25 Best Places to Live in the U.S. for Quality of Life

Consideration of your quality of life
Many factors contribute to truly loving where you live. Affordability and career opportunities certainly add to this, but you shouldn't overlook the daily commute, access to quality education and health care, the crime rate, and general wellbeing. As part of the ranking of the best places to live, the US news has compiled information on these important aspects of a prime place to live. These five categories together measure the quality of life in a particular place. Read on for the 25 Best Places to Live for Quality of Life in 2020-2021.
25. Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 46
Metro population: 336,845
Median Home Price: $ 154,142
Median Annual Salary: $ 47,060
This West Michigan subway area of ​​fewer than 400,000 residents ranks seventh among the 150 most populous subway areas in the US due to its proximity to quality health care, based on data from the US News ranking Best hospitals. Additionally, living in a less populated part of the state pays off, with Kalamazoo residents commuting to work an average of just 21.1 minutes in the morning. The national average commute time is 24.8 minutes.
Learn more about Kalamazoo.
24. Hartford, Connecticut
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 65
Metro population: 1,209,367
Average home price: $ 217,358
Median Annual Salary: $ 60,820
Hartford's highest score among the categories that make up the list of quality of life is college readiness, where it ranks 19th. College readiness is based on test scores from public high school students in the area, which is part of the US News Best High Schools ranking data. Hartford is also on the 114 subway areas list for its low rate of property crime and homicide, based on data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Learn more about Hartford.
23. Fayetteville, Arkansas
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 8
Metro population: 526,412
Median Home Price: $ 192,708
Median Annual Salary: $ 46,470
Like Kalamazoo, Fayetteville has residents who can spend less time between work and home - the average morning commute is just 21.1 minutes. This northwest Arkansas metropolitan area scores highly among high school students as it ranks 32nd out of 150 for college readiness. These details, along with relatively low crime rates and a low cost of living, help Fayetteville rank 8th overall on the best places to live.
Learn more about Fayetteville.
22. Melbourne, Florida
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 28
Metro population: 576,808
Average home price: $ 207,417
Median annual salary: $ 48,940
In the metropolitan area of ​​Melbourne, Cape Canaveral and the John F. Kennedy Space Center are located. There are many engineers, scientists and specialists in the aerospace industry in this region. Children in the area hold similar promise for technical and high-flying careers as Melbourne ranks fifth among the 150 most populous metro areas in the US for college readiness of student. The average morning commute corresponds to the national average of 24.8 minutes.
Find out more about Melbourne.
21. Sarasota, Florida
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 16
Metro population: 785,997
Average home price: $ 227,754
Median Annual Salary: $ 44,230
Sunny weather and access to beaches certainly make some people happy - and that is the case in Sarasota. The area ranks ninth in the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index of the 150 most populous subway areas in the United States. US citizens are asked about their home pride, their sense of security and their general happiness, depending on where they live. Sarasota is also ranked # 1 among the best places to retire in the US in 2020-2021.
Learn more about Sarasota.
20. Rochester, New York
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 66
Metro population: 1,074,667
Median Home Price: $ 141,808
Average Annual Salary: $ 50,830
Rochester residents spend less time working - an average of just 21.4 minutes - and rank 19th in the category of the 150 most populous subway areas in the United States. This New York state subway area is also well-suited for its high-scoring high school students, based on data from the top high schools, and for its low rate of property crime and murder, based on FBI data.
Learn more about Rochester.
19. Boise, Idaho
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 20th
Metro population: 693,952
Average home price: $ 221,475
Median Annual Salary: $ 45,470
Boise ranks fifth among 150 metropolitan areas on the list because of its low crime rate. In 2018, only nine murders occurred in the metro area, and in 2018 there were just over 1,500 property crimes per 100,000 people. This is the most recent full record from the FBI at the time of the calculation. Both statistics are well below the US average and are compared to subway areas of similar size.
Learn more about Boise.
18. Des Moines, Iowa
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 7
Metro population: 634,201
Average home price: $ 196,067
Median Annual Salary: $ 52,220
Des Moines' low crime rates, short average morning commute, and general happiness all help keep him 18th on this list and 7th on the best places to live. Des Moines has an average commute time of 20.4 minutes. This is the 10th shortest commute out of 150 subway areas on the list. Des Moines ranks 28th among the 150 most populous US metropolises in the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index.
Learn more about Des Moines.
