Best Places To Live in the U.S.

By Krista

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} (,

Geauga County {near Cincinnati} (,

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


San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, Euless, Plano   

Colorado - Denver,

Colorado Springs**, Colorado, Fort Collins


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.




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

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




The next pages are the details I collected for this article, with links so you can read about these places yourself.


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


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


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.


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


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

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