11 Best Places To Live In the USA 2024

What makes a community an ideal home? Many factors are important in making a place a great home.

These include happy residents, affordable housing, great schools, and plenty of work opportunities. U.S. News analyzes data from 150 of the most populous metropolitan areas in the country to determine the Best Places to Live. These include information on the cost of living, education quality, crime rates, and the job market.

Based on the responses of more than 3,600 Americans, the data was weighted to reflect what is most important to them in choosing their next home. Continue reading to discover the 11 Best Places To Live in the U.S. for 2024.

1-Huntsville, Alabama

Overall Score 7/10

#1 in Best Places to Live

#54 in Best Places To Retire

Being a geeky bunch. The state’s metro area is home to the highest educated population. A large percentage of the population works in engineering or defense, thanks to NASA and the Redstone Arsenal of the U.S Army.

New construction has brought more options for shopping, dining, and apartments. A renovated middle school has been transformed into a hub for craft breweries and restaurants.

What are the best things to do in Huntsville?

Huntsville’s identity is centered around space. Residents can spend a day at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center to get a better idea of the region’s ties with the Final Frontier. Space Camp is a must-do experience for every child at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

Huntsville offers many other cultural attractions that are not related to aerospace.

The Alabama Constitution Hall Park gives a glimpse into Alabama’s 1800s life, while the North Alabama Railroad Museum, and the Historic Huntsville Depot, highlight the history of railroad travel in north Alabama.

Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment is a restored textile mill that is the largest privately-owned arts center in the south.

The Mill is home to artists in many media and features live music and theatre. It also serves as the city’s unofficial avant-garde arts headquarters. Huntsville Museum of Art offers many pieces in a variety of permanent as well as traveling exhibits.

The Von Braun Center downtown is a multipurpose venue that hosts comedy tours, dance performances, and concerts. It also hosts games for the Huntsville Havoc, a minor-league professional hockey team.

Rocket City Trash Pandas is the area’s minor-league baseball team. It plays at Toyota Field in Madison, a suburb of Huntsville.

Huntsville’s high-tech sector has resulted in a large international population. The region’s cuisine reflects this diversity. There are many options for Indian, German, and Vietnamese cuisine in the area. Popular options include barbecue joints and cafes that are farm-to-table.

2-San Jose (California)

Metro Population: 1,985,926

Median home price: $1,302,118

Average Annual Salary: $93,450

San Jose, best known as Silicon Valley’s capital, is one of the eleven best places to live in the US.

Although it requires a large income, there are many high-paying jobs available. San Jose’s high school students are among the most college-ready in America, while the metro area is second for overall well-being.


3-Austin (TX)

Affordability: 6/10

Diversity: 6/10

9/10 – Job market

Safety: 6/10

Wellness: 9/10

Highlights: UT Austin Texas Capitol Building, Rainey Street

Austin could be one of the worst places to live. It is possible that affordability will become a bigger issue. But for the moment, Austin continues to be a magnet for major employers who want to establish or expand their presence here.

This attracts new residents as well. More than 150 companies have announced plans to move their operations to Austin or to add jobs to existing locations during the pandemic. You can move here to work at Apple, Dell, Tesla, or another tech company.

There are plenty of reasons to have fun. From early morning bike rides (Bicycling magazine ranked Austin among the top 20 most bike-friendly cities in the country) to late-night jam sessions on Sixth Street. Austin has a long list of reasons to forget work.


4-Grand Rapids (Michigan)

Metro Population: 1,069,696

Median home price: $296,730

Average Annual Salary: $49,700

The Grand Rapids metropolitan area of western Michigan is a great place to call home if you are looking for an affordable place to live. Grand Rapids residents spend only 20.71% on housing costs, which include rent, mortgage payments, and utility bills. Grand Rapids high school students are ranked No. 29 of the 150 metropolitan areas included on the list, which is tied with Madison, Wisconsin, and Chicago.


5- Tampa, FL

Affordability: 7/10

Diversity: 6/10


Safety: 7/10

Wellness: 7/10

One of the many benefits of moving to Florida is the lack of a state income tax. Young job seekers are flocking to Florida, particularly Tampa, because of the affordable cost of living, nearly 80 colleges and universities in the Tampa Bay region, and prominent companies such as Raymond James, Citigroup, and USAA.

