Denver Is the Best Place to Live, New Ranking Says

A new survey looking at the best places to live found that the Mile-High City gets the top spot. In U.S. News & World Report’s inaugural Best Places to Live ranking, Denver took the top spot, followed by Austin, Texas.

In its ranking, which looked at the 100 biggest cities in the country, U.S. News rated at each place’s job market, affordability and quality of life. The rankings also were influenced by the incorporation of data about how many people are moving into these cities and how residents who already live there feel about their hometowns.

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The magazine used government data as well as some of its own surveys and research on top schools and hospitals around the country. The “quality of life” index has the most influence on the final results, contributing 30 percent of each city’s rank.

After Denver and Austin, two other Southern cities made the cut: Fayetteville, Arkansas and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, came in next, respectively. The state of Colorado bracketed the top five, with Colorado Springs coming in fifth. The rest of the top 10 was dominated by Western states, with two California cities (San Francisco and San Jose, respectively) along with Seattle and Boise. The lone East Coast top 10 city was Washington, D.C., in at number eight.

Some of the country’s biggest cities didn’t fare as well as their smaller counterparts. For instance, although New York City came in at 96 out of 100, the state capital of Albany was ranked at number 36.