The 25 Best Places to Live on the East Coast in 2019

See which metro areas on the Eastern Seaboard offer the most for residents.

By Devon Thorsby, Editor, Real Estate |June 26, 2019, at 2:20 p.m.

The 25 Best Places to Live on the East Coast in 2019

Slideshow

Where on the East Coast do you want to live?

Historic townhouse architecture of US capital.

(Getty Images)

If you’re planning to move to a new part of the U.S., you probably have an idea of where you would like to end up. Whether it’s because a lot of family resides in the eastern half of country, you’re a fan of history behind the many cities that were a part of the early United States or you just prefer the vibe, you’ve decided to narrow your search to the East Coast. To help you determine which metro area in this part of the country is the best fit for you, we break down the 25 Best Places to Live on the East Coast, based on the overall Best Places to Live rankings for metro areas located within 100 miles of the Atlantic coast.

25. Miami

25. Miami

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Best Places 2019 Rank: 113
Metro Population: 6,019,790
Median Home Price: $247,113
Median Annual Salary: $46,860

At the southern tip of Florida, Miami is a well-known hot spot for vacationers, retirees and those looking to make a move for the many business opportunities in this international city. Miami ranks No. 113 on the overall Best Places to Live list, primarily due to the high cost of living. Miami-area residents spend more than 31% of the median annual household income on the cost of living.

Learn more about Miami.

24. Virginia Beach, Virginia

24. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach is a resort city with miles of beaches and hundreds of hotels, motels, and restaurants along its oceanfront

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 103
Metro Population: 1,717,708
Median Home Price: $220,275
Median Annual Salary: $47,410

Virginia Beach is another popular beach spot on the East Coast. The metro area receives its highest score for its job market. While the median annual salary is $47,410 and below the national average of $50,620, the unemployment rate is just 3.3%, well below the national average of 3.9%.

Learn more about Virginia Beach.

23. Philadelphia

23. Philadelphia

Two cyclists on street with city row homes, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

(Getty Stock Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 102
Metro Population: 6,065,644
Median Home Price: $200,142
Median Annual Salary: $54,940

The birthplace of the United States may not be known for its sandy beaches, but Philadelphia’s rich history and proximity to other major metros areas on the East Coast make it the preferred place to live for many. But a contributing factor to Philadelphia’s rank at No. 102 on the Best Places to Live list is the fact that the metro area population shrank by 0.11% between 2013 and 2017 due to net migration, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Learn more about Philadelphia.

22. Baltimore

22. Baltimore

Baltimore downtown traffic at sunset time.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 100
Metro Population: 2,792,050
Median Home Price: $248,833
Median Annual Salary: $56,400

While Baltimore had positive population growth between 2013 and 2017, the metro area grew by just 0.31% during that time due to net migration. However, the job opportunities may be a reason to consider this mid-Atlantic locale: Baltimore’s median annual salary is well above the national average at $56,400.

Learn more about Baltimore.

21. Daytona Beach, Florida

21. Daytona Beach, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida, US

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 99
Metro Population: 623,675
Median Home Price: $192,817
Median Annual Salary: $38,710

If your choice to stay on the East Coast requires easy access to warm weather and beaches, Daytona Beach is an enticing option. Daytona Beach is a popular retirement destination – the metro area has a median age of 47.1 years – but it does come at a price. Daytona Beach is the 10th-most expensive place to live out of the 125 most populous metro areas in the U.S., with the cost of living requiring 27.84% of the median household income.

Learn more about Daytona Beach.

20. New Haven, Connecticut

20. New Haven, Connecticut

The city skyline of New Haven, Connecticut.

(Getty Stock Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 95
Metro Population: 862,127
Median Home Price: $204,475
Median Annual Salary: $55,450

A classic New England hometown, New Haven is home to Yale University and sits on New Haven Harbor, where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. New Haven receives its best score for its job market, with a median annual salary of $55,450. Still, the unemployment rate is above the national average at 4.1%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Learn more about New Haven.

19. Allentown, Pennsylvania

19. Allentown, Pennsylvania

Allentown is a city located in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is Pennsylvania's third most populous city

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 93
Metro Population: 832,790
Median Home Price: $174,858
Median Annual Salary: $46,920

Allentown receives its highest score as part of the Quality of Life category for its proximity to quality health care, based on U.S. News Best Hospitals data. Allentown residents spend 24.25% of the median annual household income on housing costs.

Learn more about Allentown.

18. Providence, Rhode Island

18. Providence, Rhode Island

Downtown Providence, Rhode Island straddles the Providence River. On the left are buildings from the Rhode Island School of Design.

(Kenneth C. Zirkel/Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 91
Metro Population: 1,613,154
Median Home Price: $228,804
Median Annual Salary: $52,220

Like many other East Coast metro areas, Providence scores best for its job market. The median annual salary is slightly above the national average at $52,220, although the unemployment rate is slightly above average at 4.1% – a contributing factor to Providence’s overall Best Places to Live rank at No. 91.

