Best Cities to Live in the United States 2024

Best Cities to Live in the US People want a hometown to feel like home. Choosing a location to live is an important decision that requires the consideration of multiple factors. Based on these factors, U.S. News and World Report analyzed the 125 most populous metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live.

By using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Labor, and their own internal resources, U.S. News categorized the information found into five categories: job market index, value index, quality of life index, desirability index, and net migration. The value index includes annual household income and cost of living. The quality of life index includes several factors including crime, college readiness, and commute. Indexes are scored on a scale of zero to 10.

When deciding where to live, there are other factors that are not necessarily number-oriented that one will want to consider. These include the overall social culture, ease of getting around, quality healthcare, access to public transportation, climate and proximity to family members. All of these factors, including the five indexes, should be taken into consideration and weighed when deciding on a city to move to.

Based on the five indexes used by U.S. News and World Report, the top ten cities to live in the United States are:

  1. Austin, TX
2. Denver, CO 3. Colorado Springs, CO 4. Fayetteville, AR
5. Des Moines, IA 6. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN 7. San Francisco, CA
8. Portland, OR 9. Seattle, WA 10. Raleigh & Durham, NC

Austin, Texas took the top spot as the best city to live in the United States for the third year in a row. Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World, with many venues and events year-round. Based on the indexes from U.S. News, Austin received a 9.0 for desirability and net migration. The average rent is $1,155 per month and the annual salary is $51,840.

Colorado has two cities on the list, Denver and Colorado Springs, taking the second and third spots. The two cities are about an hour apart and have different offerings for residents. Denver is not a mountain town but is considered to be an economic and cultural hub for ambitious, progressive-minded people. Colorado Springs has well-ranked universities and proximity to ski resorts with a low cost of living and a desirability index score of 10.0.

For obvious reasons, many of the best cities to live in the United States are seeing population booms. Austin, for example, is growing at a rate of about 152 people per day.

The full list of the 125 analyzed cities can be found on U.S. News & World Report’s website.

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Best Cities to Live in the United States 2024