About one in every five American workers whose job could be performed remotely worked from home before the COVID-19 pandemic. That share jumped to nearly three in four following the abrupt closure of offices nationwide, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in October 2020. For millions of Americans, the shift to remote work is now permanent, and the new dynamic means they are no longer tied to a specific city for their job and can choose a place to live based on other factors, including quality of life — which varies considerably in the United States.
Affordability, access to public spaces and services, the presence of entertainment and cultural amenities, crime rates, and socioeconomic conditions are just a few of the factors that can influence quality of life in a given city or town.
24/7 Wall St. created a weighted index of 25 measures in four main categories – economy, affordability, quality of life, and community – using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, and other sources to identify the best city to live in each state. We considered all boroughs, census designated places, cities, towns, and villages with at least 8,000 residents.
Hoover, a city of about 83,000 located just south of Birmingham, ranks as the best place to live in Alabama. A relatively safe place, Hoover’s annual violent crime rate of 133 incidents per 100,000 people is well below the state rate of 511 incidents per 100,000.
People living in Hoover are also far more likely to be financially secure than the typical Alabama resident. The typical area household earns $89,452 a year, and only 6.2% of the local population live below the poverty line. Meanwhile, across all of Alabama, the median household income is $50,536, and the poverty rate stands at 16.7%.
Our index is composed of data across four categories: affordability, economy, quality of life, and community. Data is all for the most recent year available and came from the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, The Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other sources. This is the best city to live in every state.
|Place||Population||Median home value ($)||Median household income ($)||5-yr. avg. unemployment (%)|
|Arizona: Paradise Valley||14,362||1,516,200||211,393||2.1|
|Florida: Key Biscayne||12,915||1,211,000||151,310||5.3|
|Georgia: Sandy Springs||107,072||471,800||78,613||3.0|
|Hawaii: Urban Honolulu||348,985||683,000||71,465||3.7|
|Iowa: North Liberty||18,829||220,800||83,949||1.1|
|Kentucky: Fort Mitchell||8,257||272,200||67,745||0.5|
|Maryland: Takoma Park||17,672||583,800||84,591||5.6|
|Michigan: Royal Oak||59,195||224,600||81,665||3.2|
|New Hampshire: Portsmouth||21,775||425,600||83,923||2.1|
|New Jersey: Hoboken||53,193||720,700||147,620||3.0|
|New Mexico: Corrales||8,588||447,600||85,580||2.8|
|New York: Rye||15,820||1,392,100||192,688||4.1|
|North Carolina: Davidson||12,735||448,300||124,853||2.8|
|North Dakota: West Fargo||35,397||241,000||85,120||1.5|
|Ohio: Bay Village||15,325||247,900||103,582||1.3|
|Rhode Island: Newport||24,663||448,800||67,102||5.2|
|South Carolina: Mount Pleasant||86,982||461,000||103,232||2.1|
|South Dakota: Brandon||9,934||225,200||87,250||1.6|
|Texas: Highland Park||9,168||1,508,900||211,136||1.4|
|Utah: South Jordan||71,198||405,400||104,597||1.6|
|Vermont: South Burlington||19,162||307,500||73,065||3.7|
|Washington: Mercer Island||25,675||1,218,200||147,566||4.0|
|West Virginia: Weirton||18,670||94,800||49,496||6.6|
Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor
Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.