These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In America For 2019


We looked at the places in the United States with low crime, lots of jobs and the best schools to determine the best places to live in America.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in America.

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There’s a common denominator that all good cities have.

They are the places that have great economies. They are the places where the school systems are in awesome shape. They’re the places where lots of people have jobs, and where residents earn high salaries.

If home prices are high, it’s a sign that there’s a lot of demand to live there.

And certainly, if crime is really low, everyone wants to be there.

The cities below all share those qualities. There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against. We had more than 10 million people read our worst cities in a state series, which was featured in hundreds of media outlets, including an NPR feature.

So we know what we’re talking about.

After analyzing the biggest 293 cities in the country, here is our list of the best places to live in America.

You might be surprised to see some of these cities on this list. We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty, ‘friendly people’ and community involvement), there aren’t better options in America for making a place home.

The worst place to live in America? Memphis, TN. More on that later.

For more reading, check out:

How do you decide if a place is awesome or not?

In order to rank the best places to live in America, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.

So we put together a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the just-released American Community Survey census data, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (The higher the better – meaning there’s more to do for indoor entertainment)
  • Lowest Unemployment Rates
  • Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Low Housing Vacancy Rate
  • Education (High expenditures per student and low Student-Teacher Ratio)
  • Low Crime

We looked at the 293 biggest cities in America — those with over 100,000 people per the latest numbers.

We then ranked each city from best to worst on each of the criteria.

Finally, we averaged all the ranks to create a best place to live index. The city with the lowest index, Sunnyvale, CA, is crowned the best place to live in America for 2019.

If you’d like to see the complete list of cities, scroll to the bottom of this post to see a link to the entire data set.

Sunnyvale, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 151,565
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $968,700 (1st best)
Median Income: $118,314 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (33rd best)
More on Sunnyvale: Real Estate | Data | Photos

You may have heard it before – Sunnyvale is simply an amazing place to live. According to our unbiased data, it’s the best place to live in America for 2019 – knocking off Naperville this year. Why? Let’s take a peek.

First off, it would be hard to find a better place to raise kids than in this Silicon Valley city, which has the highest home values in the country. You could make the case that home prices really determine how great a place is — people speak with their cash. So Sunnyvale could really take the top spot.

Other factors: Really low crime, high population density and just about everyone who wants a job has a job.

Naperville, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 146,431
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $398,500 (40th best)
Median Income: $114,014 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (41st best)
More on Naperville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Naperville can’t be too happy about coming in second this year, but what can you do. Sometimes another city is just slightly more awesome than you.

This Chicago suburb is plain loaded. There’s only several places in the country where families bring in more money per capita. If being near wealthy people where crime is something that simply happens in other cities is a place that sounds good to you, then Naperville is a place for you.

Money Magazine always sings the praises of Naperville, and Kiplinger called it the best place in America to retire. That is, if you can stand the brutal winters.

Plus, the public libraries in Naperville rank as the best in the land, and the downtown area of Naperville is just so charming, who wouldn’t want to live here?

Torrance, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 147,190
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $687,900 (10th best)
Median Income: $85,070 (21st best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (49th best)
More on Torrance: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Keeping up the trend of California ‘burbs, Torrance ranks as the fourth best in America for 2019.

Here in Torrance, the number of people employed is really high. Part of that is because it is located right in the Southern California growing tech scene.

Review Of Torrance by Tim Custer

I live in Torrance and it is a very save community

Cary, NC

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 159,715
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $323,000 (52nd best)
Median Income: $97,755 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (6th best)
More on Cary: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Chances are if you live in Cary, North Carolina, a car break-in happens once a week, and makes the front page of the local paper. This Raleigh suburb is simply in a class of its own when it comes to a peaceful, quiet standard of living.

Practically everyone in this community who wants a job has one. And, there’s plenty of technology companies in the area, which is one reason people are flocking here from all over, particularly the northeast.

The running joke in Cary is that it’s a place where people settle who don’t want to be in Florida, but want to be close to family in the New England region.

Review Of Cary by HomeSnacks User

I grew up in Cary and lived there until I moved away for college. It is a town that I would recommend to anyone for any reason. Cary is a place for everyone, great for seniors, great for raising kids, and great for young adults and professionals. The schools are fantastic, there is a great selection of food, activities, and experiences. It was a wonderful place for me to grow up and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for their forever home.

The schools in Cary were excellent, providing high quality education and service to the community. There are also various restaurants catering to different national cuisine. The only issue I’ve had as a young adult going back to Cary is that there is very little nightlife and the young adult population is on the lower end, mostly being kids coming home from college while on breaks. This is not unmanageable, as a city with a bustling nightlife is nearby, about 15 minutes away.

Santa Clara, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 124,635
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $831,600 (4th best)
Median Income: $108,609 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (16th best)
More on Santa Clara: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Silcon Valluey suburbs are where it’s at in America these days. In fact, there are six(!) California suburbs in the top 10 here… Although Santa Clara got knocked down a peg by Cary.

