The tree-lined, lakeside community of Flower Mound, Texas - one of the most livable cities in the United States.

The Best US Cities To Live In By Livability Score

The best city to live in the United States, as per the 2023 Livability Scores, is Johns Creek, Georgia. This suburb of Atlanta was followed closely by Flower Mound, Texas, and Carmel, Indiana. These three communities were selected because they fit strategic population parameters and checked off a number of criteria that contribute to overall quality of life. So let's unpack the results (as well as highlight many other places with high-ranking "LivScores"), to figure out just why these cities are so appealing, why results change over time, and why one of these spots might very well become your next home.

Top 50 US Cities By Livability Score

Rank City Livability Score
1 Johns Creek, Georgia 877
2 Flower Mound, Texas 872
3 Carmel, Indiana 866
4 Broomfield, Colorado 855
5 Sugar Land, Texas 854
6 Cary, North Carolina 849
6 Overland Park, Kansas 849
8 Fishers, Indiana 848
9 Naperville, Illinois 841
10 Troy, Michigan 837
11 Roswell, Georgia 832
12 Clifton, New Jersey 831
13 Columbia, Maryland 828
14 Sandy, Utah 817
15 Olathe, Kansas 813
16 Beaverton, Oregon 809
17 Gilbert, Arizona 805
18 Bloomington, Minnesota 801
19 Round Rock, Texas 798
19 Rochester Hills, Michigan 798
21 Chandler, Arizona 796
22 Warwick, Rhode Island 795
23 Evanston, Illinois 789
24 Cranston, Rhode Island 788
25 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 786
25 Thornton, Colorado 786
27 Vancouver, Washington 782
28 Lee's Summit, Missouri 779
29 Hillsboro, Oregon 779
30 Jersey City, New Jersey 775
31 Tempe, Arizona 771
32 Edmond, Oklahoma 770
33 Salt Lake City, Utah 768
33 Virginia Beach, Virginia 768
35 Parma, Ohio 767
35 Minneapolis, Minnesota 767
37 Hoover, Alabama 765
37 Meridian, Idaho 765
37 Omaha, Nebraska 765
40 Franklin, Tennessee 764
41 Orem, Utah 762
42 Norwalk, Connecticut 761
43 Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 757
44 St. Petersburg, Florida 756
45 Fort Collins, Colorado 755
46 Alafaya, Florida 754
47 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 751
48 Castle Rock, Colorado 750
49 Elk Grove, California 749
50 Cedar Rapids, Iowa 748


The bustling streets of Manhattan's Times Square
The bustling streets of New York City. Large metropolises such as these were intentionally excluded from the the LivScore list. Photo: Luciano Mortula - LGM

Population, together with Applied Geographic Solutions (AGS) derived their LivScore using several strategic metrics. For starters, they wanted to rule out both small towns and the biggest of cities (such as Los Angeles and New York City) - acknowledging that well-known American cities tend to have polarizing pros and cons, and that there is a current migration trend away from major metropolises. Instead, this list focuses on a population sweet spot of between 75,000 and 500,000 people.

Quality of Life

Other key data points that were considered when ranking the most livable U.S. cities include: the local Economy (i.e. unemployment, employment opportunities, and income trends), Cost of Living (i.e. tax rates, housing market/average apartment rentals, and income inequality), Amenities (i.e. parks, retail, entertainment, art/culture, etc.), Transportation (i.e. walkability, commute times, vehicles per household), Environment (i.e. air quality, population density, natural disaster risks), Safety (i.e. crime rates), Education (quality of schools and educational attainment), and Health (i.e. life expectancy, availability of doctors, and accessibility of hospitals). It should also be noted that for 2023, amenities and economics were prioritized by the algorithm, followed by education, and then housing/cost of living. So let's also break down the top ten lists for each of these individual metrics so that each American can tailor to his or her desires/needs.

Top 10 Best U.S. Cities to Live Based on Amenities

The radiant skyline of Jersey City, New Jersey
There's always lots of fun stuff to do in Jersey City, NJ.

If you like shopping 'till you drop, going out for an exciting night on the town, getting some miles in at the community park(s), or having a solid selection of local museums and art galleries to peruse then these ten American cities are for you.

Rank City Amenity Score
1 Jersey City, New Jersey 95
2 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 91
2 Clifton, New Jersey 91
4 Norwalk, Connecticut 84
5 Minneapolis, Minnesota 83
5 Evanston, Illinois 83
7 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 82
8 Cranston, Rhode Island 81
9 Lowell, Massacheusetts 80
10 St. Louis, Missouri 79

Top 10 Best U.S. Cities to Live Based on the Economy

An American flag, $100 bill, and stock market graph
The all mighty dollar dictates the quality of life for so many Americans.

If you are seeking employment, striving to advance your career, and/or starting to save for retirement, these ten U.S. cities are perfect for you.

Rank City Economic Score
1 Broomfield, Colorado 97
2 Johns Creek, Georgia 96
3 Roswell, Georgia 93
3 Sandy, Utah 93
5 Carmel, Indiana 92
6 Fishers, Indiana 90
6 Flower Mound, Texas 90
8 Gilbert, Arizona 89
8 Chandler, Arizona 89
10 Thornton, Colorado 88
10 Overland Park, Kansas 88

Top 10 Best U.S. Cities to Live Based on Education

University students in the middle of a class.
Great schools make for highly-livable cities.

