top 20 best places to live

The Top 20 Best Places To Live In The United States

The Top 20 Best Places To Live In The United States

What makes a town a lovely home? Feeling of belonging, happy residents, lots of job opportunities in an economically viable region, fantastic schools, and affordable housing can all be common factors of a wonderful place to live. To identify the Best Places to Live, U.S. News ranks regions in the nation by the number of households with all family members, the quality of education for each household member, and the job security of the county’s labor force. Data from a survey of more than 3,600 people throughout the U.S. was accumulated to assemble information around the outcome that people often desire location factors when selecting their next place of residence. Read below for the 20 Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2022

Metro Residents:  2,545,560
Median Home Cost: $351,700
Average Annual Wages: $52,150

Following falling to No. 20 in the list of huge 20 most desirable living places in 2020, Charlotte captures its top scores for its desirability and its fast and sustained population growth. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that Charlotte’s growth rate for metro areas by 5.9 between 2015 and 2019  due to migration factors. Charlotte is also the 20th most desirable place to live in the U.S. Citizens expressing these sentiments report an average annual salary of $52,150.

Metro Residents:  3,871,323
Median Home Cost: $675,237
Average Annual Wages: $68,460

Seattle occupies No. 19 on the list of the 150 most populous metropolitan areas in the United States due in large part to its attractiveness for employment and the quality of life it offers local residents. The Seattle economy took a hit as a result of the current academic deferral, but it still ranks No. 6 nationally. The city has a dense population and is well-known for its natural beauty and outdoor activities such as hiking and biking trails. In addition to its favorable job market rating, Seattle also ranks high for the quality of life factors such as low crime rates

Metro Residents:  585,507
Median Home Cost: $217,400
Average Annual Wages: $51,180

Melbourne stands on No. 28 in the national rankings this year, mainly owing to its fast population growth arising from contributions from net migration and to the fact that its job market was more resilient during the pandemic than other metro areas. From 2015 to 2019, the Melbourne area expanded by 8.46 percent due to net migration, as recorded by the Census Bureau in the U.S.

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Metro Residents: 344,786
Median Home Cost: $462,481
Average Annual Wages: $53,230

Located at the northwest corner of the state line between Colorado and Wyoming, Fort Collins is a small town in northern Colorado that is considering diversifying. The town ranks eleventh out of the fifty largest metro areas in terms of population increase due to net migration, which shot up by 8.2 percent from 2015 to 2019, according to the Census Bureau of U.S.

Metro Residents:  653,725
Median Home Cost: $348,940
Average Annual Wages: $54,300

Madison comes in sixteenth place in the Best Places to Live Ranking, in large part because of the job market’s strong presence here. While plenty of other metropolitan areas struggled with unemployment rates of more than seven percent in 2020, Madison’s was slightly under 4.5 percent. Meanwhile, the average annual salary is projected to be $56,600, which puts it above the national average of $53,500.

Metro Residents:  4,701,332
Median Home Cost: $1,047,714
Average Annual Wages: $75,890

After five previous rebounds to No. 15, San Francisco is exceptionally valued for its strong job market, even as the nationwide job market took a blow over the same period. It ranked fourth among 150 metro areas on the Best Places to Live list, following San Francisco and San Jose, California; Colorado. San Francisco’s average salary ranks fourth out of the 15 cities on the list.

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Metro Residents:  2,892,066
Median Home Cost: $557,273
Average Annual Wages: $61,540

Denver has fallen from the long-standing second place on the Best Places to Live index to the fourteenth place in 2021. While the Denver metro area has made some setbacks throughout the emergency, it remains deeply regarded as a desirable location for Americans to work and live, with healthy growth due to inbound migration and an above-average job market.

Metro Residents:  680,439
Median Home Cost: $273,134
Average Annual Wages: $52,890

Quality of life factors in rankings are important to consider when looking for a place to live. Des Moines is ranked 13th out of the 150 best metropolitan areas when it comes to quality of life. It has a high median household income which puts it fifth out of the 150 best metropolitan areas. Additionally, Des Moines has a low rate of crime and a strong job market. Des Moines is one of the safest cities in the country and has a low cost of living when compared to other metropolitan areas. The city also has a high number of job opportunities that are available in various industries. The city also has a very low crime rate and is known for its friendly people and warm climate.

Metro Residents:  409,492
Median Home Cost: $217,500
Average Annual Wages: $41,380

San Antonio ranked No. 12 in the country for economic opportunity in 2021 and is expected to stay at or near the top for many years to come. The city has a low cost of living when compared to other metropolitan areas and a high number of job opportunities that are available in various industries. The city also has a very low crime rate and is known for its friendly people and warm climate.

Metro Residents: 710,743
Median Home Cost: $221,475
Average Annual Wages: $47,170

 The capital of Idaho makes the list of best cities for growth driven by migration and housing value, with Idaho scoring the best of the forty-nine cities due to its affordability and complex affordability (the population has to spend 22.1% of the median household income to cover rent and mortgage payments as well as taxes, utilities, and ancillary costs). Boise is ranked lower on this metric, with residents having to spend 22.11% of the median household income to cover monthly costs (rent payments and monthly payments for specific types of housing), in addition to other ancillary costs like property taxes and utilities.

