You’ve decided to leave your hometown and start over in another city. You’re not sure where you want to move, but you know it’s time to get out of your current situation and explore your options. Where do you start? How do you choose? To help you figure this out, we’ve assembled the eight best places to live in America—and what makes them so great!
1) Austin, TX
Austin has all the qualities of a great city and then some. Austin is a flourishing metropolis that is young, diverse, forward-thinking, and ambitious. It’s one of the country’s safest cities with some of the lowest rates of violent crime. The affordable cost of living makes Austin feel like a comfortable small town at times and an expansive metropolis at others. Lastly, there are also plenty of things to do here too with countless restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, nature trails – as well as world-class universities such as The University of Texas – making it a place where you can always be doing something fun or interesting and never run out of cool stuff to do.
2) Columbia, MO
Though Columbia may not be your top destination for city living, if you’re looking for a place with low crime rates, a short commute time, and a high quality of life then this Missouri city might be the perfect choice. That said, the city is ranked second-highest in terms of cost of living out of all 50 places so that’s something to consider. Still interested? Keep reading for all the pros and cons (and maybe find your new home!)
3) Boise, ID
Boise has a low cost of living and an excellent quality of life. It also boasts a rich cultural heritage with diverse neighborhoods, excellent schools, and plenty of entertainment options. The city is ranked as one of the healthiest metropolitan areas and residents benefit from the state’s lowest crime rate. When you take into account the scenic Rocky Mountains that are just an hour away, it’s hard not to fall in love with Boise.
4) Washington D.C.
In our rankings, Washington D.C. is ranked number seven on the list of best places to live in America. This city ranks well because of its strong family life and work/life balance, safety ranking, and relative affordability. Its strong public education system was a draw for families, along with job opportunities for those with advanced degrees. The cost of living index is below average and the median salary is higher than average which gives you more disposable income to enjoy your quality of life without getting into too much debt or stress about making ends meet every month.
5) Fayetteville, AR
Named by CNN Money as one of the Best Places to Live in the U.S., Fayetteville offers citizens a high quality of life and is a safe place for their family and children. The best thing about this city is that, no matter what your income level is, you will be able to find neighborhoods that are suitable for you. This includes affordable homes, modern apartments, or even rentals if you’re not ready to buy yet. Crime rates are low, with only 18 violent crimes per 100,000 people annually; meaning it’s one of the safest cities among its competitors on our list. Fayetteville has both private and public schools available so you’ll have plenty of options when looking for schools for your kids too!
6) Lincoln, NE
Lincoln, NE comes in at #8 for the best places to live. With a low cost of living and plenty of family-friendly activities, it’s no wonder that Lincoln is one of the fastest growing cities on this list. For example, Lincoln has great schools that consistently rank as one of the best educational systems in the nation. Residents rave about how much open space they have, as well as its abundance of trails and parks. Plus, thanks to a bustling downtown area with lots of amenities, residents find Lincoln an enjoyable place to call home. We think you’ll find all this and more after reading through our full profile on what makes Lincoln a top-notch city!
7) Fort Collins-Loveland, CO
Cost of living, average salary, affordable housing, and low crime rates make Fort Collins-Loveland a wonderful place to live. One local resident says You don’t realize how big this city is until you’re driving around for a while and see all the towns on the edge. Outdoor lovers will enjoy being a part of the Front Range Regional Park system or exploring one of many parks. You’ll never be bored with live theater, concerts at Red Rocks Amphitheater, or festivals happening throughout the year.
#1 Plano (six sentences)
Planters are proud of their hometown’s quality schools and affordability. This area is really booming right now, one resident told us.
8) Salt Lake City, UT
Salt Lake City is a large, historic city where the economy has flourished and culture thrives. Not only does it have a great cost of living, but also quality-of-life factors such as low crime rates and good air quality. They have very low taxes with no personal income tax and a high percentage of disposable income which can be used for arts and recreation funding. It’s a family-friendly place to live too, with the second lowest rate of child poverty. Finally, this city has consistently ranked highly for its economic growth by major sources like Forbes and Inc.