Each year, Livability researches and publishes a list of the top 100 places to live in the United States. While many people tend to think their own hometown is the best place to live, lists such as these can help validate whether or not one’s hometown bias is well-founded or not. In some cases, closer inspection may reveal that your home isn't actually all you’ve cracked up to be. Read on, and see if any of these most attractive locations surprise you.
In compiling the list, the research team at the Martin Property Institute conducted an extensive survey comparing what people valued within the communities of each location studied. Over 2,000 cities were analyzed through this study, and then ranked accordingly. Since the list is released each year, you may find that some cities move up or down in the rankings while some disappear altogether as newcomer emerge. The reason for these changes may be due to changing demographics, people's perspective on what makes a great place to live, or changes in how the survey is conducted. The research goal is to provide the most up-to-date information each year in a consistent, unbiased manner.
There are four primary principles which can make or break a city’s bid to earn a position on the list. Access to amenities is one of them, as every city needs to have basic facilities such as schools, hospitals, airports, and a reasonable climate to be attractive. Affordability is the second criteria. This doesn't entail that a location has to be cheap, but researchers consider factors such as cost of living relative to average income to be very important. Recreational choices constitute the third principle, since people like having a variety of options in terms of schools, parks, and other public spaces. Finally, utilization rounds out their criteria list. Lifestyle variables aren't as easy to understand, but this principle is designed to pinpoint cities that are livable for most people in general.
Cities in the Midwest have come to dominate the list, with Madison, Wisconsin achieving the number one place. Other cities like Rochester, Michigan and Overland Park, Kansas ranked highly as well. What makes these cities such as great choice? Allures that Midwest locales tend to have in common are lower costs of living, along with good healthcare infrastructures and education systems. These areas also tend to have a more laid-back and friendly atmosphere, which plays a significant role in their rankings as well.
How are things on the West Coast?
Many cities in California approached the top of the list. Palo Alto and Berkeley, California filled the 5th and 6th spots, respectively. As anyone who's been to California knows, it's an expensive place to live. Nonetheless, California’s excellent schools, beautiful weather, and excellent amenities make it very attractive. From jobseekers to astute academics to young vacationers just wanting to have a good time, California has a little bit of something for everyone.
A Lack of Southern Charm
Few well-known southern cities made the list. Most of the larger cities in the South weren't highly ranked, primarily due to poor public transportation and a high cost of living. However, mid-size cities like Sandy Springs, Georgia and Greenville, South Carolina fared much better on the list. They tend to have a lower cost of living and proffer multiple amenities appealing to a wide range of people.
This list certainly doesn't include every American city where you might want to live, but it's certainly offers a good assortment of prime choices. If you've ever wondered where you might want to move in the U.S., choosing from among any of the top places will likely leave you satisfied.Livability researches and publishes a list of the top 100 places to live in the United States. While many people tend to think their own hometown is the best place to live, lists such as these can help validate whether or not one’s hometown bias is well-founded or not. In some cases, closer inspection may reveal that your home isn't actually all you’ve cracked up to be. Read on, and see if any of these most attractive locations surprise you.