The United States of America commonly called the USA, is becoming a popular country to settle in with the family or alone for growth opportunities. Even if you live in the USA, you always wish to move into a city or place that offers you a good lifestyle, affordable cost of living, friendly neighbourhoods, availability of basic amenities, and extensive entertainment options to rejuvenate yourself from time to time. According to a recent survey of a well-known survey platform, there are 150 cities all around America which made it to the list of the best places to live in the USA based on the parameters of:

  • Quality of life
  • Cost of living
  • Job market
  • Desirability
  • Net migration

The ranking of these locations in the USA is aimed at making the task of selection of a place easy for the people planning to relocate from their country to the USA or within the USA. People can assess these parameters and choose the best city to live or work in.

Factors Affecting Ranking of Places & Cities in USA

The ranking of the best places to live in the USA gives a conclusive evaluation of a location’s complete liveability. This grading considers various important factors of a particular area such as quality of schools, housing facilities, crime rate, employment rate and accessibility to basic necessities.

sessment Grades Factors Considered Percentage
Cost of Living Grade Calculated on the basis of consumer price index and availability of affordable accommodation. 12.5%
Housing Grade Calculated on the basis of property values, taxes, costs, local schools, and more. 10%
Higher Education Rate Percentage of residents with bachelor’s or a higher degree. 12.5%
Diversity Grade Calculated on the basis of cultural, economic and generational diversity. 7.5%
Health & Fitness Grade Calculated on the basis of health statistics and accessibility of healthcare facilities to the residents. 5%
Jobs Grade Calculated on the basis of employment rates, economic growth and the cost of living. 5%
Public Schools Grade Calculated on the basis of the average Niche K-12 Overall Grade for each public school in the area depending on its number of students. 10%
Family Grade Calculated on the basis of quality of school, safety of the family members, and living standards of families. 5%
Crime & Safety Grade Calculated on the basis of violence and property crime rates. 5%
Weather Grade Calculated on the basis of the number of sunny days, rains, and average temperatures in at a location. 5%
Outdoor Activities Grade Calculated on the basis of air quality, weather, and accessibility to parks and other recreational activities. 5%
Shortest Commute Grade Calculated on the basis of commutation methods. 2.5%
Nightlife Grade Calculated on the basis of accessibility to bars, restaurants, cinema halls, and others. 5%
Walkability Grade Calculated on the basis of the percentage of residents that walk or use a bike. It also includes the closeness of basic amenities and the development density. 5%

Best Cities to Live in USA in 2021

1. Boulder, Colorado

Debuting in the list of best places to live in the USA, Boulder finds a first place in the list of 150 metro locations in the U.S. with the highest populations in 2020-2021. According to the desirability survey, Boulder has gained a good reputation among the residents of this country and offers amazing education opportunities to high school students targeting the top spot in San Jose. The residents of Boulder enjoy a good standard of living surrounded by mountains with an average annual salary exceeding $65,000.

Boulder, Colorado
  • Cost of living: Finding a place to live in Boulder sometimes is expensive. The large open spaces and rural land surrounding it make the construction of new housing impossible and ultimately hiking the property prices of existing houses. The city leaders and advocates are trying their best to come up with a solution to offer more housing options to the residents as well as for the people planning to settle in Boulder.
  • Weather conditions: Boulder is mostly blessed with clear skies and sunny days. Early autumn and late spring here are extremely pleasant, with mild temperatures. Summer is usually dry but is mostly good for outdoor activities like mountain climbing and biking. As Boulder is situated against the foothills, the winter season is usually dry, in which mountains are mostly covered in snow. Sometimes, you can also experience winds.
  • Commutation: Cars are one of the common means of transport to get around this city. There is also an extensive network of bike paths and a genuine public transport system in Boulder making commutation easier for the people. Cycling is another popular transport means in Boulder. The Regional Transportation District operates the bus system in Boulder. It is pedestrian-friendly with hiking trails, a four-block Pearl Street pedestrian-only walkway, and multiuse paths.
  • Adventure/Recreational Activities: You can find more than 150 miles of hiking trails and 60 parks in Boulder County for adventure activities. The Boulder Canyon has climbing crags and offers the fastest route to the high country. You can also visit Eldora Mountain Resort for skiing and snowboarding via Boulder County. Rocky Mountain National Park is quite close to this location just like other popular ski resorts in Colorado. Downtown Boulder is popular for shops, restaurants, and street performers on the Pearl Street Mall. The restaurants in the city offer amazing street food to fine dining. Boulder is blessed with amazing galleries, museums, live theatre, musical acts and other performing arts.
Population 316,782
Land Area (km2) 70.86 km²
Minimum wage $12.32 per hour
Median household income $66,117
Unemployment rate 2.4%
Average house price $504,101
Average monthly rent $1,411
Estimated cost of living $167.4
Crime rate (incidents per 100,000) 269.42
Median age 28.7
Average yearly rainfall 18.1 in.
Average yearly snowfall 71.1 in.
Temperature high and low 22°F to 87°F Below 6°F
Average annual salary $64,690
Average commute time 22.8 minutes

