> Population: 26,541
> 5-yr. Population change: +18.1% (state: +3.0%)
> Median home value: $223,900 (state: $136,800)
> Median household income: $83,119 (state: $52,919)
> 5-yr. avg. unemployment: 2.9% (state: 5.1%)
Bixby, Oklahoma, located just south of Tulsa, ranks as the best place to live in the state. Quality of life in the area is supported by a network of trails, several parks, a playground, and a high per capita concentration of restaurants, bars, recreation centers and gyms, sports teams and clubs, and movie theaters. The local job market is also strong, with a five-year average unemployment rate of just 2.9%, well below the comparable 5.1% average statewide.
As is often the case in communities with such favorable conditions, Bixby is growing rapidly. The local population expanded by 18.1% over the last five years, more than six times Oklahoma’s 3.0% five-year population growth.
> Population: 19,625
> 5-yr. Population change: +5.0% (state: +5.9%)
> Median home value: $405,900 (state: $312,200)
> Median household income: $103,512 (state: $62,818)
> 5-yr. avg. unemployment: 1.8% (state: 5.5%)
Sherwood, Oregon, located about 15 miles southwest of downtown Portland, ranks as the best place to live in the state. More affordable than much of the rest of the state, Sherwood’s median home value of $405,900 is 3.9 times higher than the local median household income of $103,512. Meanwhile, across Oregon, the typical home is worth five times more than what the typical household earns.
Residents of Sherwood are far less likely to be unemployed or struggle financially than the typical Oregon resident. Over the last five years, an average of just 1.8% of the local labor force have been unemployed, compared to an average of 5.5% statewide. Additionally, the poverty rate in Sherwood of 2.9% is a fraction of Oregon’s 13.2% poverty rate.
> Population: 10,473
> 5-yr. Population change: +0.1% (state: +0.3%)
> Median home value: $245,600 (state: $180,200)
> Median household income: $81,178 (state: $61,744)
> 5-yr. avg. unemployment: 4.3% (state: 5.3%)
Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, ranks as the best place to live in the Keystone State. The eastern Pennsylvania community has several public parks and facilities that include a pool, tennis courts, playgrounds, pavilions, and sports fields.
Residents of Wyomissing are also more likely than most Pennsylvania residents to be financially secure. The typical area household earns $81,178 a year, and only 6.1% of the local population live below the poverty line. Meanwhile, across Pennsylvania, the typical household earns $61,744 a year, and the poverty rate is 12.4%. The area’s financial stability is attributable in part to a strong job market. An average of only 4.3% of the labor force have been unemployed in the last five years, a full percentage point below the comparable state average.
Rhode Island: Newport
> Population: 24,663
> 5-yr. Population change: +0.3% (state: +0.4%)
> Median home value: $448,800 (state: $261,900)
> Median household income: $67,102 (state: $67,167)
> 5-yr. avg. unemployment: 5.2% (state: 5.4%)
Of the 14 cities and towns in Rhode Island with sufficient data, the coastal city of Newport ranks as the best place to live. Newport is a pedestrian-friendly city, and nearly 15% of local commuters walk to work, compared to just 3.4% of commuters across Rhode Island. Quality of life in Newport is also improved by a high per capita concentration of restaurants, bars, marinas, golf courses, museums, and movie theaters.
The city’s desirability as a place to live is evidenced by high real estate prices. The typical area home is worth $448,800, well above the median home value of $261,900 across Rhode Island.
South Carolina: Mount Pleasant
> Population: 86,982
> 5-yr. Population change: +20.2% (state: +6.2%)
> Median home value: $461,000 (state: $162,300)
> Median household income: $103,232 (state: $53,199)
> 5-yr. avg. unemployment: 2.1% (state: 5.8%)
The Charleston suburb of Mount Pleasant ranks as the best place to live in South Carolina. Mount Pleasant is a relatively safe community. The local violent crime rate of 114 incidents reported for every 100,000 people is well below the 511 per 100,000 rate across South Carolina and the 373 per 100,000 rate in nearby Charleston.
Residents of Mount Pleasant and the surrounding county benefit from a far higher than average concentration of places like bars, restaurants, hotels, gyms, marinas, nature parks, sports teams and clubs, and theater companies. Like many communities with similarly high quality of life, Mount Pleasant is growing rapidly. Over the last five years, the local population has grown by 20.2%, more than three times faster than South Carolina’s 6.2% growth rate over the same period.
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