Best Cities to Live in Every State

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Source: Thinkstock

21. Massachusetts
> Best city to live: Newton
> Population: 89,041
> Median home value: $884,000
> Poverty rate: 4.1% (lowest 10%)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 76.6% (highest 10%)

Newton, Massachusetts is not just the wealthiest city in the state, but also it is one of the richest in the nation. The median household income in Newton of $135,646 a year is third highest of U.S. cities and more than $40,000 higher than in Somerville, the next most affluent city in Massachusetts. Only 4.1% of Newton residents live in poverty, well below the state’s 10.4% poverty rate.

Newton is also one of the safest cities in the country. There were just 52 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2016, which is a fraction of the national rate of 386 violent crimes per 100,000 people. The city also has nearly the lowest property crime rate in the nation.

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22. Michigan
> Best city to live: Rochester Hills
> Population: 73,418
> Median home value: $294,200 (highest 25%)
> Poverty rate: 6.0% (lowest 10%)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 57.3%

One of the best indicators of quality of life is education. High school students in Rochester Hills test better than students in any city in Michigan other than Troy and Ann Arbor, and 57.3% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree — far more than the 31.3% of adults nationwide.

Rochester HIlls is also largely free of the violent crime that plagues much of the Detroit metro area. There were 72 violent crimes reported per 100,000 residents in 2016, a fraction of the national violent crime rate of 386 incidents reported per 100,000 Americans. While in neighboring Detroit crime and economic decline have reduced the value of a typical home from $91,700 in 2006 to $43,500 today, homes in Rochester Hills have continued to appreciate. The typical home in the city is worth $294,200 today, an increase of $15,000 from 10 years ago and nearly $90,000 more than the U.S. median home value.

Source: Alon Eitan / Flickr

23. Minnesota
> Best city to live: Woodbury
> Population: 66,699
> Median home value: $314,700
> Poverty rate: 2.3% (lowest 10%)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 57.6% (highest 25%)

Woodbury has less poverty and unemployment than nearly any other large U.S. city. Just 2.3% of city residents live in poverty, the second smallest share in the United States. The typical household in the city earns $103,902 a year, the second highest median income in the state — behind Maple Grove — and one of the highest in the country.

The Woodbury unemployment rate of 3.0% is far lower than the national jobless rate of 4.9%. Woodbury also has one of the best educated populations of U.S. cities. High schoolers in Woodbury test better than students in any other city in Minnesota, and 57.6% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree — far more than the 31.3% national rate.

Source: Thinkstock

24. Mississippi
> Best city to live: Gulfport
> Population: 72,077
> Median home value: $118,100
> Poverty rate: 19.2%
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 22.7% (highest 25%)

Mississippi ranks among the worst U.S. states in many socioeconomic measures, and even the state’s best city to live in, Gulfport, does not fare much better. Some 19.2% of Gulfport residents live in poverty — the lowest of any city in the state but only slightly better than Mississippi’s poverty rate of 20.8%. Still, Gulfport’s poverty rate is much higher than the national rate of 14.0%.

Gulfport still has its upsides, though. The city’s violent crime rate of 316 incidents per 100,000 residents is lower than the national rate of 386 incidents per 100,000.

Source: Paul Sableman / Wikimedia Commons

25. Missouri
> Best city to live: O’Fallon
> Population: 86,276
> Median home value: $224,400 (highest 10%)
> Poverty rate: 3.3% (lowest 10%)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 43.0% (highest 10%)

O’Fallon is one of the best places to live in the Midwest and in the country as a whole. In addition to the residents’ relatively high incomes, the city is also relatively affordable. The typical household in O’Fallon earns approximately $85,000 annually. When adjusted for the area’s low cost of living, the value of the median household income is even higher at nearly $90,000.

O’Fallon’s poverty rate is not only the lowest in Missouri, but also near the bottom of all U.S. cities. Just 3.3% of its residents live below the poverty live, several times lower than the 14.0% poverty rate shared by both Missouri’s and the U.S.