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125 Best Places to Live in the U.S.

U.S. News analyzed the 125 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.

Real Estate Rankings


Rankings Category


Population Size


Average Rent


Median Home Price


Commute Time


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32 matches
High to Low

32 place matches

Austin, TX

badge #1 in Best Places to Live

People are drawn to the Texas capital's music, outdoor spaces and cultural institutions. Austin was established along the Colorado Ri… more

  • 7.6 Overall Score
  • 7.3 Quality of Life
  • 6.7 Value
Perfect match: Large City

Portland, OR

badge #8 in Best Places to Live

Portland's population toes the line between an innocent playfulness and a shameless wild side. Naked bicycle rides, a fully costumed … more

  • 7.2 Overall Score
  • 6.7 Quality of Life
  • 6.0 Value
Perfect match: Large City

Raleigh & Durham, NC

badge #10 in Best Places to Live

Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill are known for their research/technology roots and collegiate rivalries. This tri-city region (known a… more

  • 7.2 Overall Score
  • 6.9 Quality of Life
  • 7.7 Value
Perfect match: Large City

Grand Rapids, MI

badge #13 in Best Places to Live

Grand Rapids has an affinity for public art, and its craft brewery scene is one of the best in the nation. A scenic spot perched on t… more

  • 7.1 Overall Score
  • 7.6 Quality of Life
  • 8.1 Value
Perfect match: Large City

San Jose, CA

badge #14 in Best Places to Live

Nicknamed the capital of Silicon Valley, San Jose is a diverse area with an innovative spirit. While it has a distinct downtown, San … more

  • 7.1 Overall Score
  • 7.6 Quality of Life
  • 5.4 Value
Perfect match: Large City

Nashville, TN

badge #15 in Best Places to Live

Nashville is famous for the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, aka the Mother Church of Country Music, and twangy honky-tonks, but… more

  • 7.1 Overall Score
  • 6.1 Quality of Life
  • 7.1 Value
Perfect match: Large City

Charlotte, NC

badge #20 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 hear "y'all" … more

  • 7.0 Overall Score
  • 6.5 Quality of Life
  • 7.5 Value
Perfect match: Large City

Salt Lake City, UT

badge #24 in Best Places to Live

While remnants of its Mormon heritage – including the striking Salt Lake Temple – are still prominent downtown, Salt Lake City is not… more

  • 6.9 Overall Score
  • 6.9 Quality of Life
  • 7.4 Value
Perfect match: Large City

San Antonio, TX

badge #34 in Best Places to Live

San Antonio is as comfortable as an old pair of jeans. It offers big-city amenities and world-renowned attractions coupled with a rel… more

  • 6.8 Overall Score
  • 6.5 Quality of Life
  • 6.8 Value
Perfect match: Large City

Indianapolis, IN

badge #38 in Best Places to Live

Indianapolis is a great place to visit. But what makes Indy such a splendid place to stop over makes it an even better place to live.… more

  • 6.7 Overall Score
  • 6.1 Quality of Life
  • 8.1 Value
Perfect match: Large City
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