U.S. News & World Report’s Annual Best Places To Live Are Here (But Half Of Them Are Trash)

U.S. News & World Report's Annual Best Places To Live Are Here (But Half Of Them Are Trash)

If you live in a pretty cool city and follow your favorite bars, restaurants, and brunch spots on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you’ve probably been seeing exclamatory posts bragging that they’ve been honored as a “best” place to live – and with a new website putting out a different list of city rankings every month, pretty much every major city has been in focus at one point or another.

However, as in determining where you were going to attend college, the U.S. News and World Report emerges on top when giving the definitive ranking of the best places to live. They ranked the top 100 metro areas but to rank in the top ten, cities had to score highly on desirability, quality of life, and good value of the area. In the mind of U.S. News, these criteria are good enough to consider a place well-rounded, but with the top ten listed below, I’ll leave that up to your interpretation.

10. Salt Lake City, UT
9. Des Moines, IA
8. Boston, MA
7. Raleigh-Durham, NC
6. Seattle, WA
5. Fayetteville, AR
4. Washington, D.C.
3. San Jose, CA
2. Denver, CO
1. Austin, TX

Sure, some of these places are great, and I certainly wouldn’t mind living in D.C., Austin, or Denver, but it’s about time these lists got a major overhaul.

Do I really want to live in Iowa or Arkansas just because I can purchase a single-family detached home on a dirt road for half of the cost of my outstanding student loans? The answer to this is a resounding no.

To all future list-makers, I issue this plea: either begin titling your lists “The Top Ten Places To Live If You Don’t Care About Enjoying Your Life For The Sake Of The Housing Market,” or start introducing the availability of sunshine, a high population of millennials and activities we enjoy, and the mental health benefits of being in a place that actually doesn’t suck. Until then, though, I’ll stick with the clearly obvious choices in these lists and avoid the majority of the flyover states – that is, until I can thoroughly Yelp the area and determine that eggs benny won’t be in short supply during my time there.

[via Travel & Leisure]

Image via Shutterstock

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Steph W.

Steph W. is a new Master's degree graduate with an intern's salary and six-figure taste. She realizes her expectations far exceed reality, so she spends her days pinning away Loubs she pretends are in her physical closet instead of her virtual one. Her hobbies include attempting to trapping her boyfriend into marriage before he finds out how insane she is and pretending that Black Box wine tastes as good as the kind she could afford when she was gainfully employed. Send her tips for getting out of student debt at

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