What makes Santa Clara particularly desirable? If measuring an area based on the income of its residents is a sign of desirability, then Santa Clara has it made. Folks here are pretty wealthy, earning about $108,000 each per year. That’s pretty darn good.

The schools are great in Santa Clara, and crime is amongst the lowest in the state, too.

Irvine, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 256,877
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $753,400 (6th best)
Median Income: $95,573 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (54th best)
More on Irvine: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Irvine has been cited as one of the best places to live in the country, and the technology and arts scene here is simply booming. Irvine is one of the most desirable place to live if you want to be in the L.A. area.

Folks here are wealthy, and there’s plenty of jobs and low crime. The population here is exploding – and just a year ago, the city grew at an 8% clip, which is stunning.

A ‘super suburb’ indeed.

Review Of Irvine by HomeSnacks User

Awesome place. Super safe. Plenty of things to do: nature, city, eats, movies, films, and events.

Expensive. Everything you wanna do here is expensive. You need some income.

Bellevue, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 139,014
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $665,700 (12th best)
Median Income: $105,402 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (24th best)
More on Bellevue: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Welcome to one of the wealthiest place in America. Now, we’re not speculating that wealth is the main sign of desirability, but in most studies, the ‘better’ places to live happen to also be the wealthiest places. That’s because often, areas where there are high incomes also are areas with great schools, lots of jobs and low crime.

Here in Bellevue, the median household brings in more than $105,000 a year annually. And, this is just about the safest place you can live in the state of Washington. Most of the successful people who commute into Seattle live here.

There’s a reason Bellevue was the fastest-growing city in Washington for a number of years in the early 2000’s.

Fremont, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 230,964
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $785,700 (5th best)
Median Income: $122,191 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (24th best)
More on Fremont: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Back to California with Fremont, the city with the highest median income in America.

This San Francisco & Oakland suburb has some of the lowest crime in the region, and lots of folks are employed gainfully. This isn’t just a place for older people, either; it’s a very family-friendly community with lots to do. And, the city of Fremont has a very large budget, which means lots of funding for parks, activities, and protection.

Huntington Beach, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 200,415
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $688,700 (9th best)
Median Income: $88,079 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (27th best)
More on Huntington Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Rouding out the California faction is Huntington Beach, the 9th best place to live in America for 2019.

Here in Huntington Beach, the schools are some of the best in the United States, where funding levels are really high, and were overcrowded schools are nonexistent.

Just about every major publication which ranks places to live has called Huntington Beach both a top spot to raise families as well as a great place to retire.

Gilbert, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 232,176
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $286,400 (64th best)
Median Income: $87,566 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (27th best)
More on Gilbert: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2019 is Gilbert, AZ — not a surpise this year and another strong showing for the city.

Households in Gilbert bring in about $87,000 annually, which is the highest in the state of Arizona for big cities. And crime is just about as low as you can expect.

There You Have It — The Best Cities In The U.S.

If you’re looking at cities in the U.S. where crime is low, people are wealthy, and the public schools are amazing, this is an accurate list.

If you’re also curious enough, here are the worst cities in America, according to science.