17. Reno, Nevada
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 38
Metro population: 454,427
Average Home Price: $ 360,792
Median Annual Salary: $ 47,380
Reno may be a little off the beaten path than other subway areas on the list - it's on the western edge of Nevada, with the nearest major city, Sacramento, more than a two-hour drive away - but it has plenty to offer residents of all ages. Reno ranks 10th among 150 subway areas on the College Eligibility List. For working adults, the average annual commute is short at just 21.6 minutes.
Learn more about Reno.
16. Asheville, North Carolina
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 34
Metro population: 449,937
Average home price: $ 264,450
Median Annual Salary: $ 43,070
If mountain scenery appeals to your level of happiness, Asheville might be the destination for you. Residents of the Blue Ridge Parkway subway area are generally happy with their location, as Asheville ranks 10th among the 150 most populous subway areas in the United States on the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index. An average commute of just 21.2 minutes leaves more time in the day to take in the mountain views or explore the national forests of Pisgah and Nantahala in your free time.
Learn more about Asheville.
15. San Diego
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 45
Metro population: 3,302,833
Average home price: $ 564,092
Median Annual Salary: $ 58,090
You will have a hard time finding someone who lives in the metropolitan area of ​​San Diego and is not happy with life there. Warm weather, sunny days, and proximity to the beach undoubtedly help San Diego rank 13th in the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index of the 150 most populous subway areas in the US, based on data from the best high schools.
Learn more about San Diego.
14. Portland, Maine
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 19th
Metro population: 529,323
Average home price: $ 292,250
Median Annual Salary: $ 51,260
Portland ranks third among the 150 most populous metropolitan areas in the United States because of its low crime rates, only behind Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Des Moines. There were only five murders in the Portland metropolitan area in 2018 and about 1,327 property crimes per 100,000 people, according to FBI data. Portland also ranks 22nd among the subway areas on the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index list.
Learn more about Portland.
13. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 67
Metro population: 538,347
Average home price: $ 215,975
Median Annual Salary: $ 44,960
Lancaster's best score among the values ​​included in the Quality of Life Index is the metropolitan area's proximity to high-quality healthcare, for which it ranks sixth out of 150 places on the list. Lancaster ranks eighth in the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index among the 150 most populous metropolitan areas in the United States. Many residents report general satisfaction with their place of residence, a sense of community pride, and a sense of financial security.
Learn more about Lancaster.
12. Santa Rosa, California
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 102
Metro population: 501,317
Average home price: $ 608,367
Median Annual Salary: $ 55,290
This California Wine Country metropolitan area ranks high for reported positive wellbeing of residents, low rate of property crime and murder, and high student scores to demonstrate readiness for college. Santa Rosa, in particular, ranks fourth in the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index among the 150 most populous metropolitan areas in the US and 11th for low crime rates, based on FBI data.
Learn more about Santa Rosa.
11. Naples, Florida
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 14
Metro population: 363,922
Average home price: $ 326,900
Median Annual Salary: $ 46,290
This South Florida metropolitan area on the Gulf Coast ranks 14th on the list of best places to live, backed by results for wellbeing, crime rate, and college readiness among students. While Naples ranked 26th among 150 subway areas on the list for college readiness among high school students, it's also a popular place to live for retirees - it's ranked 4th on the list of best places to retire and has an average age of 50.3 years.
Find out more about Naples.
10. Fort Collins, Colorado
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 5th
Metro population: 338,161
Average home price: $ 381,358
Median Annual Salary: $ 51,050
Residents say they are satisfied with life in Fort Collins, as it ranks seventh out of the 150 most populous metropolitan areas in the United States in the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index. Combined with low crime rates and high student test scores, Fort Collins ranks 10th for quality of life. In addition, Fort Collins attracts many people to the metropolitan area. According to the US Census, the population grew 8.34% between 2014 and 2018 due to net migration alone.
Learn more about Fort Collins.
9. Grand Rapids, Michigan
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 23
Metro population: 1,050,440
Average Home Price: $ 195,775
Median Annual Salary: $ 45,670
This western Michigan metropolitan area scores highly for wellbeing, crime, college readiness among high school students and commuters. The average morning commute for Grand Rapids residents is just 21.8 minutes. Grand Rapids' weakest score in the categories that make up the quality of life ranking is access to quality health care - hospitals that rank high on the best hospitals list aren't as close as other metro Areas, but Grand Rapids still ranks better than 91 places in the category.
Learn more about Grand Rapids.
