Special Report

These Are the Best Suburbs to Live in Every State


To determine the best suburb in every state, 24/7 Wall St. constructed an index of 10 measures for places within metropolitan statistical areas in the United States.

We considered as suburbs all cities, towns, villages, boroughs, or Census-designated places with between 2,000 and 100,000 residents that fall within the boundaries of a metropolitan statistical area — a Census-defined geography consisting of a core city and its adjacent communities, meant to approximate economic zones — yet not be the principal city of the metropolitan area in which it is located. In states with more than three metropolitan statistical areas, the principal or core city of the metropolitan area must have at least 100,000 residents to be considered.

(1) Median home values, (2) the median number of rooms in occupied housing units, (3) unemployment rates for the population 16 years and over, (4) the average travel times to work, (5) median household incomes, (6) homeownership rates, and (7) poverty rates were included in the index at full weight. These data came from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and are five-year estimates for 2013 to 2017.

Data on (8) the number of violent crimes reported per 100,000 residents and (9) the number of property crimes reported per 100,000 residents came from the FBI’s 2018 Uniform Crime Report and were included in the index at full weight.

Data on the (10) percentage of the population with access to places for physical activity in the county where the suburb is located came from the 2019 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a joint program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. This measure was included in the index at full weight.

To measure the quality-of-life advantages of living in the suburbs over living in the core city, each of these measures was also calculated as a percentage of its corresponding value in each suburb’s core city and included in the index at half weight.