The 50 best places to live in America
By Business Insider|Updated: October 31, 2017
When choosing where to put down roots, lots of factors rest in the eye of the beholder, such as environment, politics, or proximity to extended family.
Other aspects are coveted by almost everybody: affordable real estate, access to well-paying tasks, a low cost of living, excellent schools, and quality health care. In its 2017 ranking of the very best locations to reside in America, U.S. News & World Report collected information on these important components for the 100 most populated US cities.
They then categorized the information into 5 indexes for each city– job market, value, lifestyle, desirability, and net migration– to definitively rank these major metro locations. You can check out U.S. News’ full method here.
Scores for “value,” a mix of annual home income and cost of living, and “lifestyle,” which accounts for criminal activity, college readiness, commute, and other factors, are consisted of below on a 10-point scale, along with the city’s population and average annual wage.
Keep checking out to discover the 50 finest locations to reside in America.
50. Atlanta, Georgia
Average annual wage: $49,430.
Quality of life: 5.8.
An appealing mix of big city and big country, Atlanta is drawing in transplants everywhere with its acclaimed restaurants, culture centers, and thriving job market. More than a dozen Fortune 500 business call the city house, consisting of Delta, The Home Depot, and The Coca-Cola Company, and it’s a progressively popular spot for film productions.
In addition, “The Chattahoochee River that traverses the metro area, and Stone Mountain, the world’s biggest portion of exposed granite, situated just northeast of the city appropriate, likewise use a fast escape from any urban stress and anxiety,” says one regional specialist.
49. Melbourne, Florida.
Typical annual income: $45,470.
Quality of life: 7.3.
In between fishing, boating, and a variety of bars and restaurants, there’s never a lack of things to do in the Melbourne location. The city’s ripe with retirees and “snowbirds”– individuals who divided their time in between colder environments in the summertime and Florida in the winter season– who can delight in days on one of the lots of nearby golf courses and nights out checking out the local stores and art galleries.
48. Kansas City, Missouri.
Typical annual wage: $47,640.
Don’t call it a flyover city. Development, imagination, and a popular history combine to make Kansas City a hub of activity. In addition to a low expense of living and an abundance of tasks, residents delight in checking out the city’s flourishing art scene, cheering on the Royals during baseball season, and nibbling Kansas City’s signature style of barbecue– sluggish cooked and topped with a tomato-based sauce.
47. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Population: 1,570,006.
Average annual wage: $48,170.
Quality of life: 7.
Enjoyable abounds in Milwaukee, where citizens take pleasure in lakefront museums, weekly fish fries, and vibrant night life. The city hosts lots of celebrations each year, the capital of which is Summerfest, which goes on for 11 days, functions numerous bands, and promotes itself as “the biggest music celebration on the planet.”.
New residents can profit from Milwaukee’s real estate scene, which is a purchaser’s market, thanks to an abundance of homes up for grabs.
46. Honolulu, Hawaii.
Typical yearly wage: $49,320.
Quality of life: 6.2.
Often thought about the cooking and cultural center of the Hawaiian islands, according to U.S. News’ regional professional, Honolulu is plentiful with shopping centers, restaurants, and miles of beaches. When it comes to cost of living– but you can’t beat the year-round tropical temperature levels, it’s on the costly side.
45. Jacksonville, Florida.
Typical yearly salary: $43,460.
Jacksonville’s beach-adjacent place makes it perfect for outside activities. In addition to costs lazy days in the sand, homeowners can likewise visit the location’s prime golf courses or go hiking, camping, and kayaking in the neighboring parks. Jacksonville likewise continues to grow, with burgeoning art and music scenes, as well as brand-new company development, according to a regional specialist.
44. Phoenix, Arizona.
Typical yearly wage: $46,700.
Quality of life: 6.1.
Come for the weather, remain for the city: Phoenix boasts more bright days per year than other city in the United States, inning accordance with a local expert. But it’s the growing job market, range of restaurants and stores, and easy access to numerous outdoor activities– think everything from hiking to paddleboarding– that keep residents happy long-lasting.
Average yearly salary: $43,410.
Numerous Louisville homeowners find operate in healthcare, tourism, innovation, and organisation, with companies like YUM Brands, Humana, and Ford offering opportunities for work.
Locals and tourists alike come together each spring at Churchill Downs for the two-week Kentucky Derby festival, filled with mint juleps, Kentucky bourbon, and some horse racing, too.
42. Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Typical annual income: $40,870.
Chattanooga’s development district has actually ended up being the home of a growing number of tech start-ups and incubators, underscoring the city’s dedication to entrepreneurship and collaboration. In spite of a multi-million dollar riverfront project, the city preserves its down-home vibe with staples like farmer’s markets and small businesses.
” Chattanoogans are proud of where they live. Plenty of company names begin with ‘Chatta,’ end in ‘Nooga’ or reference the ‘Scenic City,’ Chattanooga’s label,” says a local specialist.
41. Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Typical annual salary: $42,150.
In Lancaster, residents can breeze through many environments in the course of a day, from rolling farmland to busy city streets to peaceful suburban areas. Though dairy farming guidelines the economy here, major companies, including Kellogg’s and Mars, also call the location house.
Lancaster may be well-known for its Amish and Mennonite population, however the town is likewise bustling with a mix of university student and non-religious families.
40. Orlando, Florida.
Average annual wage: $41,460.
Quality of life: 6.9.
There’s more to Orlando than Disney World. Head downtown for a ticket to the most popular dining establishments and bars of the minute or trek out to the property sector filled with stunning lakefront houses.
That’s not to say locals do not value the traveler traps. The parks work as a point of pride for many long-lasting homeowners, inning accordance with one local professional. “The theme parks’ special pricing for regional citizens in addition to the widespread work that the parks use have actually largely endeared them to the community,” he discussed.
39. Rochester, New York.
Average yearly salary: $47,590.
Quality of life: 7.
The expense of living is far listed below the nationwide average in Rochester, which is New York state’s third-largest city area and home to 15 universities and colleges. Just about 20% of the location’s locals live within the city limitations, but inning accordance with a local professional, “the tide might be turning” thanks to brand-new luxury real estate developments downtown.
” Ultimately, Rochester’s biggest possession is its individuals. Locals are generally thought about to be warmer, kinder and more inviting than their downstate brethren,” says the regional expert.
38. Little Rock, Arkansas.
Average annual income: $42,530.
Little Rock’s tech scene is expanding, specifically in the aerospace and aviation sectors, thanks to close distance to business like Lockheed Martin. The city promotes a cost of living lower than the nationwide average and sees new multi-unit and single-family houses developed every day.
There’s plenty to do in Arkansas’ capital as well, from grabbing a cold one at one of the location’s regional breweries to checking out the awesome Ozark mountains.
37. Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Typical annual salary: $42,960.
The cost of living in Winston-Salem is a deal. The city’s average housing expenses remain well listed below the national average– renters pay about $200 less monthly for a one-bedroom home than their counterparts around the country.
Citizens can also benefit from the city’s cultural offerings with check outs to the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art and the Reynolda House Museum of American Art.
Typical annual wage: $44,280.
Oklahoma City’s warm weather condition and low real estate costs make it an up-and-coming place to live. Due to a recent inundation of millennials, the city now teems with energy, imagination, and originalities, according to a regional professional.
” The community’s biggest asset is its people,” he said. “The community is tight-knit, happy to use a friendly hello, and ever mindful that their city is actually a town at heart.”.
Average annual salary: $44,510.
Tampa’s laid-back atmosphere, warm weather, and barrage of home entertainment alternatives make it feel like a trip to paradise. “Living in the Tampa Bay resembles being on getaway all year,” stated a regional expert.
Tampa hasn’t been surpassed by tourists. It retains a number of niche neighborhoods, consisting of a strong Cuban influence in historical Ybor City, previously referred to as the “stogie capital of the world.”.
34. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Typical yearly income: $46,520.
Quality of life: 7.1.
Located on the banks of the Susquehanna River and the foothills of the Appalachian Trail, Harrisburg provides residents endless access to the outdoors. Numerous are employed by the state and federal government in Harrisburg, but there’s also numerous large private-sector companies that are leading companies, including Hershey’s, Rite Aid, and D&H Distributing.
33. Buffalo, New York.
Average yearly income: $45,060.
Once a center of industry, Buffalo’s economy started to slow after the Great Depression. The city is experiencing a renaissance, with brand-new businesses popping up and a growing medical corridor reviving downtown, according to a local professional.
Buffalo homeowners enjoy their sports and are constantly video game to brave the snow if it indicates cheering the Bills or the Sabres on to victory.
