America…a country filled with diverse cities and diverse people. Most of us are proud of our hometowns, and even if we aren’t we pretend we are. But apparently, there are better cities to live in and some of them may not be your hometown.
Don’t worry, mine didn’t make it on the list and I am pretending not to be bitter.
What better way to bring about some unity than compare cities and see which ones are the best? These rankings are based on factors such as crime rates, employment growth, attractions for residents and housing affordability.
With help from 24/7 Wall St., we now have a list that ranks these cities.
Here are the best 50 cities in the United States to live in.
50. Fargo, North Dakota
via: Getty Images
Fargo…like the movie except less drama and kidnappings.
Fargo has become one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Beautiful winters, booming oil industry and one of the lowest unemployment rates in all of the U.S.
Its population is a healthy size of 116, 572 and it is home to North Dakota State University.
49. Irving, Texas
You’ll find Irving sitting right outside of Dallas, a truly overlooked gem in Texas. Irving is one of the safest cities in Texas, causing more and more people to move to this city. It has also experienced some serious economic growth and is home to five Fortune 500 companies.
48. Fishers, Indiana
Fishers is another incredibly safe city to reside in. With its small population of about 85,000 residents, it’s a pretty quiet city. The cost of living is quite high but I guess safety comes at a cost!
47. Eau Claire, Wisconsin
With a population of just over 64,000 people, this tiny, snowy town loves to ski and loves to drink. This city has more bars per capita than any other city in the United States. You might think there would be nothing to do in such a small town, but there is no lack of recreational facilities, libraries and movie theaters.
Small, but mighty. You go, Eau Claire.
46. Missouri City, Texas
Missouri City: not in Missouri. Okay, now that we got that out of the way…
Not too far from Houston, Missouri City has low poverty rates and slightly higher annual income rates among their residents. If you’re looking for that small-town feeling, but also crave a little bit of city action, Missouri City is for you.
45. Bend, Oregon
The stunning beauty of Bend is enough to see why it’s one of the best places to live. The unemployment rate is relatively low and the number of jobs is growing faster than the national rate.
The average commute to work is only 15 minutes and the amount of hiking spots are an incredible combination. Oh and did we mention it has incredible breweries to keep you warm on those snowy nights?
44. Fort Collins, Colorado
Fort Collins is a college town, home to Colorado State University. Lots of students means lots of restaurants, bars and things to keep people entertained. Over half the population has a bachelor’s degree and the high school students have some of the highest test scores in the United States.
Surrounded by mountains and snow, this beautiful city is sure to keep you amazed at all times.
43. Hoover, Alabama
via: Getty Images
There are over 84,000 people who call Hoover home sweet home. A city known for residents who have financial stability, the annual income rate is higher than most cities, which is shocking because Alabama is one of the poorest states in America.
The cost of living in Hoover is relatively cheap due to their inexpensive goods and services.
Not to brag but Hoover has the fifth longest golf course in the world. Sounds like a hole in one.
42. Concord, North Carolina
Concord has exceptional air quality, one of only 16 counties have more days with good air quality than Cabarrus county, where the city is located.
If you’re a foodie, this place will definitely grab your attention. There are over 330 eateries per 100,000 people in the area. Basically, that’s a lot of food.
41. Cranston, Rhode Island
A small suburb of Providence, the residents of Cranston also enjoy some of the best air quality in the country. It has a low crime rate compared to the rest of the state and offers a large amount of libraries and sports clubs for its residents.
Cranston is also home to Narragansett Park, which was one of the first auto race tracks in the United States.
40. Port St. Lucie, Florida
People are flocking to live in Port St. Lucie because of its beauty, job opportunities and laid back lifestyle. The population is just over 174,000 people and the unemployment rate is significantly lower than the rest of the state of Florida.
St. Lucie County has 21 miles of beautiful beaches, half of them being natural preserves, which is rare among Florida’s coast lines.
39. Palm Coast, Florida
A growing job market plus beautiful living conditions and easy beach access, makes Palm Coast an easy city to love. Not too big and not too small, this city is thriving economically and many people are choosing to move and make Palm Coast their new home.
