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The Top 10 Stories of 2019

From affordable places to live to starting over, 2019 brought interesting stories covering all parts of the country.

By Cara Sanders on December 30, 2019


Here at Livability we like to have a lot of fun and, fortunately for us, our job lets us do that.

We love providing our readers with information about the best cities that are affordable, cool and places you actually want to go.

With a completely re-formatted Top 100 Best Places to Live list that focused on millennials and what we want, we saw our highest traffic year yet. Additionally, we released nearly 20 Top 10 lists, created new content series and provided our readers with countless roundups covering everything from the best immersive art spaces to how to get a job at Amazon to the coolest dining experiences in the country

Our team is small, but mighty. Without the help of our many talented freelance writers, supportive friends and co-workers and the awesome cities that we get to write about, Livability wouldn’t be all that it is. 

But, mostly, we are grateful for our readers, like you! Thanks for spending time with us, reading and sharing our content and giving us feedback on how we can better meet your needs. We can’t wait for you all to see the exciting things we have in store for 2020.

Without further ado, here is a list of the 10 stories that got the most traffic this year (and a couple of our staff favorites, too!):

Our most popular story is always the Top 100 list. This year’s Top 100 Best Places to Live list was unlike any other that we had done before. We always begin with the data, craft the rankings and asked ourselves one question: What matters most when you’re deciding where to live? After asking 1,000 millennials across the country in our exclusive survey, we found that the #1 answer was affordability. So, for the first time ever we instituted a cap on the median home value, raised our population maximum and added more weight to measures of diversity and inclusion. This year’s list represented cities from 48 states across the country that are truly wonderful places to live and Boise, ID took the top spot for the best place to live in America. 

2. Looking for a Fresh Start? Here’s Where to Move.

We get it, sometimes you just need to start over. So, it came as no surprise to us that our ranking of the 10 Best Places to Get a Fresh Start list was one of the most popular stories of the year. Starting over can be scary, but these cities give you the jumpstart you need. 

3. The 7 Most Recession-Proof Cities

A Duke Survey revealed that more than 500 chief financial officers around the country believe a recession is looming. While it’s nearly impossible to avoid all of the affects of a national economic crisis, some cities are better able to weather the storm than others

4. Why Everyone’s Moving to Tampa Right Now (And You Might Want to Join Them)

One of the fastest growing cities in the nation, Tampa is a great place to live. From its vibrant downtown to steady job growth and career opportunities to an affordable housing market, there are plenty of reasons why you should consider a move to Tampa. 

Denver CO
Denver / Photo by Evan Semon

5. How to Start Over in a New City: 6 Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

Okay, so we’ve given you countless options of where to move, but what happens after you get there? From making friends as an adult to finding the perfect job, here’s everything you need to know about starting your life in a new city. 

6. 2019 Top 10 Best College Towns

Partnering with ABODO Apartments, our annual ranking of the 10 Best College Towns is now in its ninth year and is one of our most popular lists every year. 

7. Can’t Afford to Live in Denver? Live Here Instead

Like we said earlier, affordability is a big deal to our readers. What happens when you want to live in a big metropolitan area but the home prices are as high as the altitude? We’ve got you covered! These neighboring cities and suburbs give you all of the big city benefits of Denver, but at a fraction of the cost. 


8. 10 Awesome Cities with Little to No Traffic (Yes, Really!)

Our offices are based out of Franklin, but the majority of our staff lives in Nashville and we know a thing or two about waiting in traffic. What if we told you there was a world in which you could live without spending hours a day in park on the freeway? It exists! 

9. 6 Affordable Islands You Can Actually Live On

Ever thought about packing up and moving to an island? Just us? Cool. Well, these six islands are actually affordable and places you would want to. We’ll meet you there!

10. These Small Cities in Southern California Are Actually Affordable

? California knows how to party ?

Everyone wants to be in the Golden State, but it comes with a hefty price tag. Seriously – 18 of the most expensive zip codes in the U.S. are in Los Angeles County. However, it isn’t impossible to find affordable places to live in SoCal, you just have to know where to look!

Staff Favorites:

“I loved the honesty and very usable tips. It’s a perfect guide for anyone moving to a new place and trying to figure out how to fit in!” – Kim Holmberg, Chief Operating Officer 

“Admittedly I wrote this story, but it combined my two great loves: TV and my home state of Tennessee. I went to college in Knoxville, near Oak Ridge, and it is such an awesome city. The similarities between the show and East Tennessee are undeniable and doing research for this one was really fun.” – Cara Sanders, Digital Engagement Manager

“I greatly respected how a community was brutally honest in acknowledging its problems head on. Winona did an amazing job conveying why community leaders were ‘owning their flaws.” – Bill McMeekin, VP/Business Editor

“I worked in Pueblo for years and loved this part of town and remember seeing all the neon lights. I actually used to meet with the Konciljia Law Firm and remember all the unique pieces they had inside the office as well. The article brought me back to the good ole days in Pueblo!” – Jordan Moore, Executive VP/Sales

Editor Favorites:

It seemed unfair to make our fearless leader, Winona, narrow it down to just one story. So here are the top three picks from our editor-in-chief: 

“How could I not love a story about experiencing Wisconsin through cheese, especially when it taught me the meaning of the phrase, “cheese orphan?”

“This article, in which we interviewed 10 creative people who left LA for smaller cities, has everything I love about Livability content: honesty, curiosity, rent price voyeurism, and confirmation that you don’t have to live in a big, expensive city to live a big, exciting, creative life.”

“There were many stories and one-liners this year that made me laugh, but this hilarious, brutally honest takedown of Midwestern stereotypes is the only one that made me GUFFAW. So good.” 

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