32. Portland, Oregon.
Typical yearly income: $52,140.
Portland isn’t really for everyone– its motto is “Keep Portland Weird,”. However one local specialist asserts that it’s a “well-rounded city with more than simply the unique shops and occasions” and a population that has “more academic degrees than the national average.”.
A yearly job growth rate of 2.9% per year is credited to roots in the technology sector, consisting of major employer Intel Corporation, along with the 6,000-employee head office for Nike, situated about seven miles beyond Portland.
31. Hartford, Connecticut.
Typical annual wage: $56,870.
Quality of life: 7.2.
Found in the Connecticut River Valley, Hartford was as soon as the home to noteworthy historical figures, consisting of Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Among the city’s historic attractions, today it uses neighboring home entertainment places, ski slopes, state parks.
The aerospace, health care, and monetary services industries control the job market in Hartford, which is home to Aetna Inc., United Technologies Corp., and Hartford Hospital.
30. Albany, New York.
Typical annual wage: $50,880.
Despite the snowy winter seasons, living in Albany comes with several benefits. Albany uses an expense of living lower than the nationwide average and the expense of housing sits well listed below the remainder of the United States as a whole. In regards to tasks, the city’s tech and health care industries are on the increase.
Albany’s downtown is lined with art galleries, wine shops, and churches for visitors to peruse. In keeping with the city’s cold environment, hockey is the sport of option for residents.
29. Greenville, South Carolina.
Typical yearly wage: $41,010.
As soon as a sleepy village, Greenville has witnessed a cultural revival in the last few years, complete with an increase of new restaurants and companies. Though the summers can fume, the city’s normally moderate weather make it possible to check out downtown on foot anytime of the year.
An influx of manufacturing jobs have actually likewise increased Greenville’s economy, with brand-name business, such as GE and Michelin, setting up shop in town.
28. Syracuse, New York.
Typical yearly salary: $47,330.
It may get 124 inches (or more!) of snow each year, but don’t let the blustery climate prevent you: Syracuse boasts a low expense of living, simple access to both the town hall and surrounding suburbs, and a host of cultural activities, including the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology and the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.
The Home Of Syracuse University, the town also rallies behind the Orange during basketball season, cheering the team to success.
Typical annual income: $43,560.
Quality of life: 6.
Charleston’s lovely, historic, and sophisticated atmosphere is excellent of southern culture. “Not only is the area overruning with entertainment and good food, however this low nation area is likewise stunning,” said a local professional.
Tourist is growing in Charleston, developing lots of jobs, particularly in the summer season. Year-round, jobs in tech, sales, marketing, and advertising keep the city’s economy strong.
26. Portland, Maine.
Typical yearly salary: $46,520.
Quality of life: 7.4.
Found right on the water at Casco Bay and lined with cobblestone streets, Portland right away stimulates the quaintness of a much smaller town. In between fishing, cruising, cross-country skiing, and checking out the city’s ringing night life, there’s no scarcity of things to do. Seafood enthusiasts can nosh on fresh catches at the city’s contemporary oyster bars and or get among Maine’s signature lobster rolls.
25. Omaha, Nebraska.
Average yearly salary: $44,920.
Quality of life: 6.6.
Due to a mix of Omaha’s history of livestock ranching and its existing landscape of busy tech start-ups, the city has actually earned the label “Silicon Prairie.” Plus, 8 Fortune 500 companies are locateded in Omaha, consisting of Berkshire Hathaway, Union Pacific Railroad, and Mutual of Omaha. Young families and specialists are drawn in to the city mostly for its cost, safety, and strong economy.
24. Richmond, Virginia.
Average yearly income: $47,880.
Quality of life: 6.7.
Ripe with American history, Richmond is the home of significant archaeological sites, like the church where Patrick Henry offered the popular “provide me liberty or provide me death” speech. It’s likewise home to a slew of more modern attractions, including museums, concert places, dining establishments, and 2 universities: Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond.
23. San Antonio, Texas.
Typical yearly salary: $43,740.
At the same time a destination city and a down-home community, San Antonio offers up a range of foods, music styles, and art for residents and visitors. The city hosts “more than 50 major events and celebrations throughout the year,” a number of which honor the location’s Spanish heritage, said a regional specialist. San Antonio is home to 4 military and air force bases and camps, collectively called Joint Base San Antonio.
