When deciding where to put down roots, many factors are in the eye of the beholder, such as climate, politics, or proximity to extended family.
Other aspects are coveted by nearly everybody: affordable housing, access to well-paying jobs, a low cost of living, good schools, and quality healthcare. In its recently released ranking of the best places to live in America, U.S. News & World Report gathered data on these crucial components for the 100 most populous US cities.
They then categorized the data into five indexes for each city — job market, value, quality of life, desirability, and net migration — to definitively rank these major metro areas. You can read U.S. News’ full methodology here.
Scores for “value,” a blend of annual household income and cost of living, and “quality of life,” which accounts for crime, college readiness, commute, and other factors, are included below on a 10-point scale, as well as the city’s population and median annual salary.
Keep reading to discover the 50 best places to live in America.
50. Columbus, Ohio
Median annual salary: $46,470
Quality of life: 6.1
Overall value: 7.2
The spirit of Columbus is inextricably linked to Ohio State University — and of course its football team — which calls the city home. Residents love to cheer on the Buckeyes year-round, but Columbus isn’t just a college town. Head to the Short North Arts District for shopping and gallery hopping, get outside at one of the many parks surrounding the city, or take in some culture at the Museum of Art or the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.