15. Weston, Florida
> Median household income: $83,696
> Unemployment rate, 2013: 4.90%
> Median home value: $363,800
> Violent crime per 100,000 residents: 91.9
> Average commuter travel time: 31.6 minutes
With less than 70,000 people, Weston is small compared to other best cities to live in. Residents are among the wealthiest not just in Florida but the entire country. Median home values were nearly $364,000 in 2012, among the highest nationwide. Residents can likely afford the high prices, as a typical household earned more than $83,000 that year, also among the higher figures in the nation.
Because Broward County, where Weston is located, borders the ocean, residents have plenty of access to related leisure activities. Located just a few miles from the shore line, there were 78 marinas in Broward County, more than nearly any other county. There were also 158 sports and fitness centers in the county. Weston borders the Florida Everglades, a wetland ecosystem that has been designated a World Heritage Site.
14. Edmond, Oklahoma
> Median household income: $70,199
> Unemployment rate, 2013: 3.90%
> Median home value: $197,700
> Violent crime per 100,000 residents: 101.8
> Average commuter travel time: 20.0 minutes
Edmond is a suburb 14.5 miles outside of Oklahoma City, and is home to nearly 85,000 people. The city scored well in all categories. One of Edmond’s most attractive features is a strong job market. Only 3.9% of Edmond’s workforce was unemployed in 2013, one of lowest unemployment rate among cities reviewed. Between 2011 and 2013, total employment rose by over 5%, more than most cities.
To the city’s east is Arcadia Lake, a reservoir created in 1984 to limit flooding and provide a stable source of water for the city. Residents can also enjoy the lake’s beauty and recreation opportunities, even in an urban setting. The lake and surrounding area offer activities like camping, swimming, water skiing, boating, and equestrian trails.
13. New Rochelle, New York
> Median household income: $66,656
> Unemployment rate, 2013: 6.90%
> Median home value: $549,800
> Violent crime per 100,000 residents: 232.0
> Average commuter travel time: 29.9 minutes
New Rochelle is nestled within Westchester County and is just a short train ride — or drive — from New York City. Nearly 18% of the population commutes by public transit, and an additional 8% walk, both among the highest percentages in the U.S. Additionally, residents benefit from the city’s beautiful coastline along the Long Island Sound.
One of the most attractive aspects of the city may be its access to amenities. Westchester County has 47 golf clubs. The county also has many restaurants and drinking establishments. However, New Rochelle is pricy. The cost of living in the city is among the highest nationwide. Additionally, the median home value was nearly $550,000, among the most expensive reviewed.
12. Carmel, Indiana
> Median household income: $104,433
> Unemployment rate, 2013: 5.00%
> Median home value: $285,400
> Violent crime per 100,000 residents: 13.4
> Average commuter travel time: 24.1 minutes
Located a short drive from Indianapolis, Carmel is an extremely safe suburban community offering a strong educational system and many employment opportunities. Carmel has the fifth-lowest property crime rate and the lowest violent crime rate of cities reviewed.
The city also offers an affordable standard of living. While the typical Carmel household earned double the national median household income, the cost of living is relatively low.
Local neighborhoods and residential areas are efficiently connected by commuter routes. Currently, more than 80 roundabouts have taken the place of traffic lights and four-way stops, improving residents’ driving experience. In the city center, Carmel offers numerous attractions. Notably, the Arts and Design District boasts restaurants, shops, and galleries. Carmel also maintains more than 500 acres of park land and miles of dedicated bike routes.
11. Boca Raton, Florida
> Median household income: $67,612
> Unemployment rate, 2013: 5.60%
> Median home value: $346,500
> Violent crime per 100,000 residents: 189.6
> Average commuter travel time: 21.0 minutes
Just east of the Everglades in southern Florida, Boca Raton is a coastal city of more than 86,000 residents. There is no shortage of things to do in the city. Like many Florida communities, golf courses are in abundant supply — there are three within the city and more than 80 within Palm Beach County. Additionally, its long coastline and more than 30 marinas offer many opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, and sunbathing. Off the water, residents can enjoy extensive shopping and easily commute using the county’s Palm Tran transit system.
One concern in Boca Raton is crime. The city had a higher rate of property crimes than the national average in 2012. However, there were only 190 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, lower than the national rate. Additionally, the area is expensive. In fact, most cities reviewed were less expensive than Boca Raton.