2. Denver, Colorado

Discovered in the mid of the 1800s as a gold mining hub, Denver has come a long way. Popularly known as the Mile High City due to its 5,280-foot elevation, Denver is located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains that opens a gateway for several outdoor activities for snowboard and ski fanatics.

Denver, Colorado
  • Cost of living: Denver has a good population which led to an increase in the cost of living making housing costs surge like never before. The median house cost in Denver is much higher than the national median.
  • Weather conditions: No matter the weather is usually dry and sunny in Denver, but sometimes this city experiences heavy rain, snow, lightning and hail owing to its geographical location near the mountains. In winters, Denver generally has clear blue skies and snow.
  • Commutation: Though the residents of Denver is quite eco-friendly in their thoughts and actions, they prefer using cars as their means of transportation. The highways in the city are mostly crowded as the population with cars is quite high in Denver. Some of the neighborhoods in Denver are walkable. As many people here prefer to use bikes for commutation, there are more than 85 miles of paved trails for cyclists in this metro area. The Regional Transportation District light rail, an above-ground tramway is another popular mode of transport for commuters.
  • Adventure/Recreational Activities: Denver is home to 5,000 acres of parks, golf courses, trails, and playgrounds like Washington Park, City Park, and Cheesman Park. The proximity of Denver to the Rocky Mountains offer multiple opportunities for people to ski and snowboard in the winter season. Denver also has a growing arts culture in which music makes a significant choice.
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Population 2,850,221
Land Area (km2) 401.2 km²
Minimum wage $14.77
Median household income $68,592
Unemployment rate 2.7%
Average house price $401,542
Average monthly rent $1,292
Estimated cost of living $128.7
Crime rate (incidents per 100,000) 8.35
Median age 36.4
Average yearly rainfall 14.3 inches
Average yearly snowfall 60 inches
Temperature high and low 64.6° / 36.2°
Average annual salary $59,440
Average commute time 27.7 minutes

3. Austin, Texas

Established in 1839, the metro area of Austin, is situated alongside the Colorado River on the edge of the Hill Country. Popularly referred to as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin offers various music places and local bands for entertainment purposes. Austin was named “Silicon Hills” in the 1990s for being the “top areas for venture capital investment in the country”. It is said that Austin attracts almost 150 residents daily hoping to make a career in music and cultural activities.

Austin, Texas
  • Cost of living: Austin is counted amongst the rapidly growing areas in the USA. The average price of a home for a single-family in Austin is much above the national median. The residents of Austin obtain the advantage of no corporate or personal income tax and a less amount of local and state tax rate. The cost of living in Austin is much affordable than the other similar-sized metro cities when median household income and housing costs are compared.
  • Weather conditions: Austin experiences blazing heat in the summers. However, the remaining part of the year experiences mild temperatures. The temperature often drops in the winters.
  • Commutation: Austin is known for a lot of traffic congestion. In this metro area, the public transport system, Capital Metro, operates almost 80 bus routes and a 32-mile railway line. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is only a few miles from Austin downtown.
  • Adventure/Recreational Activities: The residents of Austin often like to get away from the noise of the main city and indulge in the activities such as bicycle rides, canoe rides, hikes, jogging, and kayak in the parks. The metro area also hosts Formula One races for the spectators at the Circuit of The Americas. The city offers an opportunity to enjoy live music. You can also find amazing fine dining restaurants to eateries and food trucks in Austin with a bustling culinary scene.
Population 2,058,351
Land Area (km2) 704 km²
Minimum wage $15/hour
Median household income $76,925
Unemployment rate 2.7%
Average house price $313,308
Average monthly rent $1,217
Estimated cost of living $119.3
Crime rate (incidents per 1000) 42
Median age 34.4
Average yearly rainfall 32.2 inches
Average yearly snowfall 0.3 inches
Temperature high and low 79.7° / 54.8°
Average annual salary $53,810
Average commute time 27.1 minutes

4. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs is experiencing new settlements of people alongside parks, schools, and cultural places. The metro area attracts professionals, students, and military people with numerous military bases and nationally ranked colleges. It only takes an hour to reach Denver from Colorado Springs. This place is located nearby to the world-class ski resorts of Aspen and Vail. The economy and culture of Colorado Springs are influenced by military jobs, but you can also find jobs in the fields of technology and medical innovation. The other things which this metro area offers to its residents include a low unemployment rate, lower cost of living, and numerous entertainment and recreation activities.

 Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Cost of living: The total cost of living in Colorado is quite expensive when compared with the national average and the residents of this city do not spend much as compared to the average American towards utilities, groceries, and transportation. The cost of housing is also higher in Colorado Spring and the average income is at par with the national income of the USA.
  • Weather conditions: The climate of Colorado Springs is sunny and milder. The occasional blizzard is a common weather phenomenon here in late winter or early spring.
  • Commutation: Cars are common modes of transport in Colorado Springs. The city’s public bus system, Mountain Metro Transit is popular in the downtown area. You can take a walk in the downtown area. The metro area is known for the fastest-growing network of bike lanes in the USA. Colorado Springs has a municipal airport that connects Denver to other national and international locations.
  • Adventure/Recreational Activities: The picturesque mountain landscape of the Colorado Springs offers an opportunity to revel in outdoor activities. The hundreds of miles of biking and hiking paths cover the open spaces in this location. People can enjoy skiing and snowboard activities. For residents having a zest for sports can visit U.S. Olympic Training Center to observe experts. People with an inclination for art and culture can visit the historic district of Old Colorado City known for pioneer-style buildings and art galleries.
Population 712,266
Land Area (km2) 506 km²
Minimum wage $12.32 per hour
Median household income $64,712
Unemployment rate 3.3%
Average house price $304,500
Average monthly rent $1,118
Estimated cost of living $104.5
Crime rate (incidents per 1000) 42.78
Median age 34.5
Average yearly rainfall 16.5 inches
Average yearly snowfall 57 inches
Temperature high and low 62.1° / 35.7°
Average annual salary $51,430
Average commute time 23.7 minutes

5. Fort Collins, Colorado

Neglected before owing to the highly populated areas like the Front Range and popular mountain ski towns. The situation has changed now as new people are moving in here due to the high cost of living in Boulder and Denver. Moreover, this place in the USA also has a small-town feel and gives great satisfaction to the residents. Outdoor activities are quite popular in Fort Collins and generate good income for the economy. Colorado State University is also located here. Fort Collins, also known as the Napa Valley of craft beer, is home to New Belgium Brewing Co. Also, as Fort Collins is located near the famous Rocky Mountain National Park and other beautiful public spaces, it leads to good income for the economy.

Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Cost of living: As more people are interested in shifting to this area, the median house prices are likely to increase. However, people owning homes in Colorado are likely to pay less property tax as the average tax bill charged in Fort Collins is lower than in Denver and Boulder. The cost of living in Fort Collins is almost equal to the national average of groceries and less than the national average for transportation and utilities.
  • Weather conditions: Fort Collins receives good sunshine. Summers are usually hot and dry sometimes, bringing in thunderstorms. Spring and autumn which come in April, May, and October are difficult to predict as rains in April may sometimes turn into snowfall. Tornados are rare in the east and north of Fort Collins. The city is subject to hail in the later months of summer.
  • Commutation: Helpful bike trails and lanes in Fort Collins are a famous means of transportation. You can also find a convenient bus service in the city. Denver International Airport is only an hour away from Fort Collins.
  • Adventure/Recreational Activities: Outdoor recreation activities are quite extensive in Fort Collins. Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the popular spots for camping and hiking in the high mountains. Old Town is famous for arts and entertainment opportunities with music venues, bars, and shopping areas. Located in the northern direction of Old Town, Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is a children’s museum and digital theatre. Colorado Brewers’ Festival and the Bohemian Nights music festival happens in summer in Fort Collins.
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Population 338,161
Land Area (km2) 151.4 km²
Minimum wage $7.25 per hour
Median household income $65,866
Unemployment rate 2.4%
Average house price $381,358
Average monthly rent $1,228
Estimated cost of living $ 118.3
Crime rate (incidents per 100,000) 159.4
Median age 35.9
Average yearly rainfall 16 inches
Average yearly snowfall 48 inches
Temperature high and low N/A
Average annual salary $51,050
Average commute time 23.2 minutes

Other best places to live and work in the USA mentioned in the list of U.S. News include:

#6 Charlotte, North California

Charlotte is an amazing combination of old-fashioned south charm and a modern lifestyle. Being a metro area with its own wonderful culture, amazing aura, and culinary sophistication, Charlotte makes an excellent settlement for people from worldwide. Developmental activities are in full swing in this metro area as construction is happening. Charlotte is quite affordable in terms of living and housing costs than other cities in the USA. People can find good and affordable restaurants in the city. Moreover, the climate is also manageable. LYNX Light Rail system is a known mode of transportation to get around this area. The public transportation system is under development as the population here is increasing day by day.

Charlotte, North California

#7 Des Moines, Lowa

Des Moines is regarded as one of the best places to move in with families. The houses here are built-in colonial and Tudor-styled in solitude as this metro area is located away from hustle and bustle of the busy towns. Festivals and cultural events are quite popular in this downtown area. People can find restaurants, artistic shops, and bars in Des Moines. This metro area has a good number of bike trails, parks, and lakes for outdoor fun. The place gives a small-town feel to its residents and visitors and people here are quite warm.

Des Moines, Lowa

#8 Fayetteville, Arkansas

Experiencing immense growth in higher education, commerce, culture, and entrepreneurialism, Fayetteville is another place to which people can consider relocating. The neighborhoods here are quite friendly and helpful. Having a good number of NGOs and volunteer organizations, people can involve themselves in social activities. Located in the Ozark Mountains, Fayetteville provides outdoor recreation opportunities with many playgrounds, parks, large green spaces, and walking trails. You can also find live music venues, local food joints, performing arts centre, and cultural festivals.

#9 Portland, Oregon

Portland is another amazing place to settle in the USA as people here believe in maintaining healthy work ethics. People planning to start their careers or start their businesses can come here as Portland successfully creates a breeding ground for start-ups and new businesses. People can find shops and cultural events and other academic and cultural opportunities such as visits to museums, art galleries, and the oldest public library. People searching for wilderness can visit mountain ranges and the Pacific Ocean in just about two hours from Portland. Moreover, Portland also has vineyards in Willamette Valley.

#10 San Francisco, California

The metro area of popular San Francisco speaks of independently owned businesses, well-known landmarks, and trendsetting residents. San Francisco is highly dominated by its residents and is renowned for its bohemian lifestyle, a centre of the LGBT movement, and an emerging centre of technology. Every neighbourhood of this metro area displays its own features ranging from historic lanes of Mission District to the verdure hills of Presidio to the busy piers alongside Embarcadero. People attracted to this area are mostly students, entrepreneurs, and retirees. As the number of residents here is increasing every day, the problem of housing is increasing every day. The property prices and the rental rates are on the hike ultimately increasing the cost of living of the people.

The Ending Note

The information provided above must have helped you in deciding which place is good for you to move in. So, what are you waiting for? Go and book reliable moving companies in the USA and get your bags packed as a whole new experience awaits you in your chosen city!

Sakshi Ecavade