Special Report

America's 50 Best Cities to Live

Local governments bear some degree of responsibility for neighborhood safety, economic vitality, the presence and condition of public spaces, and a wide range of other amenities and services that affect the daily lives of local residents. Across the nearly 30,000 cities, towns, villages and unincorporated places in the United States, these and other factors that are closely tied to quality of life vary considerably. 

Using over two dozen metrics related to affordability, economy, standard of living, and community, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 best cities to live in in the United States. In order to ensure geographic diversity, we only considered the highest ranking city in each county. Data came from a number of sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

It is important to note that there is no such thing as a perfect city or town, and that many of the attributes one may look for in a community are subjective and not quantifiable. This list favors areas with conditions that have almost universal appeal, however. These include short commute times, walkability, reliable public transit, affordability, job availability, entertainment options, cultural attractions, low crime, and access to places like grocery stores and hospitals. 

While household income was not itself a factor in the index, many of the cities and towns on this list are relatively wealthy. This is likely not a coincidence, however, as income is closely tied to several other measures used to create this list, including low crime and low unemployment. This is the income it takes to be considered rich in every state.

Population growth can be a sign that a given area is attractive to new residents and families, and not surprisingly, the majority of cities on this list are home to more people today than five years ago. Just over half of the cities on this list reported greater population growth than the U.S. as a whole between 2013 and 2018. Here is a list of the fastest growing place in each state.

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

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