These are the 10 best places to live in the U.S. in 2019

When it comes to value for the money, strong job markets, quality of life and being desirable places to live, these American cities come out on top.
Image: Austin Texas Skyline
For the second year in a row Austin tops the U.S. News & World Report list.Ralph Barrera / Austin American-Statesman via AP
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By Jimmy Im, CNBC

Austin, Texas is the No. 1 place to live in America for 2019, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 125 Best Places to Live in the USA.

For the second year in a row Austin tops the list based on the area’s value for the money, strong job market, high quality of life and being a desirable place to live. (It’s also considered one of the top U.S. cities in which to start a small business.)

“The Austin metro area has always performed well across the board,” U.S. News real estate editor Devon Thorsby tells CNBC Make It, “but the details that keep it at the top are its population growth due to net migration and desirability. Not only do U.S. residents say they’d like to live in Austin through our annual desirability surveys, but many appear to be acting on it as well.”

To determine its list, U.S. News & World Report used data from sources like United States Census Bureau and the Department of Labor to determine factors including strength of job market (i.e., unemployment rate and average salary); quality of life (crime rate, well being and quality of education and health care); and value index (annual housing cost and median annual household income). The magazine also polled approximately 2,500 people across the country to find out in what metro areas they would most likely live, to determine desirability.

There are the top 10 places to live in America, according to U.S. News & World Report.

1. Austin, Texas

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2. Denver, Colorado

3. Colorado Springs, Colorado

4. Fayetteville, Arkansas

5. Des Moines, Iowa

6. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

7. San Francisco, California

8. Portland, Oregon

9. Seattle, Washington

10. Raleigh & Durham, North Carolina

Two cities from last year’s ranking (Huntsville, Alabama and Washington D.C.) did not make this year’s list. New to the list for 2019 is San Francisco, California (ranked No. 7) and Raleigh & Durham, North Carolina (ranked No. 10).

Desirability played a significant role in San Francisco’s jump to No. 7. “While the San Francisco metro area is a pricey place to live,” says Thorsby, “the higher median household income compared to many other parts of the U.S. helps to offset that. Also, San Francisco’s education quality is higher than most other cities.”

The Raleigh and Durham metro area performs well due to its steady population growth and low cost of living, according to Thorsby. “Raleigh and Durham area residents spend just 21.47 percent of the median household income on housing, which helps money go farther there,” she says.

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