Special Report

Best Cities to Live in Every State

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36. Oklahoma
> Best city to live: Broken Arrow
> Population: 109,439
> Median home value: $160,900 (highest 25%)
> Poverty rate: 8.6% (lowest 25%)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 35.3%

Broken Arrow is not just the best place to live in Oklahoma, but also it is the fastest growing city in the state. Broken Arrow’s population has increased by 18.6% in the last 10 years — more than double the comparable U.S. population growth rate. Unlike much of Oklahoma, Broken Arrow is less at risk of some natural disasters. Specifically, much of Oklahoma is at high risk of tornadoes, Broken Arrow is tied for the lowest risk of any other city in the state.

Violent crime is also relatively uncommon. There were only 154 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in the city in 2016, nearly a third of the statewide violent crime rate.

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37. Oregon
> Best city to live: Beaverton
> Population: 97,602
> Median home value: $363,100
> Poverty rate: 9.6%
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 44.8%

Beaverton, which is part of the Portland metropolitan area, is the best city in Oregon in which to live. For those looking for job prospects, few cities are likely to offer more opportunities than Beaverton, which is a 15 to 25 minute drive from downtown Portland. Over the last two years, employment in Beaverton has increased by 8.3%, faster than in all but a few dozen other U.S. cities. The national job growth rate over the same period was 3.5%.

Living in one of the healthiest states, Beaverton’s population is also one of the healthiest in the country. The city has one of the lowest rates of preventable hospitalizations in both the state and the country.

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38. Pennsylvania
> Best city to live: Bethlehem
> Population: 76,427
> Median home value: $167,700
> Poverty rate: 18.1%
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 28.9%

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania’s bachelor’s degree attainment rate is just 28.9% compared to a 31.3% national rate, but that is nevertheless the second highest share in the state, behind only Pittsburgh. A college education is tied to higher incomes. The median income in Bethlehem is $52,588. Though that’s less than the state median of $56,907, it is still more than any other major city in the Keystone state. The next highest is Pittsburgh with $44,707.

Bethlehem also has the lowest poverty rate of any large Pennsylvania city, at 18.1%. Those with a reliable source of income are less likely to live in poverty, and Bethlehem has the second lowest unemployment rate in the state, at 5.8%.

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39. Rhode Island
> Best city to live: Cranston
> Population: 81,025
> Median home value: $224,200 (highest 25%)
> Poverty rate: 6.0% (lowest 10%)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 32.4% (highest 10%)

Cranston, Rhode Island has one of the strongest economies in the state and the country. Just 6.0% of Cranston residents live in poverty, less than half of Rhode Island’s 12.8% poverty rate and well below the 14.0% U.S. rate.

Cranston is safer than its neighboring cities. The city’s violent crime rate of 153.0 per 100,000 people is much lower than the rate across Rhode Island of 239.0 incidents per 100,000 people. There were also 1,862 property crimes in Cranston per 100,000 people, compared to 2,451 property crimes per 100,000 people nationwide.

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40. South Carolina
> Best city to live: Mount Pleasant
> Population: 84,177
> Median home value: $437,000
> Poverty rate: 4.2% (lowest 10%)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 57.9%

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina is one of only seven large U.S. cities with a median income more than double that of its home state. One of the wealthiest cities in the country, Mount Pleasant’s median household income of $101,015 per year is well above the median household income across South Carolina of $49,501 a year. The area’s affluence is underscored by the relative low poverty level. Only 4.2% of Mount Pleasant’s population lives below the poverty line, less than one-third of both the statewide and U.S. poverty rates.

The Mount Pleasant area is also rich in cultural amenities. The city boasts a higher concentration of museums, recreation centers, movie theaters, and nature parks than is typical nationwide. Residents also have easy access to jobs, culture, and entertainment in Charleston, South Carolina’s largest city.

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