Best Places To Live

Where is the best place to live in America? That depends on how you measure it or what you’re looking for in a place to live.

Obvi0usly a family of 4 will have different needs than a single man in his 30s. Using various factors, Money determined the 50 Best Places to Live in the United States. Did your town make it? 

Top 10 Best Places To Live

The complete list is here, but let’s focus on the Top 10.

10. Ellicot City, Maryland (Baltimore suburb)

9. Scottsdale, Arizona (Nice Phoenix Suburb, great golf, weather, and schools)

8. Centennial, Colorado (lovely Denver suburb)

7. Overland Park, Kansas (Kansas City Suburb)

6. Syracuse, Utah (Way better than Syracuse, New York unless you’re a college basketball fan)

5. Ashburn, VA (DC suburb far enough away from the Swamp that you can enjoy the Virginia countryside)

4. Flower Mound, Texas (Dallas suburb with access to lakes, lots of green space, and fine schools)

3. Franklin, Tennessee (pleasant and historical Nashville suburb) 

2. Carmel, Indiana (Unfortunately not the home of caramel, but is the Roundabout Capital of the US with over 128 roundabouts)

And Number One is:

Chanhassen, Minnesota

Best Places To Live

Methodology Of 50 Best Places To Live

Money uses a variety of factors to decide the 50 best places to live. Besides “old fashioned reporting,” the publication uses the following metrics:

  • A population range from 25,000 – 500,000
  • Low crime
  • A growing population
  • And economic factors such as Cost of Living, Economic Opportunity, Education, and (yes, this one is real) FUN.

How Did These Places Make The List?

I’m sure Money put a lot of time into this list. However, some of these additions are real head-scratchers. Let’s take a look at three cities that don’t deserve to be on the list:

  • Number 39: Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
    • This one doesn’t make sense because Hilton Head is notoriously expensive, and the only jobs available are in tourism and hospitality. Most of those jobs would not pay enough to live on the island, where housing is scarce and expensive. Hilton Head is lovely and a great place to visit, but I don’t know if I’d live there.
  • Number 50: Paramus, New Jersey
    • That any place in New Jersey is on this list is enough to throw the whole thing out. New Jersey, which is just a giant suburb for the Philly-New York megalopolis, is expensive, dirty, and worst of all, boring. Heck, a poll said that 41% of people living in New Jersey wished they lived somewhere else. 
  • Number 42: Camas, Washington
    • I have been to Camas, and I have found it…wanting. Yes, the scenes are lovely. But if you can’t stand hippies, this is not the place for you.

What’s Missing? 

All of California’s major cities (and their suburbs) were excluded.

There are only two places in California, and they come in at numbers 48 (Mission Viejo) and 42 (Rocklin).

This shouldn’t surprise you. With its high taxes, earthquakes, wildfires, and shrinking population, California isn’t the best place to live.

Sure it has sun year-round, but it is also a mecca for the homeless and has housing prices that would make a millionaire cry.

Did your city make the list? Would you move to any of these places? Sound off in the comments.

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