This city embraces the good old saying that Florida has the best oranges with their Annual Palm Harbor Citrus Festival every April.
38. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Only a short drive from Charleston, Mount Pleasant really might live into its name. Beaches hug the eastern part of the city, creating its own unique living environment. The population is a comfortable 77,000. Residents who live there live a wealthy lifestyle and the poverty rates are considerably low.
37. Boca Raton, Florida
There is one golf course for every 1,000 people, which is 10 times the national average. So if you love to golf, Boca Raton is your place. Beautiful beaches and a plethora of restaurants fill the city. More than half of the residents have a bachelor’s degree and the average income is about $73,000.
The rough translation of the Spanish words “boca raton” is “rats (or mouse) mouth” but can be misinterpreted and confusing. Its origin is because of the inlet of the city, or the mouth. Some people say it translates to “thieves inlet”.
36. Gaithersburg, Maryland
Gaithersburg is a beautiful little town located in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Small population, low unemployment rate, beautiful scenery and full of history; sweet Gaithersburg is a secret garden of amazement.
35. West Jordan, Utah
The key to what makes West Jordan so great? Balance.
Economic balance. West Jordan has shown that, relative to area incomes, housing affordability is in line with the national home value to income ratio. Usually cities weigh heavy on one and not so heavy on the other. This rare balance makes West Jordan really stand out.
34. St. George, Utah
via: Getty Images
Another great city found in Utah. Located along the border with Arizona, St. George holds beauty, history, oh and it’s right next to Zion National Park. With lots to eat, lots to see and lots to do, St. George is a one-stop city shop for all of your needs.
33. Henderson, Nevada
Henderson is the quiet, less glamorous cousin of the city of Las Vegas. With low property tax and safe neighborhoods, this desert city keeps growing and growing, attracting people because of its simplicity and relative population size (just over 277,000 people). It’s only about a 20 minute drive to Sin City so you get the best of both worlds.
32. Roseville, California
Located right outside of Sacramento, this city is home to some of the smartest high school students. Their test scores, on average, are about 35% higher than students statewide. There is access to high quality public education in Roseville, attracting more families to move into the neighborhoods.
There is also a few ski resorts and no shortage of golf courses in the area, so outdoor activities in Roseville are plentiful.
31. Temecula, California
Two words: wine county. The city is filled with beautiful vineyards that make some of the most amazing wines. Everyday is Wine Wednesday in Temecula.
People are heading to Temecula because of the growing job opportunities and the beautiful weather. The cost of living is lower compared to the rest of California, but that really isn’t saying much.
30. Franklin, Tennessee
In the small city of Franklin, almost 60% of the residents in Franklin have a bachelor’s degree. But the beauty and intelligence of Franklin does not come cheap; it is actually one of the most expensive cities in Tennessee to live in. The poverty rate is considerably low compared to other Tennessee cities.
29. Pembroke Pines, Florida
This evergreen city is warm and luscious, if you’re into that sort of paradise thing. It is a safe city that isn’t too far from Miami, Fort Lauderdale and the Evergreens. It’s a quiet city with a population size of over 164,000 residents.
Oh and DJ Khaled lives there so that’s pretty cool. Don’t play yourself.
28. Alexandria, Virginia
The residents of Alexandria are raking in some serious dough. The typical household in this city makes on average, $86,809 annually, over $30,000 more than the national median income. With so many people making good money, it increases the cost of real estate. The cost of houses in Alexandria is six times more than the area’s median household income.
So, Alexandria, is the least affordable city on this list. But hey, beauty is expensive.
27. Cape Coral, Florida
The beach sunsets are enough to make me want to jump on the next flight to Cape Coral, but the city has so much more to offer than just its glorious sunsets.
With a population of about 169,000 people, the city is drawing in more people with its economic growth and job expansion. Compared to other Florida cities, the crime rate is significantly lower.
26. Chino, California
A wonderful, small city whose economy is growing fast and whose way of life is getting more attention. Located outside the Los Angeles County area, many people are moving to the small city of Chino. With just over 84,000 residents, you get that big town/small town feel.
