Best Places To Live in the U.S.

By Kristen Mae Lee

September 18, 2009

 

This is research I have collected about the best cities to live in (including cost of living, commuting, stuff to do, weather, etc.), to grow up in, and buy real estate. Interestingly, my research indicated that the best places to raise kids that have the best cost of living and the most to do are near the Great Lakes.

 

According to these and other information I have collected over the years, the best places overall to live and raise a family, have fun, and enjoy the weather all year long are (not in any real order except the red and underlined areas weigh more):


Illinois - Mount Prospect, Chicago, Naperville, Springfield


Missouri - Kansas City

(this is actually listed once as Kansas and it is a town that has two states because the border goes through the city)


Virginia - Virginia Beach, Newport News, Norfolk

(From my experiences, VA is the cleanest state with tough police and traffic laws)


Hawaii - Honolulu


Ohio -

Delaware County {near Columbus} (http://www.co.delaware.oh.us/),

Geauga County {near Cincinnati} (http://www.co.geauga.oh.us/),

Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Akron


Indiana - Fort Wayne,

Hamilton County, Indianapolis


WisconsinWaukesha (near Milwaukee, which is near Chicago),

Milwaukee, Madison, Ozaukee, Eau Claire


Kansas - Kansas City (listed as Missouri also),

Overland Park (near Kansas City),

Wichita, Johnson County


Pennsylvania - Pittsburgh,

Philadelphia, Chester County (suburb of Philadelphia)

Montgomery County


TexasAustin**,

San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, Euless, Plano   


Colorado - Denver,

Colorado Springs**, Colorado, Fort Collins


CALIFORNIA

North California

South Bay (According to Google Maps, I think this is referring to Eureka, CA)

 

Midwest California

San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Fremont, Berkeley, Fairfield

 

Southern California

Los Angeles, San Bernandino, Arcadia, Fontana, Oceanside,

San Diego**, Corona, Escondido


 

**San Diego, California and Austin, Texas are the best places for singles

Colorado Springs is listed as a great place to bring up kids AND a great place for singles.

 

 

Bibliography:

Facebook suggestions I received were: Colorado Springs, CO. & Cody, WY.

And FYI: Everyone raves about San Diego, CA, Austin, TX, and Portland, OR...

 

http://images.businessweek.com/ss/08/11/1110_best_places_for_kids/index.htm

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24713234/

 

http://www.forbes.com/2008/06/27/schools-places-family-forbeslife-cz_zg_0630realestate.html

 

http://moving.about.com/od/whymove/a/best_places.htm

 

http://www.forbes.com/2008/05/12/outdoors-health-cities-forbeslife-cx_rr_0512realestate.html

 

http://www.forbes.com/2008/04/24/cities-commute-fuel-forbeslife-cx_mw_0424realestate.html

 




 

 

The next pages are the details I collected for this article, with links so you can read about these places yourself.
http://www.forbes.com/2008/06/27/schools-places-family-forbeslife-cz_zg_0630realestate.html

 

1) Hamilton County, Indiana

2) Ozaukee County, Wisconsin

3) Johnson County, Kansas

4) Geauga Couny, Ohio

5) Delaware County, Ohio

6) Morris County, New Jersey

7) Hunterdon County, New Jersey

8) Waukesha County, Wisconsin

9) Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

10) Chester County, Pennsylvania

 

http://moving.about.com/od/whymove/a/best_places.htm

 

Safest Places To Live

1.         Honolulu, Hawaii

2.         Bosie, Idaho

3.         Sante Fe, New Mexico

4.         Yakima, Washington

5.         Spokane, Washington

 

Best Places For Singles

1.         Austin, Texas

2.         Colorado Springs, Colorado

3.         San Diego, California

4.         Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina

5.         Seattle, Washington

 

Best Places For Families

1.         Denver, Colorado

2.         Norfolk/Virginia Beach/Newport News, Virginia

3.         Minneapolis/St.Paul, Minnesota

4.         Miami, Florida

5.         Orlando, Florida

 

Best Retirement Communities

1.         Fort Collins, Colorado

2.         Bellingham, Washington

3.         Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, North Carolina

4.         Sarasota, Florida

5.         Fayetteville, Arkansas

 

http://www.forbes.com/2008/05/12/outdoors-health-cities-forbeslife-cx_rr_0512realestate.html

 

Best Cities For The Outdoors

1)             San Francisco, CA

2)             San Diego, CA*

3)             San Jose, CA

4)             Jacksonville, FL

5)             Phoenix, AZ

6)             Tampa, FL

7)             Minneapolis, MN

8)             Austin, TX*

9)             Las Vegas, NV

10)         Virginia Beach, VA

11)         Seattle, WA

12)         Washington, DC

13)         Denver, CO

14)         Sacramento, CA

15)         Boston, MA

16)         Kansas City, MO

17)         Los Angeles, CA

18)         Portland, OR *

19)         Cincinnati, OH

20)         New York, NY

21)         Dallas, TX

22)         Miami, FL

23)         Atlanta, GA

24)         San Antonio, TX

25)         Chicago, IL

26)         St Louis, MO

27)         Oklahoma City, OK

28)         Baltimore, MD

29)         Philadelphia, PA

30)         Houston, TX

31)         Columbus, OH

32)         Charlotte, NC

33)         Louisville, KY

34)         Cleveland, OH

35)         Memphis, TN

36)         Nashville, TN

37)         Milwaukee, WI

38)         Pittsburgh, PA

39)         Indianapolis, IN

40)         Detroit, MI

* People rave great things about these places.

