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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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150 matches
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150 place matches

New York City, NY

badge #90 in Best Places to Live

New York City is America's largest metro area, home to nearly 21 million people speaking more than 200 languages. It's a place writte… more

  • 6.3 Overall Score
  • 6.4 Quality of Life
  • 3.6 Value
New York City, NY photos
21,139,370 Population

Los Angeles, CA

badge #107 in Best Places to Live

Although the City of Angels is characterized as both a glamorous show business town and a traffic-gnarled metropolis, the truth about… more

  • 6.1 Overall Score
  • 6.6 Quality of Life
  • 3.3 Value
Los Angeles, CA photos
18,585,594 Population

Chicago, IL

badge #104 in Best Places to Live

The Magnificent Mile, Millennium Park and the Willis Tower may blow many visitors away, but for those who live in the Windy City, the… more

  • 6.1 Overall Score
  • 5.7 Quality of Life
  • 6.0 Value
Chicago, IL photos
9,549,229 Population

Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

badge #21 in Best Places to Live

Offering both big-city excitement and quiet, suburban living, the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area offers an interesting mix of Texas pri… more

  • 7.0 Overall Score
  • 6.7 Quality of Life
  • 7.1 Value
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX photos
7,104,415 Population

Houston, TX

badge #30 in Best Places to Live

The Houston metro area attracts people with an entrepreneurial spirit and those who want to work at some of the country's largest com… more

  • 6.8 Overall Score
  • 6.5 Quality of Life
  • 7.1 Value
Houston, TX photos
6,636,208 Population

Washington, DC

badge #19 in Best Places to Live

To the rest of the country, Washington, D.C., is the nation's capital – and that's it. It's where lawmakers sit high and mighty, and … more

  • 7.0 Overall Score
  • 6.6 Quality of Life
  • 6.5 Value
Washington, DC photos
6,090,196 Population

Philadelphia, PA

badge #102 in Best Places to Live

Philadelphia offers a unique setting for an eclectic mix of modern lifestyles, mingling both the edgy and the sophisticated. History … more

  • 6.1 Overall Score
  • 5.7 Quality of Life
  • 6.1 Value
Philadelphia, PA photos
6,065,644 Population

Miami, FL

badge #113 in Best Places to Live

Dubbed "The Magic City," Miami is one of the most vibrant metro areas in the U.S., and it's well on its way to becoming one of the la… more

  • 5.8 Overall Score
  • 6.9 Quality of Life
  • 2.9 Value
Miami, FL photos
6,019,790 Population

Atlanta, GA

badge #57 in Best Places to Live

Sure, the sweet tea abounds and it's common to hear the occasional "y'all" in casual conversation, but Atlanta has long been redefini… more

  • 6.6 Overall Score
  • 5.9 Quality of Life
  • 6.8 Value
Atlanta, GA photos
5,700,990 Population

Boston, MA

badge #27 in Best Places to Live

Boston often feels like a small town with all the perks of city life. The metro area features a diverse culinary scene, access to the… more

  • 6.9 Overall Score
  • 7.0 Quality of Life
  • 5.7 Value
Boston, MA photos
4,771,936 Population
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