It’s also the home of the 2016 Power Ball winner who took home $1.5 billion. Maybe I’ll take my chances and move to this lucky little city.
25. Kirkland, Washington
The amazing waterfront scenery of Kirkland makes this city almost irresistible. A suburb of Seattle, Kirkland is home to the Nintendo company and a Google office. With such big names comes such great economic growth. Almost 60% of residents have college degrees, which is double the national percentage.
24. Plymouth, Minnesota
Minneapolis is only 12 miles away, making Plymouth an ideal suburb for Minnesota residents. Plymouth has a thriving economy, with extremely low unemployment rates and an above average annual household income. There are low crime rates, making this city of 75,000 people feel safe and warm in their tiny little town.
It has one casino called the Mystical Lake Casino which sounds quite…magical?
23. Camarillo, California
Camarillo is a beautiful city only 10 miles from the ocean, but there’s good and bad news when it comes to living in this city.
The bad news is median home value costs over half a million dollars, which is ya know, a little pricey. The good news is that utilities, healthcare and groceries are cheaper, on average, than most cities in the United States. Hey, you can’t win them all, right?
The weather is beautiful and the city is safe, so if you can get over the fact that the houses are crazy expensive, than you are going to love Camarillo.
22. Folsom, California
Located about 20 miles outside of Sacramento, Folsom is quickly drawing in people for many popular reasons. The average household income is over $100,000 which is way above the average national income. With a population of just over 75,000 and just 5% of them live under the poverty line, this city is thriving economically.
Yes, this is also the city that Johnny Cash visited to hang out with some of the prison inmates.
21. Clifton, New Jersey
Clifton’s population has grown over 18% in the past decade. With its proximity to New York City, the 85,000 residents there have relatively close access to the city life while still holding onto those small town vibes. The cost of living is relatively high, with goods and services costing 28% more on average than the rest of the United States.
There is a long list of hikes and trails that fill the city that make the residents very active and outgoing.
20. Santa Clarita, California
Less than an hour away from Los Angeles, over 181,000 people call Santa Clarita home. But, no surprise in this California city, the cost of living is pretty high. A typical home costs more than five times the area’s annual median household income, which can cause some trouble for the residents. Thankfully, their job market is growing quickly, attracting more people to live in this lovely California city.
19. Hillsboro, Oregon
In one decade, the population of Hillsboro grew by just over 20% which is almost double the national average. Crime is minimal and the air quality is amazing. So basically, Hillsboro has the total package.
Hillsboro is also home to the Roloff family from Little People, Big World. Big celebrities, small town.
18. Woodbury, Minnesota
If this is what it looks like in the fall, I can’t imagine what it looks like the rest of the year. A suburb of Minneapolis and St. Paul, this beautiful city is flourishing economically, drawing lots of new residents. Over 60% of residents have a bachelor’s degree, making it one of the most educated cities. Over 66,000 people call Woodbury home and it has the 11th lowest violent crime rate of any city.
17. Palatine, Illinois
With relatively high incomes and low cost of living, Palatine is truly a hidden gem. It is located about 35 miles outside of Chicago, but still has the small town feel, with only about 69,000 residents. Palatine is one of the safest cities in the United States.
Here’s a fun fact: Palatine is in Cook County, which is home to more zoos per capita than in all but two other U.S. counties.
16. Longmont, Colorado
Located outside of Boulder, Longmont has much more affordable living than neighboring cities in Colorado, but still has all the beautiful benefits of the mountain state. People have seen the beauty and easy living that the 90,000 residents have and more and more people are deciding to move there. It is safe, affordable and the views aren’t half bad either.
15. Overland Park, Kansas
Home to over 184,000 residents, Overland Parks’ population is still increasing. With low unemployment rates and a small percentage of people living below the poverty line, people are attracted to the comfort and security of this city. More than half of the residents have a bachelor’s degree and high school students standardized test scores are higher than students across the state by 11%.
14. Farmington Hills, Michigan
25 miles from Detroit, Farmington Hills is attracting people because of its simple living and relatively small population of about 81,000 people. The average household earns significantly more than the state’s average income. The cost of living is low, with goods and services costing about 6% less than the nation’s average.
