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125 Best Places to Live in the USA

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


Population Size


Average Rent


Median Home Price


Commute Time


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21 matches
High to Low

21 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 ... more

  • 7.6 Overall Score
  • 7.3 Quality of Life
  • 6.7 Value
No match

Denver, CO

badge #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 time, its ... more

  • 7.4 Overall Score
  • 7.0 Quality of Life
  • 6.7 Value
Perfect match: Mega City

Colorado Springs, CO

badge #3 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. But in a quie... more

  • 7.4 Overall Score
  • 7.0 Quality of Life
  • 6.6 Value
No match

Fayetteville, AR

badge #4 in Best Places to Live

Located in a region that's experiencing drastic growth, Fayetteville – together with Bentonville, Rogers and Springdale – has trans... more

  • 7.3 Overall Score
  • 7.5 Quality of Life
  • 8.2 Value
No match

Des Moines, IA

badge #5 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 raise a fam... more

  • 7.3 Overall Score
  • 7.0 Quality of Life
  • 8.4 Value
No match

Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

badge #6 in Best Places to Live

Minneapolis and St. Paul not only have big-city amenities like museums and sports stadiums, but also have an approachable Midwester... more

  • 7.3 Overall Score
  • 7.1 Quality of Life
  • 7.7 Value
Perfect match: Mega City

San Francisco, CA

badge #7 in Best Places to Live

A beautiful region filled with iconic landmarks, independently owned businesses and trendsetting residents, San Francisco has long ... more

  • 7.3 Overall Score
  • 6.8 Quality of Life
  • 4.9 Value
Perfect match: Mega 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 costume... more

  • 7.2 Overall Score
  • 6.7 Quality of Life
  • 6.0 Value
No match

Seattle, WA

badge #9 in Best Places to Live

To answer the question on many people's mind: "No, it doesn't rain all the time." Seattle gets less rain annually than Boston, New ... more

  • 7.2 Overall Score
  • 6.6 Quality of Life
  • 5.9 Value
Perfect match: Mega 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... more

  • 7.2 Overall Score
  • 6.9 Quality of Life
  • 7.7 Value
No match
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