Flagstaff is ranked No. 9 in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s 10 Best Cities of 2009, in a large part because of the economic and cultural impact of Northern Arizona University.

“The Old West charm of Flagstaff is infused with new energy—both from its residents and from the college students at Northern Arizona University,” the magazine reported. “The university adds jobs to the city’s economy, plus arts and entertainment to its cultural scene.”

To read Kiplinger’s full rationale, click here.

“Kiplinger’s is reaffirming what all of us at Northern Arizona University already know,” said David Bousquet, vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. “The community is a strong selling point for students who move here, and the economic contributions of the university to the state are nearly $1 billion strong.”

Bousquet added that the arts and cultural offerings around campus help make Flagstaff a desirable location for locals and tourists alike.

Kiplinger’s said its 2009 list focuses on “places that have stable employment plus the talent to create new, well-paying positions. A robust job market makes these cities safe havens during the recession and will give them a head start toward growth when the recovery takes off.”

In order, the top 10 cities are:

  1. Huntsville, Ala.
  2. Albuquerque, N.M.
  3. Washington, D.C.
  4. Charlottesville, Va.
  5. Athens, Ga.
  6. Olympia, Wash.
  7. Madison, Wis.
  8. Austin, Texas
  9. Flagstaff
  10. Raleigh, N.C.

The full report can be found here.