America’s 50 Best Cities to Live

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Living in the United States by no means guarantees a good life, but in some parts of the country, virtually all residents live a highly prosperous lifestyle. Being born in these cities is as close to a guarantee as possible that at least in terms of socioeconomic measures, these people will live a better-than-average lifestyle.

While quality of life is subject to a range of factors — close relationships and personal health chief among them — the local community, economy, 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, certain attributes that some communities share are almost universally desirable, including 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. We considered all boroughs, census designated places, cities, towns, and villages with at least 8,000 residents.

The best cities to live in tend to have much in common beyond the index components. 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 include places just outside of just outside of Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, and Milwaukee. 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.

Click here to see America’s 50 best cities to live
Click here to read our methodology