Metro Residents: 2,445,761
Median Home Cost: $515,360
Average Annual Wages: $58,240

U.S. residents consider the Portland area to be a very desirable place to live, ranking it fifth out of 50 in that category, trailing Colorado Springs and other related places, which are tied for first place. In addition, a relatively strong job market and a remarkably advantageous resident population over a five-year period due to net migration are largely responsible for the city’s high rank in that category.

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Metro Residents: 803,709
Median Home Cost: $227,754
Average Annual Wages: $46,040

Sarasota has developed as the seventh-fastest growing metropolitan area out of all the 150 locations listed since No. 16 in 2020. Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Sarasota is one of the seven fastest-growing regions in the entire United States. Between 2013 and 2019, Sarasota experienced a net migration of 11.22%, owing to the influx of the migratory population.

Metro Residents: 532,075
Median Home Cost: $310,300
Average Annual Wages: $52,820

The top metropolitan spot in Maine in 2020, Portland is ranked No. 8 on a number of factors, among which are its citizens’ quality of life, job stability, and reputation as a nice place to live. Educational preparedness among high school students, proximity to high-quality medical care, crime rates, average commute time, and overall well-being are among the criteria that Portland ranks high on.

Metro Residents:  371,453
Median Home Cost: $345,000
Average Annual Wages: $47,980

The area with fewer than 400,000 residents gained got into No. 7 in 2021 after posting No. 14 in 2018. Located on the southernmost portion of Florida’s Gulf Coast, where the Everglades begin, Naples does not have the immense tourist industry and a population that Tampa and Miami enjoy, but many people want to move there, and the property is extremely desirable. Naples is the fourth-fastest growing metro area.

Metro Residents:  723,498
Median Home Cost: $455,371
Average Annual Wages: $52,360

Colorado Springs has shifted from being the most desirable real-world location in 2019 to Honolulu, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Well-implemented population- and job-related growth strategies have resulted in a steady but gradual progression, and strong economic opportunity has improved the downtown area overall. Colorado Springs’s affordability has fallen somewhat, but the city remains a low-price alternative to the East and West Coasts.

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Metro Residents:  2,114,441
Median Home Cost: $377,693
Average Annual Wages: $55,190

Austin has ranked as the No. 1 Best Place to Live in the U.S. for three consecutive years, 2017, 2018, and 2019, but was unseated with the Ranking of No. 3, and the next year, it fell to No. 5. Though Austin remains a desirable place to live, increasing affordability and food costs are making it harder for Austin to maintain its previous crown.

Metro Residents:  514,259
Median Home Cost: $203,150
Average Annual Wages: $47,600

The Fayetteville metropolitan area in Arkansas is a strong contender for the Best Places to Work ranking and will continue to press its weight, and it will be ranked No. 4 in 2021. The city is known for its affordable standard of living despite above-average household income, its high population of young families, and its strength in the local job market, making it a valuable asset for the area.

Metro Residents:  457,003
Median Home Cost: $192,667
Average Annual Wages: $55,980

Huntsville leaps from No. 15 to No. 3 in 2021, specifically due to its job market that strengthened much stronger amid unemployment threats throughout the country. Huntsville is an affordable place to live out of 50 of the top 150 most populous metro areas in the U.S. and has many an economic company focusing on the sciences, engineering,  technology, and math.

Metro Residents: 1,959,006
Median Home Cost: $329,709
Average Annual Wages: $56,888

Raleigh and Durham are two of America’s 20 best living cities. Both are located in the eastern part of the country and have a lot to offer residents. Durham is known for its arts community and its many restaurants and bars. These two cities are excellent choices for anyone looking for a vibrant urban environment with all the amenities that come with them. The Raleigh-Durham metro area, situated on the East Coast, continues to be a popular place to live because of its affordability and job market. Well-paying jobs are available in industry research, technology, education, and health care. From 2015 to 2021, net migration to the Raleigh-Durham metro area was 5.87 percent because of the region’s affordability and the job market.

Metro Residents: 322,510
Median Home Cost: $528,833
Average Annual Wages: $67,160

Boulder is a picturesque mountain town located in the heart of Colorado. It is known for its liberal atmosphere, thriving arts and music scene, and stunning natural scenery. The city has a healthy economy, strong public schools, and an abundance of cultural attractions. Boulder also has a low population density which makes it highly walkable and friendly. Even though Boulder is the city of the top 150 places to live out of 150 metro areas in the U.S., it’s the biggest U.S. city with a positive reputation. The popularity of Boulder is tied for many residents to excellent high school education and outstanding job opportunities.

Final Thoughts:            

As someone who has lived in a number of different cities, I can say without a doubt that the cities on America’s 20 Best Living Cities list are some of the best places to live. Each of these cities possesses something unique that makes it worth considering if you’re looking for a place to call home. Whether you’re looking for vibrant nightlife, world-class museums, or beautiful landscapes, each city on this list has something to offer. If you’re planning on moving in the near future, I would recommend checking out each city on this list and seeing which one feels like the right fit for you.

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