2014

Top 100 Best Places to Live


Ranking Criteria

The LivScore for each city is a composite of nearly 40 data points. Those data points were grouped into the eight categories below. The methodology gives a good overview of how we calculated the score. But how do demographics, amenities and education actually influence livability? How can transportation make a city a best place to live? Read these stories for a more detailed discussion.

Amenities

Amenities are serious business and can draw money-spending tourists and help cities differentiate themselves and craft their own identities.

Demographics

The fundamental makeup of the community impacts how we interact with it and how it can be a best place to live – for all demographics.

Economics

What good is having great culture, amenities, housing and schools if you can’t afford to take advantage of them? For cities, a robust economy means having the ability to invest in creating a better place to live.

Education

From pre-kindergarten to college and beyond, access to quality education is a key driver of livability and of income potential for area residents. School districts are also a key reason why we relocate.

Health Care

Major hospitals are important in their role as employers, stable economic engines and ability to attract a highly skilled, highly paid workforce.

Housing

Housing costs are important, but so are the kinds of housing stock available and whether we pay a landlord or mortgage for the priviledge of living in a great town.

Social and Civic Capital

How people interact and get involved with their communities can greatly impact livability.

Transportation and Infrastructure

A city needs a mix of transportation options – highways, rail, biking, walkability, airports and other infrastructure like broadband – to compete as a livable community as the transportation needs of Americans shift from entirely car-centric to a more mixed-mode landscape.