NEW YORK – Think New York is the greatest city in the world? Clearly you haven’t been to Birmingham in Alabama, Arkansas’ capital Little Rock, Cleveland, Ohio, or Wichita, Kansas.
The head-scratching list from U.S. News & World Report ranks the 125 best cities to live in. It places NYC in 90th place – with some very dubious places above it.
U.S. News looked at factors such as quality of life, the local job market, value of living and desire to live there.
NYC ranked high on desirability and reasonably well on its jobs market. It really tanked on value though.
Most of the top 25 are located in the middle of the country, though the tech boom has benefited the Pacific Northwest too.
The best place to live, for the third year in a row, is Austin, Texas. The Northeast was notably lacking at the top of the list. Washington, D.C. ranked 19th and the next-highest city in the region was Portland, Maine, at 23.
“Our Northeastern cities, which are epicenters of higher education and economic development, are not growing nearly as much as places in Florida, California and Texas,” Devon Thorsby, real estate editor at U.S. News, said.
“Plus, they are expensive to live in. Top-ranked places have the characteristics people are looking for, including steady job growth, affordability and a high quality of life.”
Here are the top 10 places to live in 2019:
- Austin, TX
- Denver, CO
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Fayetteville, AR
- Des Moines, IA
- Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
- San Francisco, CA
- Portland, OR
- Seattle, WA
- Raleigh and Durham, NC
San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico that was devastated by Hurricane Maria in September 2017, ranked last. Five California metro areas also fell in the bottom 10.
Other major metros at the bottom of the list include Memphis, New Orleans, Miami, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
Quality of life and value received the most weight in the rankings. The authors created indexes for both using metrics such as crime rates, quality of health care and education, median household income, proportion of homeowners with a mortgage, and yearly housing costs. Click here to read the full methodology.
Patch national staffer Dan Hampton contributed to this report.