Slideshow: The 50 best places to live in America, ranked

Posted: Updated:
ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share
(Meredith illustration) (Meredith illustration)

(Meredith) -- 24/7 Wall St., a financial news and opinion company, released a list of America's 50 Best Cities to Live. The list is based on the strength of the city's economy, (measured by poverty rate and median income), the average level of education, levels of violent crime, the number of cultural amenities and entertainment venues, and the affordability of housing.

Here are the top 10 American cities to live in according to 24/7 Wall St.'s rankings.

  • 10. Raleigh, North Carolina
    • Population: 458,862
    • Median home value: $242,500
    • Poverty rate: 12.1%
    • Percent with at least a bachelor's degree: 50.8%

Raleigh is a very fast-growing city, and a whopping 50.8% of its residents are well-educated. This makes the city more resilient to economic downturns and helps the city to continue to grow. Raleigh benefits greatly from the universities nearby. North Carolina State University is in Raleigh, and Duke University, as well as The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, are only 30 minutes down the road.

  • 9. Columbia, Maryland
    • Population: 107,308
    • Median home value: $371400
    • Poverty rate: 6.5%
    • Percent with at least a bachelor's degree: 63.2%

Maryland is the wealthiest state in the country and Columbia is no exception. The cost of living is fairly high in Columbia, but the unusually high median income is more than enough to offset the high prices. Columbia also has a lot of entertainment venues like bars and restaurants and movie theaters. 

  • 8. O'Fallon, Missouri
    • Population: 86,276
    • Median home value: $224,400
    • Poverty rate: 3.3%
    • Percent with at least a bachelor's degree: 43.0%

O'Fallon is an especially affluent city on the outskirts of St. Louis. But despite the high incomes, the cost of living has remained relatively low. Housing, in particular, is especially affordable.

  • 7. Naperville, Illinois
    • Population: 148,063
    • Median home value: $421,400
    • Poverty rate: 4.1%
    • Percent with at least a bachelor's degree: 69.0%

The average resident of Naperville earns $116,482 a year, the 12th highest of any city in the country. This is partly due to its unusually high average level of education, with nearly 70% of residents having earned at least a bachelor's degree. The city also has a very low violent crime rate, especially compared to neighboring Chicago.

  • 6. Dale City, Virginia
    • Population: 72,073
    • Median home value: $297,800
    • Poverty rate: 5.7%
    • Percent with at least a bachelor's degree: 27.8%

Dale City benefits from the job market and entertainment amenities of neighboring Washington D.C. without the expensive housing. With many residents working in D.C., the median income is relatively high at $95,600.

  • 5. Highlands Ranch, Colorado
    • Population: 112,436
    • Median home value: $446,300
    • Poverty rate: 3.1%
    • Percent with at least a bachelor's degree: 65.6%

Highlands Ranch, about 40 minutes outside Denver, benefits from an extremely healthy population. Its citizens have an unusually low number of preventable hospitalizations per capita. It's likely that the city's healthiness is a byproduct of its wealth. Highlands Ranch is one of the wealthiest cities in the country.

  • 4. Johns Creek, Georgia
    • Population: 83,884
    • Median home value: $372,000
    • Poverty rate: 4.9%
    • Percent with at least a bachelor's degree: 63.3%

Johns Creek is one of the most well-educated cities in America. This can have far-reaching effects on the poverty rate and median income. Johns Creek also has an unusual amount of entertainment options.

  • 3. Arvada, Colorado
    • Population: 117,308
    • Median home value: $342,700
    • Poverty rate: 5.4%
    • Percent with at least a bachelor's degree: 37.2%

Arvada is one of the safest cities in the country with an incredibly low rate of violent crime. The close proximity of Denver also provides an excellent job market, contributing to the city's high median income.

  • 2. Centennial, Colorado
    • Population: 109,935
    • Median home value: $393,200
    • Poverty rate: 2.7%
    • Percent with at least a bachelor's degree: 55.3%

Centennial benefits from an incredibly high rate of growth. The city is growing at nearly double the national average. The city's low cost of living also contributes to its prosperity, with only 2.7% living in poverty.

  • 1. Carmel, Indiana
    • Population: 90,533
    • Median home value: $315,200
    • Poverty rate: 3.9%
    • Percent with at least a bachelor's degree: 69.7%

Carmel is one of the healthiest, wealthiest, and well-educated cities in America. Nearly 70% of its citizens have a bachelor's degree, and the typical household earns $113,194 a year. The cost of living in Carmel is also incredibly low, as well as the number of violent crimes -- making Carmel one of the safest cities to live in.

Popular Stories