There are nearly 20,000 villages, towns, and cities across the 50 states, and not all of them are equally conducive to the well-being of those who live there. While quality of life is subject to a range of factors — close relationships and personal health being among the most important — the local community and environment can also have a meaningful impact.
When it comes to choosing a place to call home, everyone has their own priorities and subjective tastes. Still, there are specific attributes some communities share that are almost universally desirable: safe streets, a strong economy, affordability, and a range of entertainment options, to name a few.
24/7 Wall St. created a weighted index of over two dozen measures from the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, and other sources to identify the best city to live in each state. We considered all boroughs, census designated places, cities, towns, and villages with at least 8,000 residents.
These cities tend to have much in common beyond the index components upon which they were ranked. For one, these communities are often within commuting distance of a major metropolitan area. This is no coincidence, as close proximity to a major city provides residents with access to more job opportunities; which in turn can help lower unemployment and improve financial security. Places where more residents have completed a college education also tend to be more affluent. Several of the cities on this list also can be found on this list of the most educated city in every state.
The best cities to live in include ones just outside of Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, and Washington. These metro areas are highly desirable places to live, but the downside is that they also tend to be very expensive. Here is a list of the county with the most expensive housing market in every state.