You want your kids to get the best education possible, or perhaps, you are returning to higher education yourself - either way, these ten U.S. cities are top-ranked in the education department.

Rank City Education Score
1 Columbia, Maryland 90
2 Overland Park, Kansas 88
3 Clifton, New Jersey 86
3 Broomfield, Colorado 86
5 Naperville, Illinois 83
6 Olathe, Kansas 81
6 Sugar Land, Texas 81
8 Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 79
8 Cary, North Carolina 79
10 Flower Mount, Texas 78
10 Fort Collins, Colorado 78
10 Bloomington, Minnesota 78

Top 10 Best U.S. Cities to Live Based on Housing/Cost of Living

The vibrant skyline of Knoxville, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee leads the charge in terms of affordable housing, accessible monthly rentals, and overall cost of living. Photo: Marcus E Jones

It's been tough to make ends meet lately. Prospective homeowners feel hopeless, monthly rent is getting tighter by the season, the tax man keeps reaching for more, and income inequality only worsened with the pandemic. But fear not, these ten U.S. cities are the most friendly in terms of the housing market and general cost of living.

Rank City Housing & Cost of Living
1 Knoxville, Tennessee 89
1 Des Moines, Iowa 89
1 Orem, Utah 89
4 Broken Arrow, Oklahoma 88
5 Cedar Rapids, Iowa 87
5 Fishers, Indiana 87
5 Round Rock, Texas 87
5 Provo, Utah 87
9 Winston-Salem, North Carolina 86
10 Rio Rancho, New Mexico 85
10 Wichita, Kansas 85

Unpacking the Most Livable U.S. Cities

An aerial view of the tree-line, lakeside community of Flower Mound, Texas
Tree-lined, lakeside Flower Mound, Texas.

Now that we've combed through the raw data, let's take a closer look at the top three most livable cities in the United States (as evaluated by their overall livability score).

Johns Creek, Georgia

  • LivScore: 877
  • Region: Southeast
  • Population: 82,493
  • Median Household Income: $126,508
  • Median Home Value: $453,747
  • Average State Property Tax: $1,850
  • Median Monthly Rent: $1,476
  • Average Commute: 26.22 Minutes

Johns Creek hovers on the northeastern outskirts of Georgia's capital, Atlanta. This suburban city is therefore just a stone's throw from one of the biggest international airports in the country. But transportation isn't even one of its top three traits. Johns Creek claimed the number one livability spot in 2023, first and foremost, because of its economy, health care, and safety. Over 450 health care facilities and social service companies can be found in this Fulton County city. Not only do they serve the community directly, but they also provide tons of good-paying jobs. The schools here are excellent, the neighborhoods are safe, and natural beauty/outdoor recreation abounds thanks to local parks, the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, multiple golf courses, and quick access to Georgia's biggest body of water: Lake Lanier.

Flower Mound, Texas

  • LivScore: 872
  • Region: Southwest
  • Population: 81,173
  • Med. Household Income: $135,214
  • Med. Home Value: $423,603
  • Avg. Property Tax: $3,520
  • Med. Monthly Rent: $1,280
  • Avg. Commute: 25.24 Mins

Flower Mound, Texas mirrors Johns Creek in several regards. Once again a northern suburb of one of the state's major metropolitan areas (i.e. Dallas/Fort Worth), Flower Mound benefits from big-city amenities (including immediate access to the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport) but also a wholesome suburban life. This large town of both Denton and Tarrant County also achieved its nation-topping livability ranking thanks to a standout trifecta of economy, health care, and safety. But like our first pick, Flower Mound delivers beautiful parks (including a wildflower haven in the heart of the community), two sizable local lakes (in this case, Grapevine Lake and Lewisville Lake), and top-notch schools to boot. Additionally, low property taxes, low crime rates, and exceptional medical care all contribute to Flower Mound being the second-most livable city in the U.S. (as of 2023).

Carmel, Indiana

  • LivScore: 866
  • Region: Midwest
  • Population: 103,628
  • Med. Household Income: $117,078
  • Med. Home Value: $388,578
  • Avg. Property Tax: $1,308
  • Med. Monthly Rent: $1,126
  • Avg. Commute: 20.26 Mins

It may not reside in the south like our first two picks, but Carmel, Indiana is every bit as charming. Yet again, Carmel is a northern suburb, this time of Indiana's state capital, Indianapolis, that posted a top-tier 2023 LivScore thanks to a strong economy, a robust health care scene, and safe neighborhoods. This Hamilton County community also boasts great schools and a plethora of quality jobs. And even though life is a little slower paced than our first two selections (partly because Indianapolis is a smaller metropolitan), Carmel excels in the arts and culture department, thanks to the multi-venue Center for the Performing Arts. Plus, with ample parks, walking paths, and bike lanes, it's easy to get outside and enjoy the fair-weather seasons. With that said, our bronze-medal livable city keeps spirits high during the "off season," thanks to themed festivals and a winter farmers market.

Final Thoughts:

There are so many factors to consider when trying to build a healthy, happy life for yourself, with your partner, and/or on behalf of your family. Is the city in question safe? Is it affordable? Is it a fun and inspiring place in which to pass the foreseeable future? Well, if it shows up on 2023's list of best U.S. cities, then it has aced the litmus test for overall livability. Individuals may prioritize certain metrics, in which case, we trust that the accompanying top-10 themed lists will also be of value. No matter your preferences/necessities, all the best on your upcoming migration towards a new and better life!

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