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Going for a short stay or relocating, the U.S. News and World Report have just released data for its 2019 Best Places to Live in America.
The United States is filled with world-class cities and under-the-radar attractions worth visiting year-round. But when it comes time to settle down, some spots are better than others.
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Several factors were considered, including affordability, job prospects and quality of life. Data such as crime rates, availability of health care and median household income was used in conjunction with results from polls. For example, they asked 2,500 people from all over the country where they’d prefer to live to create a desirability index. Net migration — how many people are moving to or away from each metro area — was also a significant factor when coming up with the final ranking.
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The Northeastern cities, which are epicenters of higher education and economic development, are not growing nearly as much as places in Florida, California, and Texas, according to the Report. Plus, they are expensive to live in. Top-ranked places have the characteristics people are looking for, including steady job growth, affordability and high quality of life.
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Tampa also ranked well in terms of housing affordability, net migration, quality of life and job market scores, helping it climb to No. 56 from No. 75.
So, which cities topped the list?
#1: Austin Texas
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For three years in a row, Austin, Texas, took the No. 1 spot. Although the number of people moving to the state capital has decreased, it scored high in desirability, and its net migration score was still higher than that of most cities.
#2: Denver, Colorado
Denver came second.
#3: Colorado Springs
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Colorado Springs city took the next spot, ranking third.
#4: Fayetteville, Arkansas
Fayetteville ranked fourth.
#5: Des Moines, Iowa
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Des Moines, Iowa, ranked fifth, proving that coastal cities are no longer dominating.
#6: Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
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#7: San Francisco, California
Thanks to its tech boom, San Francisco — which moved up from No. 20 to No. 7.
#8: Portland, Oregon
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#9: Seattle, Washington
#10: Raleigh & Durham, North Carolina
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#11: Huntsville, Alabama
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Huntsville, Alabama, had the best housing affordability.
#12: Madison, Wisconsin
#13: Grand Rapids, Michigan
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#14: San Jose, California
San Jose, California, had the highest salary.
#15: Nashville, Tennessee
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#16: Asheville, North Carolina
#17: Boise, Idaho
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#18: Sarasota, Florida
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Florida is also a state of note this year as Sarasota debuted at No. 18, with the highest net migration score and increases in desirability, affordability, quality of life and job growth.
#19: Washington, D.C.
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Washington, D.C., dropped to No. 19 after ranking No. 8 last year due to a decrease in housing affordability and net migration.
#20: Charlotte, North Carolina
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While the majority of the top 25 best places to live are located in the middle of the country, the Pacific Northwest is still popular thanks to its tech boom. San Francisco — which moved up from No. 20 to No. 7 — Portland, Oregon, and Seattle all took spots in the top 10. Incredibly, only one Northeast city cracked the top 20. Portland, Maine, was the next closest city, coming in at the 23rd spot, while New York City sat way down at No. 90 on the list.
In terms of the worst places to live, San Juan, Puerto Rico — which is still recovering from 2017’s devastating Hurricane Maria — ranked last again, while several California cities, including Bakersfield, Stockton, and Modesto, filled out the bottom of the list. Not surprisingly, New York had the worst commute, with Washington, D.C., a close second.