for residents as attributes that set McKinney apart.