Learn more about Providence.

17. New York City

17. New York City

Times Square in New York.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 90
Metro Population: 21,139,370
Median Home Price: $386,862
Median Annual Salary: $63,079

The New York City metro area is home to more than 21 million residents, and it's often the first spot people think of when they consider visiting or moving to the East Coast. Future New York City residents should keep the cost in mind, however. With a cost of living calling for 29.69% of the median annual household income, New York City is the fourth-most expensive place to live in the U.S.

Learn more about New York City.

16. York, Pennsylvania

16. York, Pennsylvania

York, Pennsylvania during the day.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 87
Metro Population: 442,216
Median Home Price: $164,258
Median Annual Salary: $44,740

You can still live on the East Coast and have a lower cost of living. York is one of the inland metro areas on this list, but its small-town feel ensures residents need just 23.08% of the median household income to cover housing costs.

Learn more about York.

15. Springfield, Massachusetts

15. Springfield, Massachusetts

Springfield, Massachusetts skyline along the banks of the Connecticut River

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 86
Metro Population: 630,385
Median Home Price: $199,650
Median Annual Salary: $50,930

Springfield residents benefit from plenty of high-quality health care options within driving distance. An added bonus: The average morning commute for Springfield residents is just 22.8 minutes, allowing locals to spend more time at home.

Learn more about Springfield.

14. Port St. Lucie, Florida

14. Port St. Lucie, Florida

Port St. Lucie

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 78
Metro Population: 454,482
Median Home Price: $211,083
Median Annual Salary: $42,500

If you’re looking for a coastal Florida spot with fewer beaches to attract seasonal visitors, the smaller metro area of Port St. Lucie is a solid option. While it’s made up of fewer than 500,000 people, Port St. Lucie is growing fast. It's now the fifth fastest-growing metro area in the U.S. after increasing its population by 10.24% between 2013 and 2017 due to net migration.

Learn more about Port St. Lucie.

13. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

13. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach South Carolina aerial view at sunset

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Best Places 2019 Rank: 75
Metro Population: 432,772
Median Home Price: $181,800
Median Annual Salary: $35,890

Myrtle Beach is a popular vacation spot in South Carolina, and it's gaining new residents at a pace unmatched by any other metro area in the U.S. Myrtle Beach grew by a whopping 17.41% between 2013 and 2017 due to net migration.

Learn more about Myrtle Beach.

12. Orlando, Florida

12. Orlando, Florida

Aerial view of Orlando, Florida

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 63
Metro Population: 2,390,859
Median Home Price: $233,050
Median Annual Salary: $44,410

This inland Florida metro is still an easy drive to the East Coast, but as the home of both Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando, it has plenty of attractions of its own. The Orlando area has seen the population grow by 9.28% over a five-year period.

Learn more about Orlando.

11. Worcester, Massachusetts

11. Worcester, Massachusetts

Worcester, Massachusetts, USA Skyline at rush hour.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 62
Metro Population: 934,923
Median Home Price: $249,275
Median Annual Salary: $53,110

Worcester residents benefit from a job market that offers both a below-average unemployment rate, at 3.7%, and an above-average median annual salary, at $53,110. Worcester scores third out of the 125 most populous metro areas in the U.S. for its low rates of property crime and murder. Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows there were just 10 murders in Worcester in 2017, a rate of 1.16 per 100,000 people.

Learn more about Worcester.

10. Richmond, Virginia

10. Richmond, Virginia

USA, Virginia, Richmond, Cityscape at evening

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 53
Metro Population: 1,270,158
Median Home Price: $225,767
Median Annual Salary: $49,840

As Virginia's capital city, Richmond is fairly centrally located in the state, but a drive of just over 70 miles will get you to the coast. The area's unemployment rate is well below the national average at just 3.2%. Additionally, residents benefit from a low cost of living, as housing costs in Richmond require just 23% of the median annual household income.

Learn more about Richmond.

9. Lancaster, Pennsylvania

9. Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster is a city located in South Central Pennsylvania which serves as the seat of Pennsylvania's Lancaster County and one of the oldest inland towns in the United States

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 48
Metro Population: 536,494
Median Home Price: $196,025
Median Annual Salary: $43,760

Surrounded by Amish country, Lancaster is another more inland metro area that allows for residents to live close to the East Coast without a hefty cost of living. Lancaster also ranks second out of the 125 metro areas on the list for Best Places to Live for Quality of Life, which factors in college readiness among high school students according to data from the U.S. News Best High Schools rankings, access to quality health care, crime rates, average commute time and overall well-being, based on the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index.

Learn more about Lancaster.

8. Hartford, Connecticut

8. Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut, USA skyline at Founders Bridge.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 47
Metro Population: 1,213,123
Median Home Price: $215,542
Median Annual Salary: $60,040

Ranking No. 47 on the overall Best Places to Live list, Hartford receives its best score for its job market. The unemployment rate for the metro area is high at 4.2%, but the median annual salary, at $60,040, is nearly $10,000 above the national average.