13. Arvada, Colorado
Arvada, with its population of 113,000 people, is home to some of the nation’s best hospitals. Many residents commute to Denver or or Boulder for work, but the average household income is significantly higher than the nation’s average. The residents also have some of the lowest property taxes of most cities in the U.S.
12. Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach is the second most populated city in Virginia, home to beautiful piers and unique beaches. It is a safe city with great economic growth and tons to do and see for visitors and residents. Over 450,000 people call Virginia Beach home for good reason.
11. Bismarck, North Dakota
via: Getty Images
The recent oil boom in North Dakota has increased its economic growth and the size of its population, drawing people in due to more job opportunities. It is an affordable city with low unemployment rates and some of the shortest commute for its residents. Bismarck also has the best air quality in all of the United States.
10. Layton, Utah
Gorgeous Layton has the lowest unemployment rates of any city and job opportunities are only only growing. The cost of a home in Layton is about $10,000 less than the average house in the state of Utah. Davis Hospital, one of the best hospitals in the country, is found in Layton.
9. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
via: Getty Images
Bethlehem looks like a city from your favorite fairytale. With its bright fall colors and historic architecture, over 78,000 people call Bethlehem home. Students at Lehigh University have crafted the surrounding area into a college town, with many restaurants, museums and attractions. Costs associated with healthcare, transportation and services are well below the national average.
8. Waukesha, Wisconsin
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A suburb of Milwaukee with a population of just over 71,000 people, Waukesha has much to offer for residents and visitors. Originally known as a spa city, its fresh spring water and humid climate draws in those looking for peace and tranquility. Its population is increasing, and with low crime rates and affordable real estate, it will probably continue to grow.
7. Goodyear, Arizona
If you love golf and baseball, then Goodyear is the place for you. No other part of the country has a higher count of golf courses relative to the population, which is about 75,000 people. This is a safe city with great weather year around and a lower poverty rate.
6. Cary, North Carolina
via: Getty Images
Cary is one of the most educated populations in the nation, with just over 61% of the 155,700 residents having a bachelor’s degree or higher. A corporate research center named the Research Triangle Park employs a bulk of the residents, making the unemployment rates quite low in Cary. In the past decade, the population has grown almost 45%. The average household income of about $92,000 a year, is almost double the statewide median.
5. Eagan, Minnesota
via: Getty Images
Located across from the Mississippi and Minnesota river, this beautiful city is home to just over 66,000 people. The crime rates are incredibly low, as are the unemployment rates. The cost of living is quite high, but so is the average household income. Over half of the residents have a bachelor’s degree.
4. Centennial, Colorado
Centennial is a beautiful mountain city with smart adults and smart kids. Over half of the 100,100 residents have a bachelor’s degree and high school students score about 6% higher on standardized tests than the rest of the state of Colorado. The typical household in Centennial earns more than $91,000 annually, which is about $30,000 more than the typical Colorado household.
3. Johns Creek, Georgia
via: Getty Images
With a population of over 81,000 people, this city is definitely one of the more wealthy areas in the state of Georgia. The median household income in Johns Creek is $100,000. 66% of residents have a bachelor’s degree, which explains the high level of employment and the low levels of poverty. Residents enjoy plenty or restaurants and leisure activities.
2. Danbury Connecticut
via: Getty Images
Danbury is one of the most expensive cities in the United States to live in. The cost of living in Danbury is about 31% higher than the national average. Housing expenses are high, but many of its 83,700 residents find Danbury to be worth the cost. There are 57 marinas and 10 nature parks to keep its residents entertained.
1. Meridian, Idaho
via: Getty Images
We’ve made it, people. The number one place in the United States to live in is in Idaho.
Located just outside the capitol, Meridian has got it all. Poverty is low, unemployment is low, crime rates are low and the job market is growing. Its population of 87,700 is only expected to grow because of its many benefits. The air quality is great and the city gets about 12 inches of snow a year.
There you have it folks, we are all moving to Idaho. I never thought I would hear those words escape my mouth.