Where are the best places in the state of Georgia?
To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Peach State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.
However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Georgia.
There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.
After analyzing 122 places in Georgia, we came up with this list of the best places:
- Alpharetta (Photos)
- Milton (Photos)
- Johns Creek (Photos)
- Decatur (Photos)
- Sandy Springs (Photos)
- Dunwoody (Photos)
- Roswell (Photos)
- Woodstock (Photos)
- Braselton (Photos)
- Suwanee (Photos)
Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Georgia.
The Pressing Question: Size
Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Atlanta with a population of 456,378 against places with a population of 18?
We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.
So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:
- Cities — Populations over 5,100
- Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,100
- Small Towns — Populations below 1,000
This left us with 122 cities, 204 towns, and 262 small towns.
We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,100 people to truly be ‘the best’.
You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.
How We Calculated The Best Place To Live In Georgia
Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.
We ranked each place in Georgia across a number of criteria from one to 122, with one being the best.
We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Georgia”.
The criteria we looked at were:
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Population Density (Higher better)
- Unemployment Rate
- Commute Time
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Georgia.
Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Alpharetta at the end of the cul-de-sac.
Population: 63,013Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $344,100 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (17th best)
The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of Georgia, as there were only 35 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 18th lowest in Georgia (5.1%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.
Additionally, homes are the 8th most expensive in Alpharetta ($344,100), meaning a lot of people want to live there.
Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $93,613 a year.
Alpharetta is an Atlanta suburb. We’ll be seeing a lot more of those on this list.
Population: 36,755Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Home Values: $475,300 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (6th best)
Milton has been called one of the best small towns in America. If you live here, you’re most likely already aware of how great it is to live there.
Just about everyone who wants a job in Milton has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 4.0% and lowering. And the Milton police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 2nd lowest in the state here.
Who wouldn’t want to live in a place like this?
3. Johns Creek
Population: 82,930Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Values: $348,600 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (40th best)
The crime is the 1st lowest in the state in Johns Creek, and there were only 27 violent crimes in the entire city last year. We think it’s even safer here than the numbers indicate.
The schools are some of the best in Georgia, and residents live in very expensive homes. They also earn more than most every other city in the state. Residents in Johns Creek earn $107,176 a year.
Population: 21,210Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Home Values: $384,300 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (22nd best)
The city motto in Decatur is “Everything is greater in Decatur,” and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.
Decatur, a small city in the Atlanta metro area, has some of the highest home values in Georgia, and they’re going up fast. Additionally, Decatur students see the 2nd-highest spending, which means they are getting lots of personal attention. Crime is also well below the state average, making Decatur a solid option for people who want to commute into Atlanta.
At least those who can afford it.
5. Sandy Springs
Population: 102,212Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Home Values: $421,600 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (13th best)
Sandy Springs has several great, well-defined neighborhoods, and the community puts on many events and festivals each year.
Who wouldn’t want to live in a place where there’s low crime and everyone is rich? That’s the case with Sandy Springs.
Things are looking peachy keen here. The unemployment rate is the 13th lowest in Georgia and the median income comes in at $68,629.
Population: 48,128Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Home Values: $381,500 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (17th best)
Dunwoody is by far one of the best places to live in Georgia: the math proves it! This city has the 18th lowest unemployment rate and the 7th highest median income in all of Georgia.
And if all of that isn’t enough to convince you, then check this out: their crime rate is the 64th lowest in the state, making Dunwoody a safe and great place to live.
Population: 93,968Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Home Values: $315,100 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (8th best)
Roswell has been called one of the best small towns in America. If you live here, you’re most likely already aware of how great it is to live there.
Just about everyone who wants a job in Roswell has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 4.5% and lowering. And the Roswell police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 10th lowest in the state here.
Who wouldn’t want to live in a place like this?
Population: 27,964Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Home Values: $192,700 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (20th best)
We think the motto in Woodstock should be “Everything is greater in Woodstock,” and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.
Woodstock has some of the highest home values in Georgia, and they’re going up fast. Additionally, Woodstock only has 730.0% of its residents living in poverty.
Crime is also well below the state average, making Woodstock a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.
Population: 8,409Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Home Values: $252,000 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (4th best)
Well, I guess technically 3.8% of Braselton residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 4th closest of any city in Georgia.
You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.
In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Braselton also ranked well for crime (5th) and median income ($90,284).
Population: 18,001Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Home Values: $251,300 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (7th best)
With the unemployment rate being the 7th lowest in Georgia and very stable household median incomes, it’s easy to see why someone would want to live in Suwanee.
The crime rate is the 45th lowest in the state.
Plus, the city has numerous parks, lakes and playgrounds that are large and well-maintained. Several were built by members of the community.
Who wouldn’t want to live in a place like that?
Wrapping Up The Best Of The Best In Georgia
If you’re looking at areas in Georgia with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
Alpharetta made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for 2018.
Best Towns To Live In Georgia
- Isle of Hope (Pop. 2,564)
- Talahi Island (Pop. 1,454)
- Lookout Mountain (Pop. 1,754)
- Avondale Estates (Pop. 3,095)
- Berkeley Lake (Pop. 1,924)
- Watkinsville (Pop. 2,872)
- Grayson (Pop. 3,008)
- Cleveland (Pop. 3,750)
- Robins AFB (Pop. 1,337)
- Thunderbolt (Pop. 2,606)
Best Small Towns To Live In Georgia
- Dutch Island (Pop. 943)
- Vernonburg (Pop. 120)
- Moreland (Pop. 463)
- Calvary (Pop. 106)
- Rockingham (Pop. 334)
- Cherry Log (Pop. 134)
- Sky Valley (Pop. 310)
- Bishop (Pop. 271)
- Mendes (Pop. 27)
- Woolsey (Pop. 178)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Georgia:
- Swainsboro (Pop. 7,504)
- Forest Park (Pop. 19,156)
- Fort Valley (Pop. 8,975)
For more Georgia reading , check out:
- A Hilarious Look At The 10 Most Redneck Cities In Georgia
- These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In Georgia – RoadSnacks
- These Are The 10 Most Miserable Places In Georgia – RoadSnacks
Detailed List Of The Best Cities In Georgia