Best Places to Live

2017 Top 100 Best Places to Live: Ranking data

For the fourth year in a row, our Top 100 Best Places to Live ranked more than 2,000 cities with populations between 20,000 and 350,000 in partnership with The Initiative for Creativity and Innovation in Cities at New York University’s Schools of Professional Studies. The program, directed by renowned urbanists Richard Florida and Steven Pedigo, is training the next generation of 21st-century city leaders and conducting research that will enable them to succeed for the future. Also partnered with us again this year, is the team from Emsi, which models economic data into actionable intelligence for city leaders. Ultimately, 40 data points were used to determine our rankings in the categories of economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and health care. Visit the links below to see how each city scored in our ranking criteria, review methodology or view the bios of our stellar advisory board.

City LivScore Amenities Civic Demo. Econ Educat. Health Housing Infrast.
Rochester 695 59 73 53 63 63 77 69 47
Iowa City 678 54 65 42 59 68 85 63 47
Ann Arbor 674 60 69 39 52 76 75 50 66
Olympia 672 68 62 43 53 65 71 62 63
Charlottesville 670 64 68 51 62 51 73 60 59
Palo Alto 669 63 69 59 49 61 68 47 69
Bellevue 669 72 72 59 50 60 61 49 63
Madison 668 58 68 41 61 61 82 53 60
Overland Park 668 57 74 55 62 66 75 52 45
Bismarck 667 56 75 47 52 69 74 73 39
Burlington 663 57 64 22 53 62 78 70 74
Newton 659 46 89 46 48 68 59 58 62
Rockville 658 47 60 72 64 68 54 55 59
Ithaca 657 56 55 40 43 77 76 62 67
Franklin 652 61 88 55 62 60 64 44 40
Fort Collins 651 71 65 34 52 69 62 65 55
Pleasanton 650 54 73 50 59 68 56 57 55
Columbia 649 44 70 71 66 67 56 55 44
Arlington 648 51 80 53 61 68 49 42 68
Pittsburgh 648 62 54 43 50 62 74 56 69
Cary 647 53 81 58 66 69 47 52 45
Manhattan 646 57 53 36 61 69 73 61 58
Portland 646 53 70 34 57 51 77 53 74
Frederick 645 55 60 68 65 71 41 59 51
Ames 643 50 68 23 59 80 68 63 55
Woodbury 642 47 72 47 69 69 67 59 38
Cambridge 641 51 67 48 49 64 70 44 70
Fairfax 641 62 81 67 45 65 30 57 59
Bethesda 639 48 75 56 53 59 58 53 62
West Hartford 638 53 80 54 48 75 49 62 42
Fargo 638 62 60 37 46 67 79 66 47
Alexandria 637 61 84 59 60 49 45 43 63
Columbia 637 65 57 46 61 60 77 56 42
Walnut Creek 636 72 61 57 50 46 66 52 58
Boulder 636 65 70 26 48 67 61 58 67
Edina 636 50 87 47 49 69 59 54 45
Sioux Falls 635 60 61 52 52 58 72 68 39
St. Paul 635 51 51 59 47 56 72 66 60
Naperville 635 53 82 35 59 77 59 51 45
Chesapeake 635 63 66 69 65 59 46 52 44
San Mateo 634 64 58 62 50 50 56 54 66
Bozeman 634 66 79 26 56 72 65 43 54
Downers Grove 634 42 78 39 56 74 61 57 53
Grand Forks 633 57 72 32 43 69 74 65 46
White Plains 633 49 68 66 45 64 52 51 64
Albany 632 51 65 49 40 57 70 51 74
Asheville 631 56 64 69 56 60 63 46 43
Roseville 629 67 59 56 57 49 67 62 42
Littleton 628 69 66 51 55 59 41 61 54
San Luis Obispo 627 66 60 29 50 59 74 57 59
Renton 627 54 37 65 61 63 60 57 59
Brookline 627 50 85 38 48 69 53 45 65
Corvallis 626 60 74 22 51 59 75 55 58
Anchorage 626 65 58 44 59 71 64 50 44
Chapel Hill 626 53 71 44 48 70 62 42 63
Santa Cruz 625 68 56 36 48 63 68 54 61
Lakewood 625 54 60 54 57 65 5,166 48 54
Reston 625 49 73 52 65 56 56 50 53
Sarasota 624 79 47 75 25 62 55 38 70
Irvine 624 61 61 52 51 69 59 45 54
Ankeny 623 39 73 32 78 80 54 63 35
Longmont 623 63 59 51 56 50 52 68 55
Ellicott City 622 41 83 64 70 60 45 52 38
San Rafael 622 71 55 59 43 46 61 51 64
Plano 621 56 61 64 56 60 54 51 50
Lawrence 620 65 61 38 57 57 64 60 50
Lincoln 620 56 61 43 48 61 68 67 45
Camarillo 620 60 67 58 56 47 54 63 46
Cheyenne 619 66 66 51 56 62 46 66 37
Kearney 619 50 73 25 59 58 78 61 45
East Lansing 619 48 66 30 52 73 29 49 72
Aberdeen 618 43 71 44 62 45 74 68 42
Royal Oak 618 48 79 27 69 55 59 51 60
Des Moines 617 55 44 59 42 53 75 64 55
Duluth 617 66 63 20 38 65 86 62 46
Missoula 616 65 68 20 39 71 71 56 55
Minot 616 53 74 45 50 60 53 69 44
Richland 615 67 70 52 59 60 53 53 33
Santa Rosa 615 68 49 57 33 55 70 55 57
Ashburn 614 40 69 61 74 65 44 50 45
Gainesville 613 73 50 44 54 53 70 44 59
Santa Barbara 613 73 54 52 49 61 55 49 53
Helena 613 60 71 35 55 59 55 57 53
Boise 613 50 62 43 54 63 69 58 47
La Crosse 612 59 61 14 55 44 86 66 59
Berkeley 612 64 46 50 43 58 60 54 69
Eagan 611 46 73 35 66 76 47 62 40
Billings 611 61 61 45 48 60 57 70 42
Burke 611 43 85 46 75 55 45 49 48
Norwalk 610 54 60 71 39 57 43 55 63
Portsmouth 610 45 73 32 48 74 60 43 66
Ventura 610 58 45 53 53 55 61 62 57
Rockville Centre 610 42 81 48 30 64 58 61 56
Beverly 609 51 79 37 52 55 55 55 57
Bethlehem 609 51 56 55 41 57 62 59 61
Edmonds 608 62 69 53 57 41 51 56 51
Centennial 608 53 79 43 66 66 32 59 44
Saratoga Springs 607 53 75 41 34 71 59 49 57
Fayetteville 607 66 52 44 57 73 66 39 44
Fishers 607 48 83 42 72 54 64 50 29