If you are considering this area, you might consider working remotely. According to LinkedIn, the area ranks second behind Charleston in its ranking of big cities that are remote-friendly. If you aren’t working, you’ll find a friendly, diverse city with more than 130 employees and an excellent score from the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index. This index ranks cities based on their willingness to welcome the LGBTQ+ community.


6-Providence, RI

Affordability: 7/10

Diversity: N/A

7/10 – The job market

Safety: 7/10

Wellness: 8/10

You might be tempted to drive to Providence as gas prices rise. This is because Providence has the highest walking score among the destinations we have reviewed this year. You might also save money on gas. According to Redfin, the median home price for Providence was $345,000 less than the national average.

Providence is a jewel in the highly-priced Northeast. The median home price here is over twice that of Boston. If plans for a new downtown riverwalk are realized, this small-state city will be even more attractive.


7-Raleigh, NC

Affordability: 7/10

Diversity: 5/10


Safety: 9/10

Wellness: 7/10

Highlights: NC State football, Carolina Hurricanes hockey, North Carolina Museum of Art

Raleigh, North Carolina takes the top spot on this list. Raleigh, North Carolina continues to be a major anchor of The Research Triangle. It attracts young workers and large companies to establish roots in The Tar Heel State.

Apple announced last year plans to build a new East Coast campus. This will provide at least 3,000 jobs and make it more attractive for people to relocate to the region. Raleigh, aside from the office and research laboratory, is rapidly rising in cultural rankings as a place to live, eat and drink outdoors. The mild climate allows residents to unplug. Raleigh has a low crime rate, which is something many cities fail to offer.


8- Minneapolis, MN

Affordability: 6/10

Diversity: 7/10

9/10 – Job market

Safety: 4/10

Wellness: 9/10

Highlights: The Mall of America and Minnehaha Falls. Nickelodeon Universe.

Do not let the frigid temperatures discourage you: Minneapolis in summer will more than make up any winter cold. The Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore ranking places the city third. This list identifies the best U.S. destinations for easy access to green spaces.  St. Paul is also close to more than 1,000 local healthcare providers.

You can explore the Twin Cities without a car no matter where you end up. Minneapolis has the highest bike score among the cities we have reviewed this year.


9-Charleston (SC)

Affordability: 6/10

Diversity: N/A

9/10 – Job market

Safety: 7/10

Wellness: 8/10

Charleston’s charm is a great place to work remotely if you like the idea of working from home. A 2021 LinkedIn survey found that Charleston is rapidly becoming a popular remote work location. Although you might need to be disciplined to stay productive, there are many reasons to delay your next project.

There are rooftop bars, delicious Lowcountry cuisine, and beaches just a short distance from the historic downtown. Charleston offers many opportunities for those who don’t wish to work remotely. These include manufacturing, healthcare, and tourism.

10-Colorado Springs, Colorado

What is Colorado Springs, CO like?

Colorado Springs is set against the backdrop of Pikes Peak, the inspiration for the song “America the Beautiful.” You’ll find a city where you can enjoy the best of both urban and natural beauty.

Its parts are distinct: the vibrant suburbs to the east and north; the bustling, yet easy-to-find downtown; the elegant, rustic South Side defined by Cheyenne Canon; and the West Side, home to eateries and shops that once occupied the Victorian center of the 1890s Gold Rush. Despite all the chaos, people still stop by their local grocery or brewery to say hello. This is the small-town atmosphere that the city strives to preserve.


U.S. News evaluated 150 metropolitan areas across the United States in order to determine the best places to call home. The criteria included quality of life, job market, and value of living in each area.

11- San Francisco

Metro Population: 4,709,220

Median home price: $1,047 7,714

Average Annual Salary: $81,840

San Francisco is often near the top in the Best Places to Live ranking due to its strong employment market. It has the third-best job market of all 150 metro areas, behind San Jose and Washington, D.C. San Francisco has an average annual salary of $81,840. Based on a survey of more than 3,500 Americans, it ranks fifth among the 150 metropolitan areas.


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