With what’s happened in this country over the last 18 months, people have probably never cared more about where they live. As a result, people’s interest in moving to a new city has arguably never been higher. Given that, here’s a look at the top places to live in the U.S.
According to the Best Places to Live list published by U.S. News & World Report, the best place to live in the U.S. in 2021 is Boulder, Colorado due to its “high quality of life, job market and desirability scores.” Boulder also topped the list in 2020.
The ability to find balance between work life and personal life was a big reason why Boulder ranked so highly on the list.
“This blissed-out enclave attracts young professionals, families, academics, scientists, transplants from both coasts, old guards who insist it was way cooler in the 1970s and, above all, lovers of outdoor recreation,” U.S. News wrote about Boulder. “Trail runners, hikers, climbers, cyclists and more move here to live in this perpetual playground, where the answer to ‘What do you do?’ is often one’s activity of choice, not occupation.”
The city’s job market was also a big contributor to its high ranking. “Thanks in part to its booming technology sector and reputation as a haven for startups, Boulder is luring talented employees in droves with the promise of well-paying jobs and lower housing prices (than Silicon Valley, at least) without lifestyle compromises,” U.S. News wrote.
Ranking second on the list is Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina, which rose from #11 in 2020 to #2 in 2021. The third city on the list is Huntsville, Alabama, which also rose by more than 10 spots from 2020 to 2021.
According to U.S. News, both of those cities saw their rankings rise due to “significant employment in research, academia or aerospace engineering,” which brings more economic stability.
Meanwhile, cities where the cost of living is on the rise saw their rankings drop slightly, including Austin, Texas, which ranked #5; and Colorado Springs, Colorado, which ranked #6.
"This year we're looking at how the most populous metro areas in the U.S. fared for much of the coronavirus pandemic, and seeing how far they'll need to come to recover," said Devon Thorsby, real estate editor at U.S. News.
"It shouldn't be a surprise that many metro areas that saw unemployment levels skyrocket in 2020 fell in the rankings, but those with greater employment stability tended to fare well,” Thorsby added. “Housing affordability is always of great concern, but as people solidify their plans to work remotely, struggle to find a house in a hot housing market or consider a cross-country move, a low cost of living is even more important.”
Here is the full top 10 list of the Best Places to Live, courtesy of U.S. News:
- Boulder, Colorado
- Raleigh & Durham, North Carolina
- Huntsville, Alabama
- Fayetteville, Arkansas
- Austin, Texas
- Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Naples, Florida
- Portland, Maine
- Sarasota, Florida
- Portland, Oregon