> Population: 34,670
> 5-yr. Population change: +5.6% (state: +1.0%)
> Median home value: $463,200 (state: $151,900)
> Median household income: $157,515 (state: $59,597)
> 5-yr. avg. unemployment: 2.7% (state: 4.1%)
Leawood is a city of just under 35,000 residents located south of Kansas City. Due to a number of strong socioeconomic indicators, it ranks as the best place to live in Kansas. The area’s low unemployment rate — averaging just 2.7% in the last five year — contributes to financial stability in Leawood. Most local households earn over $150,000 a year, nearly three times the median household income of $59,597 across Kansas. Additionally, the city’s 1.4% poverty rate is among the lowest in the United States and well below the 12.0% rate across Kansas.
The city has a highly regarded public school system and a well-educated population. Leawood is also safe. The local violent crime rate of 54 incidents per 100,000 people is a fraction of the 411 per 100,000 statewide violent crime rate.
Kentucky: Fort Mitchell
> Population: 8,257
> 5-yr. Population change: +0.6% (state: +1.5%)
> Median home value: $272,200 (state: $141,000)
> Median household income: $67,745 (state: $50,589)
> 5-yr. avg. unemployment: 0.5% (state: 5.6%)
Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, is a small city located just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. The city ranks as the best place to live in Kentucky partially because of its strong job market. An average of just 0.5% of the local labor force have been unemployed in the last five years, compared to a 5.6% five-year average jobless rate across Kentucky. Job availability in the area has reduced the likelihood of financial hardship. Only 5.5% of area residents live below the poverty line, compared to 17.3% of the total Kentucky population.
Quality of life in Fort Mitchell is also supported by relatively safe streets. There were only 85 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in the area in 2019, well below the comparable 217 per 100,000 state rate and 367 per 100,000 national rate.
> Population: 9,304
> 5-yr. Population change: -0.2% (state: +1.4%)
> Median home value: $240,300 (state: $163,100)
> Median household income: $66,741 (state: $49,469)
> 5-yr. avg. unemployment: 3.6% (state: 6.5%)
The New Orleans suburb of Harahan ranks as the best place to live in Louisiana. Residents have easy access to arts, culture, and entertainment in the nearby city without many of the drawbacks — namely, crime. There were 1,145 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in New Orleans in 2019. Meanwhile, the annual violent crime rate in Harahan was just 129 per 100,000 people.
Harahan is also an affordable city. The typical area home is worth $240,300, just 2.5 times more than the median household income in the area of $66,741. Meanwhile, across Louisiana and the United States, the typical home is worth 3.3 times and 3.5 times more than median household income, respectively. Harahan also boasts a strong job market, with a five-year average unemployment rate of just 3.6%, well below the comparable 6.5% rate across the state.
> Population: 66,595
> 5-yr. Population change: +0.4% (state: +0.5%)
> Median home value: $289,000 (state: $190,400)
> Median household income: $60,467 (state: $57,918)
> 5-yr. avg. unemployment: 2.8% (state: 4.1%)
Portland, the most populous city in Maine, also ranks as the best place to live in the state. Located in the southwestern part of the state, along the Atlantic Coast, Portland offers residents access to venues for outdoor activities such as parks and beaches, as well as venues for culture and entertainment, including museums, shops, microbreweries, restaurants, and spas.
Portland also boasts a strong job market. An average of only 2.8% of the local labor force were unemployed in the last five years, well below the 4.1% five-year average state jobless rate. Additionally, about 60% of the local population are working, compared to 50% of all Maine residents. Portland is also a pedestrian-friendly city. An estimated 13.1% of commuters walk to work, more than three times the 3.9% of workers in Maine who do.
Maryland: Takoma Park
> Population: 17,672
> 5-yr. Population change: +2.1% (state: +2.2%)
> Median home value: $583,800 (state: $314,800)
> Median household income: $84,591 (state: $84,805)
> 5-yr. avg. unemployment: 5.6% (state: 5.1%)
The Washington D.C. suburb of Takoma Park ranks as the best place to live in Maryland. The area, known as “Azalea City” because of its many azalea bushes, is largely residential and boasts several parks with bike trails and play areas. According to a 2018 survey, over 90% of local residents rate quality of life in Takoma Park as either excellent or good.
In close proximity to the nation’s capital, Takoma Park residents have access to the area’s reliable public transportation that over a quarter of local commuters rely on each day.