2019 Top 100 Best Places to Live
For six years, Livability editors and data scientists have combined our obsessions with cities and data to create our annual ranking of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in America.
We always start with data: this year, we examined more than 1,000 cities based on thousands of data points measuring economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and health care. This is how we calculate each city’s LivScore, which you’ll see on each city page.
Next, we craft the rankings. This year, we started with a single question:
What matters most to you when you’re deciding where to live?
That’s what we asked 1,000 millennials across the country in an exclusive survey.
Their #1 answer, by a landslide? Affordability.
So, for the first time ever, we instituted a cap on median home value. This year, no city on the Top 100 Best Places to Live list has a median home value above $250,000.
We made some other changes, too. We raised our population maximum from 350,000 to 1,000,000 to accommodate more mid-sized cities that are attracting big waves of young people. We also changed up and added more weight to some of our measures of diversity and inclusion to reflect what millennials are looking for in the cities they call home.
If you’re a young person looking for a fresh start, or you’re sick of spending your whole paycheck on rent in a big city, this list is for you. At Livability, our goal is to help you discover your best place to live. These 100 cities are unique, welcoming, affordable and bursting with opportunities.
The only thing they’re missing is you.
– Winona Dimeo-Ediger, Livability.com Editor-in-Chief
Livscore: 701 | Population: 471,317
North Carolina’s capital city truly has something for everyone, which is why it scored high in the amenities category. Whether you’re a sports fan, a foodie, an outdoor adventurer, an entrepreneur, a college student or some combination of all of the above, there’s a long list of things to do in Raleigh to entertain and delight you.
Iowa City, IA
Livscore: 673 | Population: 78,179
Award-winning public schools? Check. World-class hospitals? Yep. A walkable, thriving, vibrant downtown? For sure. Throw any hyperbole-laden statement at your description of Iowa City, and it will probably stick. It’s no surprise that this extraordinary Big Ten University town continues its reign as a top-five place to live in our Top 100.
Livscore: 657 | Population: 71,693
There’s no getting around it: Greenville is having a moment. The city’s downtown is a premier destination for dining, shopping and entertainment, but outside of that, Greenville is home to an array of outdoor recreation opportunities thanks to its prime location in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.