  1. Memphis, TN
  2. Jackson, MS
  3. Detroit, MI

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In America For 2019

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Sunnyvale, CA 151,565 5.0% $968,700
2 Naperville, IL 146,431 5.3% $398,500
3 Torrance, CA 147,190 5.5% $687,900
4 Cary, NC 159,715 3.8% $323,000
5 Santa Clara, CA 124,635 4.2% $831,600
6 Irvine, CA 256,877 5.7% $753,400
7 Bellevue, WA 139,014 4.6% $665,700
8 Fremont, CA 230,964 4.6% $785,700
9 Huntington Beach, CA 200,415 4.7% $688,700
10 Gilbert, AZ 232,176 4.7% $286,400
11 Frisco, TX 155,363 4.1% $335,900
12 Carlsbad, CA 113,147 5.2% $713,600
13 Simi Valley, CA 126,546 5.4% $508,600
14 Alexandria, VA 154,710 3.9% $537,900
15 Thousand Oaks, CA 128,909 6.6% $663,600
16 Overland Park, KS 186,147 3.7% $248,100
17 Plano, TX 281,566 4.2% $271,300
18 Arvada, CO 115,320 4.2% $312,500
19 Roseville, CA 130,705 5.7% $386,300
20 Scottsdale, AZ 239,283 4.1% $433,500
21 Santa Clarita, CA 209,489 7.1% $461,500
22 Olathe, KS 134,368 3.8% $211,600
23 Mckinney, TX 164,760 3.4% $255,300
24 Chandler, AZ 245,160 4.6% $268,000
25 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 174,573 7.3% $444,200
26 Elk Grove, CA 166,228 7.5% $349,500
27 Orange, CA 140,289 5.7% $604,300
28 Ann Arbor, MI 119,303 5.3% $271,600
29 Virginia Beach, VA 450,057 5.3% $267,300
30 Seattle, WA 688,245 4.7% $537,800
31 San Jose, CA 1,023,031 6.4% $714,200
32 Pembroke Pines, FL 166,530 6.3% $245,900
33 Round Rock, TX 116,369 5.8% $210,800
34 San Francisco, CA 864,263 5.4% $927,400
35 Santa Rosa, CA 174,244 6.2% $458,500
36 Henderson, NV 284,817 7.2% $266,200
37 Fort Collins, CO 159,150 5.9% $308,800
38 Stamford, CT 128,851 7.4% $516,000
39 Sterling Heights, MI 131,996 5.3% $164,700
40 Peoria, AZ 161,383 6.1% $230,400
41 Coral Springs, FL 130,110 7.5% $313,500
42 Surprise, AZ 129,534 6.7% $213,600
43 Berkeley, CA 120,179 6.8% $861,800
44 Madison, WI 248,856 4.1% $223,300
45 Madison, WI 248,856 4.1% $223,300
46 Corona, CA 163,585 6.7% $411,600
47 San Diego, CA 1,390,966 7.0% $523,600
48 Thornton, CO 132,310 4.3% $262,100
49 Charleston, SC 131,204 4.8% $286,200
50 Fullerton, CA 139,976 7.5% $589,600
51 Boise City, ID 220,859 5.0% $206,800
52 Carrollton, TX 131,240 3.8% $197,500
53 Miramar, FL 136,415 7.3% $264,200
54 Chesapeake, VA 235,410 5.8% $260,900
55 Concord, CA 128,160 7.1% $461,700
56 Chula Vista, CA 264,101 9.2% $433,500
57 Oceanside, CA 174,811 6.6% $423,100
58 Costa Mesa, CA 112,930 5.4% $671,800
59 Yonkers, NY 200,999 8.0% $380,100
60 Boston, MA 669,158 7.3% $455,100
61 Hayward, CA 156,917 6.3% $462,000
62 Downey, CA 113,358 6.3% $479,500
63 Cedar Rapids, IA 130,330 4.1% $138,500
64 Sioux Falls, SD 170,401 3.6% $168,600
65 Garden Grove, CA 174,812 6.2% $476,300
66 Fargo, ND 118,099 3.2% $190,200
67 Lakewood, CO 151,411 4.3% $300,600
68 New York, NY 8,560,072 7.8% $538,700
69 Jersey City, NJ 265,932 7.3% $344,200
70 Portland, OR 630,331 6.6% $352,700
71 Vancouver, WA 171,393 7.1% $238,300
72 Midland, TX 131,286 3.8% $193,200
73 Anaheim, CA 349,007 6.7% $491,400
74 Denver, CO 678,467 4.5% $322,900
75 Provo, UT 116,199 5.0% $227,400
76 Austin, TX 916,906 4.4% $285,900
77 Colorado Springs, CO 450,000 6.9% $233,100
78 Kent, WA 126,561 6.5% $284,900
79 Fontana, CA 207,086 8.9% $323,300
80 Murfreesboro, TN 126,188 5.7% $198,800
81 Escondido, CA 150,783 6.3% $396,200
82 Joliet, IL 148,172 7.4% $165,600
83 Norman, OK 119,820 5.3% $169,700
84 Cape Coral, FL 173,679 8.0% $196,800
85 Mesa, AZ 479,317 6.0% $187,900
86 Port St. Lucie, FL 178,778 7.2% $162,700
87 Tempe, AZ 178,339 5.5% $237,200
88 Santa Ana, CA 334,493 6.5% $421,600
89 Oxnard, CA 206,732 7.8% $390,000
90 Omaha, NE 463,081 4.8% $146,500
91 Long Beach, CA 470,489 8.2% $476,400
92 Eugene, OR 163,135 7.4% $257,200
93 Minneapolis, MN 411,452 6.0% $222,600
94 Anchorage, AK 298,225 5.8% $304,500
95 Hampton, VA 136,255 7.8% $186,600
96 Irving, TX 235,648 5.0% $155,200
97 Aurora, CO 357,323 6.0% $231,000
98 Visalia, CA 130,047 6.8% $207,400
99 Worcester, MA 184,743 7.5% $210,600
100 Hollywood, FL 149,750 7.6% $217,100

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

7 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In America For 2019

  1. This article was written about a year ago and I can promise you a lot of things have changed in a year. I have lived in Northern Virginia since I was 8 years old and I can tell you, as of July 1, 2017, it’s not what it used to be. Alexandria, Va is the same place where the House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot the day before the Charity Baseball Game between the Dems and the Repubs – sounds real safe??? There are places in Alexandria I would never go after a certain time at night, even with an officer. One on the things I just can not stand is when someone writes an article with a lot of fluff in it instead of telling the truth. It is not one of the worst places to live, but, it is far from being the #1 best places to live in America!!!! SMH!!

  2. Where are the best places to retire?

    Where are the best cities to be employed as a Peer Recovery Coach with the best benefits?

  3. OK, this list is a joke. Total entertainment. I’ve known many of these places and they are all crap. What a waste of time.

  4. Seriously? The best place to live has the highest home value? Like are you kidding me? I don’t think so. That’s not how “affordability” works.

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