8. San Jose, California
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 29
Metro population: 1,981,616
Average home price: $ 1,024,650
Median Annual Salary: $ 80,480
San Jose ranks first in terms of college readiness among high school students associated with Boulder, Colorado. In addition, San Jose residents say they are generally satisfied with their place of residence, as San Jose ranks 19th out of the 150 most populous metropolitan areas in the United States in the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index. One tradeoff is the time spent working: the average morning commute is 28.9 minutes. Another compromise is the high real estate prices, where the median real estate price is over $ 1 million for the metropolitan area, according to Zillow.
Learn more about San Jose.
7. Santa Barbara, California
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 104
Metro population: 443,738
Median Home Price: $ 464,954
Median Annual Salary: $ 54,890
Located right on the Los Angeles Pacific Coast, Santa Barbara is a fairly remote subway area between the Los Padres National Forest and the ocean. As residents tend to stay close to work, the average morning commute is short at just 19.8 minutes. Santa Barbara ranks 12th in the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index among the 150 most populous metropolises in the United States.
Learn more about Santa Barbara.
6. Green Bay, Wisconsin
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 25
Metro population: 317,702
Average home price: $ 175,117
Median Annual Salary: $ 45,570
Green Bay ranks first among 150 subway areas on the list due to its low rate of property crime and homicide. In the metropolitan area, there was only one murder and fewer than 3,800 property crimes in 2018, according to FBI data. The average morning commute in this subway area in Wisconsin is only 20 minutes, and the subway area ranks 28th due to its proximity to quality health care.
Learn more about Green Bay.
5. Madison, Wisconsin
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 21
Metro population: 647,281
Average Home Price: $ 259,500
Median Annual Salary: $ 52,890
As the home of the University of Wisconsin - Madison, it's not just college students who receive quality education. The subway region's high schoolers rank 23rd among high school students in the 150 most populous subway areas in the United States for college readiness. In addition, Madison's rate of property crime and murder is low. According to FBI data, Madison only suffers 1.5 homicides per 100,000 people in 2018.
Learn more about Madison.
4. Brownsville, Texas
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 138
Metro population: 421,750
Median home value: USD 114,775 *
Median Annual Salary: $ 35,230
In South Texas, Brownsville residents benefit from well-educated students, low crime rates, and short commutes that allow more free time. Brownsville ranks 14th among the 150 most populous subway areas in the US for college readiness, and the average morning commute is just 20.2 minutes.
Learn more about Brownsville.
(* The median home price for Brownsville was not available, median home value is listed.)
3. McAllen, Texas
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 136
Metro population: 849,389
Median home value: USD 127,188 *
Median Annual Salary: $ 36,700
This subway area on the Texas border with Mexico ranks fourth among 150 subway areas on the list for its college readiness among high school students. High test scores are a particular boon for McAllen as the subway area is still quite young, with an average age under 30. McAllen also ranks 17th due to its low crime rate.
Learn more about McAllen.
(* McAllen median home price was not available, median home value is listed.)
2. Ann Arbor, Michigan
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 12
Metro population: 365,961
Average Home Price: $ 263,225
Median Annual Salary: $ 55,130
This metropolitan area of ​​Michigan, with fewer than 400,000 residents, is home to the University of Michigan, which of course means many residents are connected to college and the healthcare system that goes with it. Ann Arbor joins Reading, Pennsylvania to rank first for proximity to quality health care; York, Pennsylvania; and Trenton, New Jersey. The area isn't just known for its college opportunities: the subway ranks third among the 150 most populous subway areas in the United States when it comes to college readiness of students.
Learn more about Ann Arbor.
1. Boulder, Colorado
Best places 2020-2021 Rank: 1
Metro population: 321,030
Median Home Price: $ 524,417
Median Annual Salary: $ 64,690
The # 1 best place to live in the US for the period 2020-2021 also ranks top in the quality of life category. Boulder connects with San Jose, California for student test scores to determine college readiness. Boulder residents also report that they live happily in the area - the Colorado metropolitan area ranks third among 150 metropolitan areas on the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index list.
Learn more about Boulder.
The best places to live in the US for quality of life are:
- Boulder, Colorado.
- Ann Arbor, Michigan.
- McAllen, Texas.
- Brownsville, Texas.
- Madison, Wisconsin.
- Green Bay, Wisconsin.
- Santa Barbara, California.
- San Jose, California.
- Grand Rapids, Michigan.
- Fort Collins, Colorado.
See full ranking.

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