7. Charleston, South Carolina

7. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina, at the historic homes on The Battery.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 45
Metro Population: 744,195
Median Home Price: $246,408
Median Annual Salary: $44,970

Charleston is a popular choice for many looking to move to an East Coast locale with warm weather, beach options, history and culture. The number of people moving to the area over the years has also been significant, as Charleston grew by 7.97% between 2013 and 2017 due to net migration alone.

Learn more about Charleston.

6. Manchester, New Hampshire

6. Manchester, New Hampshire

Manchester is the largest city in the state of New Hampshire and the largest city in northern New England. Manchester is known for its industrial heritage, riverside mills, affordability, and arts & cultural destination.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 43
Metro Population: 406,371
Median Home Price: $234,097
Median Annual Salary: $52,640

The smallest metro area by population on this list, Manchester ranks ninth out of the 125 most populous metro areas in the U.S. for its proximity to quality health care. Manchester also scores second out of all metro areas on the Best Places to Live list for its low rates of property crime and murder.

Learn more about Manchester.

5. Jacksonville, Florida

5. Jacksonville, Florida

A gorgeous aerial view of Ponte Vedra Beach in Jacksonville, Florida

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 42
Metro Population: 1,447,884
Median Home Price: $174,658
Median Annual Salary: $45,760

Located close to the state’s border with Georgia, Jacksonville isn’t the fastest-growing place in Florida, but it is seeing plenty of new residents choosing to call it home. Jacksonville grew by 6.88% between 2013 and 2017 due to net migration.

Learn more about Jacksonville.

4. Boston

4. Boston

Aerial view of Boston Skyline and Boston Public Garden in early morning, Boston Massachusetts.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 27
Metro Population: 4,771,936
Median Home Price: $423,450
Median Annual Salary: $65,420

If you still prefer a major metro area on the East Coast to call home, Boston offers the fourth-best job market out of the 125 metro areas on the list. The unemployment rate is just 3.1%, and the median annual salary, at $65,420, is well above the national average of $50,620.

Learn more about Boston.

3. Melbourne, Florida

3. Melbourne, Florida

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Best Places 2019 Rank: 25
Metro Population: 568,183
Median Home Price: $198,425
Median Annual Salary: $48,240

This coastal Florida metro area that includes Cape Canaveral receives its highest score for its high rates of college readiness among high school students. In addition, Melbourne continues to experience high population growth due to net migration, with the area growing by 8.74% between 2013 and 2017.

Learn more about Melbourne.

2. Portland, Maine

2. Portland, Maine

A beautiful sunset over Portland, Maine's working harbor.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 23
Metro Population: 525,776
Median Home Price: $223,367
Median Annual Salary: $48,970

If a Northern, less populated metro area is for you, consider Portland. In the annual Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index, which asks residents throughout the U.S. about their overall happiness, health and sense of security in their hometowns, Portland ranks sixth out of the 125 most populous metro areas in the U.S.

Learn more about Portland.

1. Washington, D.C.

1. Washington, D.C.

USA landmarks

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 19
Metro Population: 6,090,196
Median Home Price: $376,767
Median Annual Salary: $69,210

The highest-ranking East Coast metro area on the Best Places to Live list is the nation’s capital, the District of Columbia. Washington ranks third out of the 125 places on the list for its job market, with a median annual salary of $69,210 and an unemployment rate of 3.4%. Washington also ranks near the top for college readiness among high school students and overall well-being as reported by residents.

Learn more about Washington.

The Best Places to Live on the East Coast include:

The Best Places to Live on the East Coast include:

USA, Florida, Stuart, Aerial view of suburbs

(Getty Images)

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Portland, Maine
  • Melbourne, Florida
  • Boston
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Hartford, Connecticut
  • Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Port St. Lucie, Florida
  • Springfield, Massachusetts
  • York, Pennsylvania
  • New York City
  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • Allentown, Pennsylvania
  • New Haven, Connecticut
  • Daytona Beach, Florida
  • Baltimore
  • Philadelphia
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Miami

Read More

Devon Thorsby is the Real Estate editor at U.S. News & World Report, where she writes consumer-focused articles about the homebuying and selling process, home improvement, tenant rights and the state of the housing market.

She has appeared in media interviews across the U.S. including National Public Radio, WTOP (Washington, D.C.) and KOH (Reno, Nevada) and various print publications, as well as having served on panels discussing real estate development, city planning policy and homebuilding.

Previously, she served as a researcher of commercial real estate transactions and information, and is currently a member of the National Association of Real Estate Editors. Thorsby studied Political Science at the University of Michigan, where she also served as a news reporter and editor for the student newspaper The Michigan Daily. Follow her on Twitter or write to her at dthorsby@usnews.com.

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