U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice, unveiled the 2023-2024 Best Places to Live in the nation. The new list ranks the country’s 150 most populous metropolitan areas based on value, desirability, job market and quality of life and Phoenix lands at number 110 on the list.
Two areas climbed back into the top 10 this year. At No. 8, Charlotte, North Carolina catapulted 20 spots to re-enter for the first time in three years, assisted by an increased desirability score. Naples, Florida, reentered the top 10 at No. 6 – after falling off last year – due to increased desirability and quality of life scores.
Phoenix’s ranking was noted for its sunshine and job opportunities, saying “the Greater Phoenix area sees more sunshine than nearly any other metro area in the country. That in and of itself can be enough to entice people to lay down roots there, but Arizona’s capital also features a desirable combination of a thriving job market, a relatively low cost of living and plenty of ways to enjoy the nice weather.
“This year’s rankings are a reflection of the current economic, social and natural factors that impact a place’s livability for its residents,” said Devon Thorsby, real estate editor at U.S. News. “People are considering more than housing when they look at an area’s affordability – they want to know how much goods cost in that area. The ever-present risk for severe weather and a community’s ability to recover – coupled with the area’s opportunities for social activities – are also taken into account when evaluating a best place to live.”
This year, U.S. News expanded its data points to better encapsulate a place’s strengths and weaknesses. In addition to a survey to determine whether people want to live in a given metro area, the Desirability Index now includes weather temperateness, which evaluates the number of days annually that the temperature falls between 33 degrees and 89 degrees Fahrenheit, and establishment-to-population ratio, which assesses the number of restaurants, bars and activities per 1,000 residents. Having been its own Index in previous editions of Best Places to Live, net migration is also now part of the Desirability Index.
In addition, as the economic fluctuation and implications of inflation continue to impact cost of living across the country, the Value Index – which previously focused solely on housing affordability – now factors in price parity, a U.S. census data point on the general cost of goods within an area.
The 2023-2024 Best Places to Live were determined based on a methodology that takes into account the area’s job market, value, quality of life and desirability. These measures were weighted in part based on a public survey of thousands of individuals throughout the U.S. to find out what qualities they consider important in a place to live. The methodology also includes data from the National Weather Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, Sharecare (Nasdaq: SHCR), the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. News rankings of the Best High Schools and Best Hospitals.
Best Places to Live is part of U.S. News’ expanding Real Estate division, which helps individuals determine the best places to live and retire, better understand the housing market via the recently launched Housing Market Index, as well as determine your home value, work with an agent, and buy and sell a home.
2023-2024 U.S. News Best Places to Live – Top 10
*See the full rankings here.
1.Green Bay, WI
3.Raleigh & Durham, NC
9.Colorado Springs, CO