22. San Diego, California.
Typical yearly income: $54,210.
With year-round sunlight and beautiful beaches to boot, it’s simple to enjoy living in San Diego. Inning Accordance With U.S. News, this Southern California gem “provides world-class dining, expert sports, and home entertainment options” for university student, young experts, and families alike.
Tourism is a huge market in San Diego– which sees more than 30 million visitors each year– but the city’s seaside area is more than just eye candy. Some of the area’s largest employers include the United States Navy and the Marine Corps.
21. Sarasota, Florida.
Typical yearly income: $40,600.
Quality of life: 7.4.
Sarasota boasts “warm temperature levels year-round, acclaimed beaches, and a flourishing arts and cultural scene,” said a regional expert. The greatest companies in Sarasota remain in trade, transportation, and education, and the leisure and hospitality sector touts a low joblessness rate powered by a current increase in tourist and a flood of new locals.
20. Houston, Texas.
Average yearly salary: $51,830.
Houston is a significant gamer in the oil and gas, production, aerospace, and healthcare markets– it’s also the home of 26 Fortune 500 companies. Inning accordance with one regional expert, “an income goes even more in Houston than it performs in other major cities, with budget-friendly housing and free or inexpensive tourist attractions.” Plus, the city has an affinity for food, counting some 11,000 restaurants within its borders.
19. Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Typical annual salary: $42,950.
Quality of life: 7.5.
Grand Rapids draws in “university student and young families with its healthy job market, cost effective housing, and outdoor leisure activities,” stated a local professional. The self-proclaimed “Beer City USA” has more than 40 breweries along with vibrant public art and music scenes.
As soon as a center for furnishings production, Grand Rapids’ job market is now controlled by education and healthcare, with lots of opportunities for workers without a college degree.
18. Madison, Wisconsin.
Average yearly salary: $49,030.
Quality of life: 7.2.
Wisconsin’s capital is a “hotbed of the health care, information technology, and manufacturing industries,” stated a regional specialist. The location is likewise the home of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, offering hundreds of tasks in education. Madison has a distinct food culture that’s a mix of fine dining and farmer’s markets catering to the city’s university student, young specialists, and families.
17. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.
Average yearly income: $53,450.
The Twin Cities have “big-city facilities like museums and sports stadiums, however also have an approachable, Midwestern feel,” according to a regional expert. Homeowners are accustomed to the location’s altering seasons, taking part in ice fishing and cross-country snowboarding in the winter and music festivals and baseball games in the spring and summer season. Jobs are readily available in science-focused fields at companies like Xcel Energy and Medtronic in addition to retail corporations like Best Buy and Target.
16. San Francisco, California.
Average yearly salary: $66,900.
Quality of life: 6.5.
A local expert described San Francisco as “the heart of the bohemian lifestyle, the epicenter of the LGBT rights movement, and the launching point of the innovation period.” In the last decade, countless tech companies have raced to set up shop in the Bay Area, sending the expense of enduring the roofing system. Regardless of all the focus on the tech and start-up scene, the city likewise has plenty of business tasks available with more than 30 international financing headquarters.
15. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.
Average yearly salary: $49,030.
A healthy balance of rural and metropolitan, Dallas uses homeowners “big-city excitement and peaceful, suburban living,” shared one local professional. There’s local bars, retail stores, and a lot of sports spirit to satisfy the huge population. The city– with big companies in finance, service, and education– is brimming with young professionals.
14. Charlotte, North Carolina.
Average annual wage: $48,370.
Quality of life: 6.5.
A “melting pot impact” draws all types of individuals to Charlotte, a location with “equal parts old-fashioned southern appeal and high-energy cosmopolitan bustle,” promoted one local expert. NASCAR and motorsports are a cultural foundation of Charlotte. The Queen City houses Bank of America’s head office and significant workplaces for Wells Fargo, making it one of the biggest financial centers in the nation.
Average annual salary: $44,700.
Honky-tonk culture and an entrepreneurial spirit specify Nashville. Thousands of residents work in healthcare at the location’s large medical facilities and research study centers, small startups, and company accelerator programs.
12. Boise, Idaho.
Typical annual wage: $42,180.
Idaho’s capital city is “a recreationalist’s paradise,” inning accordance with one regional professional, who also stated Boise sits “directly on the limit of rural and metropolitan, civilized and wild, refined and raw.” The region is home to more than 22,000 Boise State University students and supplies tasks at government firms as well as in tech and health care.
11. Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Typical annual wage: $47,600.
Quality of life: 6.6.
Colorado Springs is “flourishing, with new homes appearing alongside quality schools, parks, and cultural attractions,” promotes a regional expert. The city is simply an hour drive from Denver and in close distance to Aspen and Vail’s world-class ski resorts. Military tasks influence Colorado Springs’ culture and economy, however jobs are likewise available in medical innovation and tech.
10. Salt Lake City.
Average annual salary: $44,752.
Salt Lake City might experience a few of the snowiest weather condition in the nation, but residents make the most of it through the plethora of ski resorts perched in the city’s yard. In warmer weather, locals can make the most of Salt Lake’s more than 900 acres of public parks and take pleasure in outside efficiencies from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Temple Square.
Typical yearly salary: $47,170.
Des Moines is drawing millennials and young households alike for its “unique shops, locally owned dining establishments, and hip bars” in addition to its historical residences in quiet neighborhoods, stated a regional expert. Home to more than 80 insurance provider including giants Allied Insurance and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, the job market is flourishing.
8. Boston, Massachusetts.
Average yearly income: $62,070.
Boston draws in a varied group of homeowners, including everybody from current college graduates to senior citizens and artists to engineers. The historical city– frequently described as the “Cradle of Liberty,” according to one regional expert– likewise overflows with team spirit for the Red Sox and 2017 Super Bowl champs, the Patriots.
Average yearly income: $51,150.
Raleigh-Durham and Chapel Hill are jointly called the Triangle, an area anchored by its structure in research study and tech. The Triangle employs nearly 40,000 locals at companies like IBM, SAS Institute Inc., and Cisco Systems along with surrounding colleges Duke, North Carolina State, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A strong job market coupled with a growing microbrewery and dining scene draws 80 new homeowners every day, stated a local expert.
6. Seattle, Washington.
Average yearly wage: $59,060.
Quality of life: 6.2.
Seattle is sandwiched between water and mountains and doesn’t get as much rain as you ‘d believe, stated one regional professional. The city’s locals are drawn to the location for its atmosphere of “calm and patience” and its close proximity to nature. Jobs in Seattle are focused in tech, maritime, and healthcare industries, but the city is also a substantial production center for business like Boeing.
Average annual salary: $43,570.
Quality of life: 7.4.
Fayetteville sits among the Ozark Mountains and is home to the University of Arkansas’ flagship school. The surrounding location of northwest Arkansas is the home of head office for seven Fortune 500 companies consisting of Walmart and Tyson Foods. The city has actually experienced enormous development, inning accordance with a local expert, who stated the region has actually developed “from a village to a center of college, commerce, entrepreneurialism, and culture.”.
4. Washington, DC.
Average yearly income: $65,910.
The District’s communities each emit their own ambiance, however throughout the city residents frequently “collect for block parties, mingle at dog parks, and converse at coffee shops,” described a regional specialist. While Washington, DC, is referred to as a hub for politics, there’s also a strong job market for education and health services.
3. San Jose, California.
Average yearly income: $78,620.
Quality of life: 7.7.
The sprawling city of San Jose is “as much defined by its suburban communities and big tech campuses as it is by the high-rises in its downtown,” said a local specialist. Young locals and current graduates of close-by Stanford and UC Berkeley have no trouble discovering tasks in the area, which touts Cisco, eBay, and IBM as its biggest private-sector employers.
2. Denver, Colorado.
Typical yearly income: $54,450.
Quality of life: 6.8.
While Denver sits at the base of the Rocky Mountains, it’s ruled out a mountain town because it takes a minimum of an hour to get to the Rockies for snowboarding and ski activities, a local professional explained. At 5,279 feet, the Mile High City measures up to its name in more methods than one: In 2012, Colorado legislated recreational marijuana, leading the way for a growing and rewarding marijuana market.
1. Austin, Texas.
Typical yearly income: $49,560.
The capital of Texas acquires about 50 brand-new residents daily, many looking for the city’s “music, outdoor areas, and cultural institutions,” stated a regional specialist.
Austin is beloved for its live music scene and is host to some of the country’s biggest music and culture celebrations, consisting of South by Southwest and Austin City Limits. The city was nicknamed “Silicon Hills” in the 1990s for its status as “among the top locations for venture capital investment in the nation.”.