 

http://www.forbes.com/2008/04/24/cities-commute-fuel-forbeslife-cx_mw_0424realestate.html

 

1)    Buffalo, NY

2)    Salt Lake City, UT

3)    Milwaukee, WI

4)    Oklahoma City, OK

5)    Pittsburgh, PA

6)    Cleveland, OH

7)    Hartford, CT

8)    Kansas City, MO

9)    Cincinnati, OH

10) Richmond, VA

 

http://images.businessweek.com/ss/08/11/1110_best_places_for_kids/index.htm

 

The Best Places To Raise Kids That You Can Afford To Live For 2009

 

Click here to read more about Mount Prospect and the other best places in the U.S. to raise kids.

 

Across the board, Cook County, Illinois ranked the highest

 

This list is in alphabetical order on their website, not 2,3,4. Only #1 is listed as such in their article.

 

1)    Mount Prospect, Illinois

¯    Huntsville,                 Alabama*

¯    Anchorage,               Alazka

¯    Gilbert,                       Arizona (runners up, Phoenix and Scottsdale)*

¯    Springdale,               Arkansas

¯    Arcadia,                    California

¯    Fort Collins,             Colorado

¯    West Haven,             Connecticut

¯    Wilmington,               Delaware

¯    Pembroke Pines,     Florida

¯    Warner Robins,        Georgia

¯    Honolulu,                  Hawaii

¯    Boise,                         Idaho

¯    Fort Wayne,             Indiana

¯    West Des Moines,   Iowa

¯    Overland Park,        Kansas

¯    Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

¯    Bossier City,                         Loiusiana

¯    Portland,                   Maine

¯    Gaithersburg,           Maryland

¯    Malden,                     Massachusetts

¯    Ann Arbor,                 Michigan

¯    Eagan,                       Minnesota*

¯    Biloxi,                                     Mississippi

¯    LeeÕs Summit,          Missouri

¯    Billings,                      Montana

¯    Omaha,                      Nebraska

¯    Paradise,                   Nevada

¯    Nashua,                     New Hampshire

¯    Edison,                      New Jersey

¯    Rio Rancho,                         New Mexico

¯    New Rochelle,         New York

¯    Jacksonville,           North Carolina

¯    Bismarck,                  North Dakota

¯    Columbus,                Ohio

¯    Lawton,                      Oklahoma

¯    Bend,                                     Oregon

¯    Pittsburgh,               Pennsylvania

¯    Pawtucket,                Rhode Island

¯    Rock Hill,                   South Carolina

¯    Sioux Falls,               South Dakota

¯    Murfreeboro,             Tennessee

¯    Euless,                       Texas

¯    Orem,                         Utah (known as ÒFamily City USAÓ is near SLC, UT)

¯    Burlington,                Vermont

¯    Virginia Beach,        Virginia

¯    Bellevue,                   Washington

¯    Charleston,               West Virginia

¯    Eau Claire,               Wisconsin

¯    Casper,                     Wyoming

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24713234/

May 20, 2008

 

1               Honolulu,                        Hawaii

2               Virginia Beach,             Virginia


3               Billings,                            Montana


4               Columbus,                      Georgia


5               San Diego,                      California


6               Des Moines,                   Iowa


7               Minneapolis,                  Minnesota


8               Madison,                         Wisconsin

9               Colorado Springs,        Colorado


10           Santa Rosa,                   California


11           Wichita,                           Kansas


12           Los Angeles,                 California


13           Corona,                           California


14           Austin,                              Texas


15           Stamford,                         Connecticut


16           Omaha,                            Nebraska


17           Naperville,                      Illinois


18           Fort Wayne,                   Indiana

19           Springfield,                     Illinois


20           Boise,                               Idaho


21           Manchester,                    New Hampshire


22           South Bay Area,           California


23           New York,                       New York


24           Fontana,                          California


25           Louisville,                        Kentucky


26           Plano,                              Texas


27           Oceanside,                     California


28           Oklahoma City,              Oklahoma


29           Sacramento,                  California


30           Ann Arbor,                       Michigan


31           Reno,                               Nevada


32           Las Vegas,                      Nevada


33           Lincoln,                            Nebraska


34           San Bernardino,           California


35           Grand Rapids,                Michigan


36           Raleigh-Durham,          North Carolina

37           Kansas City,                  Kansas


38           Fremont,                         California


39           Buffalo,                            New York


40           Berkeley,                        California


41           Cambridge,                     Massachusetts


42           Kansas City,                  Missouri


43           Waterbury,                      Connecticut

44           Syracuse,                        New York


45           Phoenix,                          Arizona

46           Albuquerque,                 New Mexico

47           Akron,                             Ohio


48           Boston,                            Massachusetts


49           Escondido,                     California


50           Fairfield,                          California


The cities that were listed most (4 times each) are:
Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas (listed both ways)

Virginia Beach, Virginia

 

Then, listed 3 times each:

Austin, TX,

Boise, ID,

Columbus, OH,

Durham, NC,

Honolulu, HI,

Minneapolis/St Paul, MN,

Oklahoma City, OK,

Pittsburgh, PA,

Raleigh, NC,

San Diego, CA

 

States that have the highest number of listings:

California listed 20 times

Ohio listed 10 times

North Carolina listed 9 times

Texas listed 8 times

Virginia listed 7 times

Florida listed 7 times