150 Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2020-21

U.S. News analyzed the 150 most populous metro areas to find the best places to live. To make the top of the list, a place had to have good value, be a desirable place to live, have a strong job market and a high quality of life. For more information on how we rank, read the Best Places to Live methodology.

150 matches
150 matches
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  1. Boulder, CO
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    Boulder, CO

    #1 in Best Places to Live

    Snug against the foothills where the Great Plains give rise to the Rocky Mountains, Boulder is nothing if not a looker... Read More
    Overall Score
    Overall Score
    7.8
    Quality of Life
    Quality of Life
    8.3
    Value
    Value
    6.3
    Overall Score
    7.8
    Quality of Life
    8.3
    Value
    6.3
  2. Denver, CO
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    Denver, CO

    #2 in Best Places to Live

    Founded in the mid-1800s as a mining hub during the gold rush, Denver has come a long way since its Wild West days. Over... Read More
    Overall Score
    Overall Score
    7.4
    Quality of Life
    Quality of Life
    7
    Value
    Value
    6.6
    Overall Score
    7.4
    Quality of Life
    7
    Value
    6.6
  3. Austin, TX
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    Austin, TX

    #3 in Best Places to Live

    People are drawn to the Texas capital's music, outdoor spaces and cultural institutions. Austin was established along... Read More
    Overall Score
    Overall Score
    7.4
    Quality of Life
    Quality of Life
    7.1
    Value
    Value
    6.6
    Overall Score
    7.4
    Quality of Life
    7.1
    Value
    6.6
  4. Colorado Springs, CO
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    Colorado Springs, CO

    #4 in Best Places to Live

    Colorado Springs might not jump off the map as an economic or cultural hub the way larger metro areas like Denver do... Read More
    Overall Score
    Overall Score
    7.4
    Quality of Life
    Quality of Life
    6.9
    Value
    Value
    6.5
    Overall Score
    7.4
    Quality of Life
    6.9
    Value
    6.5
  5. Fort Collins, CO
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    Fort Collins, CO

    #5 in Best Places to Live

    Fort Collins was once overshadowed by Colorado’s heavily populated Front Range and famous mountain ski towns. That... Read More
    Overall Score
    Overall Score
    7.4
    Quality of Life
    Quality of Life
    7.6
    Value
    Value
    6
    Overall Score
    7.4
    Quality of Life
    7.6
    Value
    6
  6. Charlotte, NC
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    Charlotte, NC

    #6 in Best Places to Live

    Charlotte is a region that's equal parts old-fashioned southern charm and high-energy cosmopolitan bustle. You'll still... Read More
    Overall Score
    Overall Score
    7.3
    Quality of Life
    Quality of Life
    6.4
    Value
    Value
    7.6
    Overall Score
    7.3
    Quality of Life
    6.4
    Value
    7.6
  7. Des Moines, IA
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    Des Moines, IA

    #7 in Best Places to Live

    The capital of this so-called flyover state may not top your to-visit list, but Des Moines is a great place to live and... Read More
    Overall Score
    Overall Score
    7.3
    Quality of Life
    Quality of Life
    7.3
    Value
    Value
    8.4
    Overall Score
    7.3
    Quality of Life
    7.3
    Value
    8.4
  8. Fayetteville, AR
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    Fayetteville, AR

    #8 in Best Places to Live

    Located in a region that's experiencing drastic growth, Fayetteville – together with Bentonville, Rogers and Springdale... Read More
    Overall Score
    Overall Score
    7.3
    Quality of Life
    Quality of Life
    7.2
    Value
    Value
    8.3
    Overall Score
    7.3
    Quality of Life
    7.2
    Value
    8.3
  9. Portland, OR
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    Portland, OR

    #9 in Best Places to Live

    Portland's population toes the line between an innocent playfulness and a shameless wild side. Naked bicycle rides, a... Read More
    Overall Score
    Overall Score
    7.3
    Quality of Life
    Quality of Life
    6.7
    Value
    Value
    6.1
    Overall Score
    7.3
    Quality of Life
    6.7
    Value
    6.1
  10. San Francisco, CA
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    San Francisco, CA

    #10 in Best Places to Live

    A beautiful region filled with iconic landmarks, independently owned businesses and trendsetting residents, San... Read More
    Overall Score
    Overall Score
    7.2
    Quality of Life
    Quality of Life
    6.6
    Value
    Value
    5.1
    Overall Score
    7.2
    Quality of Life
    6.6
    Value
    5.1