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.

Rank City Amenities Civic Demo. Econ Educat. Health Housing Infrast. LivScore
#1 Rochester 59 73 53 63 63 77 69 47 695
#2 Iowa City 54 65 42 59 68 85 63 47 678
#3 Ann Arbor 60 69 39 52 76 75 50 66 674
#4 Olympia 68 62 43 53 65 71 62 63 672
#5 Charlottesville 64 68 51 62 51 73 60 59 670
#6 Bellevue 72 72 59 50 60 61 49 63 669
#7 Palo Alto 63 69 59 49 61 68 47 69 669
#8 Madison 58 68 41 61 61 82 53 60 668
#9 Overland Park 57 74 55 62 66 75 52 45 668
#10 Bismarck 56 75 47 52 69 74 73 39 667
#11 Burlington 57 64 22 53 62 78 70 74 663
#12 Newton 46 89 46 48 68 59 58 62 659
#13 Rockville 47 60 72 64 68 54 55 59 658
#14 Ithaca 56 55 40 43 77 76 62 67 657
#15 Franklin 61 88 55 62 60 64 44 40 652
#16 Fort Collins 71 65 34 52 69 62 65 55 651
#17 Pleasanton 54 73 50 59 68 56 57 55 650
#18 Columbia 44 70 71 66 67 56 55 44 649
#19 Arlington 51 80 53 61 68 49 42 68 648
#20 Pittsburgh 62 54 43 50 62 74 56 69 648
#21 Cary 53 81 58 66 69 47 52 45 647
#22 Manhattan 57 53 36 61 69 73 61 58 646
#23 Portland 53 70 34 57 51 77 53 74 646
#24 Frederick 55 60 68 65 71 41 59 51 645
#25 Ames 50 68 23 59 80 68 63 55 643
#26 Woodbury 47 72 47 69 69 67 59 38 642
#27 Fairfax 62 81 67 45 65 30 57 59 641
#28 Cambridge 51 67 48 49 64 70 44 70 641
#29 Bethesda 48 75 56 53 59 58 53 62 639
#30 West Hartford 53 80 54 48 75 49 62 42 638
#31 Fargo 62 60 37 46 67 79 66 47 638
#32 Alexandria 61 84 59 60 49 45 43 63 637
#33 Columbia 65 57 46 61 60 77 56 42 637
#34 Walnut Creek 72 61 57 50 46 66 52 58 636
#35 Boulder 65 70 26 48 67 61 58 67 636
#36 Edina 50 87 47 49 69 59 54 45 636
#37 Naperville 53 82 35 59 77 59 51 45 635
#38 Chesapeake 63 66 69 65 59 46 52 44 635
#39 Sioux Falls 60 61 52 52 58 72 68 39 635
#40 St. Paul 51 51 59 47 56 72 66 60 635
#41 San Mateo 64 58 62 50 50 56 54 66 634
#42 Bozeman 66 79 26 56 72 65 43 54 634
#43 Downers Grove 42 78 39 56 74 61 57 53 634
#44 Grand Forks 57 72 32 43 69 74 65 46 633
#45 White Plains 49 68 66 45 64 52 51 64 633
#46 Albany 51 65 49 40 57 70 51 74 632
#47 Asheville 56 64 69 56 60 63 46 43 631
#48 Roseville 67 59 56 57 49 67 62 42 629
#49 Littleton 69 66 51 55 59 41 61 54 628
#50 San Luis Obispo 66 60 29 50 59 74 57 59 627
#51 Renton 54 37 65 6 63 60 57 59 627
#52 Brookline 50 85 38 48 69 53 45 65 627
#53 Corvallis 60 74 22 51 59 75 55 58 626
#54 Anchorage 65 58 44 59 71 64 50 44 626
#55 Chapel Hill 53 71 44 48 70 62 42 63 626
#56 Santa Cruz 68 56 36 48 63 68 54 61 625
#57 Lakewood 65 48 54 57 60 51 66 54 625
#58 Reston 49 73 52 65 56 56 50 53 625
#59 Irvine 61 61 52 51 69 59 45 54 624
#60 Sarasota 79 47 75 25 62 55 38 70 624
#61 Ankeny 39 73 32 78 80 54 63 35 623
#62 Longmont 63 59 51 56 50 52 68 55 623
#63 Ellicott City 41 83 64 70 60 45 52 38 622
#64 San Rafael 71 55 59 43 46 61 51 64 622
#65 Plano 56 61 64 56 60 54 51 50 621
#66 Camarillo 60 67 58 56 47 54 63 46 620
#67 Lawrence 65 61 38 57 57 64 60 50 620
#68 Lincoln 56 61 43 48 61 68 67 45 620
#69 Cheyenne 66 66 51 56 62 46 66 37 619
#70 Kearney 50 73 25 59 58 78 61 45 619
#71 East Lansing 48 66 30 52 73 59 49 72 619
#72 Aberdeen 43 71 44 62 45 74 68 42 618
#73 Royal Oak 48 79 27 69 55 59 51 60 618
#74 Duluth 66 63 20 38 65 86 62 46 617
#75 Des Moines 55 44 59 42 53 75 64 55 617
#76 Missoula 65 68 20 39 71 71 56 55 616
#77 Minot 53 74 45 50 60 53 69 44 616
#78 Richland 67 70 52 59 60 53 53 33 615
#79 Santa Rosa 68 49 57 33 55 70 55 57 615
#80 Ashburn 40 69 61 74 65 44 50 45 614
#81 Gainesville 73 50 44 54 53 70 44 59 613
#82 Santa Barbara 73 54 52 49 61 55 49 53 613
#84 Boise 50 62 43 54 63 69 58 47 613
#85 La Crosse 59 61 14 55 44 86 66 59 612
#86 Berkeley 64 46 50 43 58 60 54 69 612
#87 Billings 61 61 45 48 60 57 70 42 611
#88 Burke 43 85 46 75 55 45 49 48 611
#89 Eagan 46 73 35 66 76 47 62 40 611
#90 Norwalk 54 60 71 39 57 43 55 63 610
#91 Portsmouth 45 73 32 48 74 60 43 66 610
#92 Ventura 58 45 53 53 55 61 62 57 610
#93 Rockville Centre 42 81 48 30 64 58 61 56 610
#94 Bethlehem 51 56 55 41 57 62 59 61 609
#95 Beverly 51 79 37 52 55 55 55 57 609
#96 Edmonds 62 69 53 57 41 51 56 51 608
#97 Centennial 53 79 43 66 66 32 59 44 608
#98 Saratoga Springs 53 75 41 34 71 59 49 57 607
#99 Fayetteville 66 52 44 57 73 66 39 44 607
#100 Fishers 48 83 42 72 54 64 50 29 607
#83 Helena 60 71 35 55 59 55 57 53 613