These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Georgia For 2018

We used science and data to determine which Peach State cities are the cream of the crop.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it on 4-8-2018 with a video. Article continues below video.

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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:

  1. Alpharetta (Photos | Homes)
  2. Milton (Photos | Homes)
  3. Johns Creek (Photos | Homes)
  4. Decatur (Photos | Homes)
  5. Sandy Springs (Photos | Homes)
  6. Dunwoody (Photos | Homes)
  7. Roswell (Photos | Homes)
  8. Woodstock (Photos | Homes)
  9. Braselton (Photos | Homes)
  10. Suwanee (Photos | Homes)

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Georgia.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

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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’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

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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
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

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.

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1. Alpharetta

Alpharetta, Georgia

Source: Public domain

Population: 63,013
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $344,100 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (17th best)
More on Alpharetta: Real Estate | Data
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.

2. Milton

Milton, Georgia

Source: Public domain

Population: 36,755
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Home Values: $475,300 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (6th best)
More on Milton: Real Estate | Data
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

Johns Creek, Georgia

Source: Public domain

Population: 82,930
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Values: $348,600 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (40th best)
More on Johns Creek: Real Estate | Data
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.

4. Decatur

Decatur, Georgia

Population: 21,210
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Home Values: $384,300 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (22nd best)
More on Decatur: Real Estate | Data
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

Sandy Springs, Georgia

Population: 102,212
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Home Values: $421,600 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (13th best)
More on Sandy Springs: Real Estate | Data
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.

6. Dunwoody

Dunwoody, Georgia

Population: 48,128
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Home Values: $381,500 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (17th best)
More on Dunwoody: Real Estate | Data
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.

7. Roswell

Roswell, Georgia

Population: 93,968
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Home Values: $315,100 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (8th best)
More on Roswell: Real Estate | Data
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?

8. Woodstock

Woodstock, Georgia

Source: Public domain

Population: 27,964
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Home Values: $192,700 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (20th best)
More on Woodstock: Real Estate | Data
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.

9. Braselton

Braselton, Georgia

Population: 8,409
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Home Values: $252,000 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (4th best)
More on Braselton: Real Estate | Data
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).

10. Suwanee

Suwanee, Georgia

Source: Public domain

Population: 18,001
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Home Values: $251,300 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (7th best)
More on Suwanee: Real Estate | Data
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

  1. Isle of Hope (Pop. 2,564)
  2. Talahi Island (Pop. 1,454)
  3. Lookout Mountain (Pop. 1,754)
  4. Avondale Estates (Pop. 3,095)
  5. Berkeley Lake (Pop. 1,924)
  6. Watkinsville (Pop. 2,872)
  7. Grayson (Pop. 3,008)
  8. Cleveland (Pop. 3,750)
  9. Robins AFB (Pop. 1,337)
  10. Thunderbolt (Pop. 2,606)

Best Small Towns To Live In Georgia

  1. Dutch Island (Pop. 943)
  2. Vernonburg (Pop. 120)
  3. Moreland (Pop. 463)
  4. Calvary (Pop. 106)
  5. Rockingham (Pop. 334)
  6. Cherry Log (Pop. 134)
  7. Sky Valley (Pop. 310)
  8. Bishop (Pop. 271)
  9. Mendes (Pop. 27)
  10. Woolsey (Pop. 178)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Georgia:

  1. Swainsboro (Pop. 7,504)
  2. Forest Park (Pop. 19,156)
  3. Fort Valley (Pop. 8,975)

For more Georgia reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Cities In Georgia

City Rank Previous Rank Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
Alpharetta 1 1 63,013 5.1% $344,100
Milton 2 4 36,755 4.0% $475,300
Johns Creek 3 3 82,930 7.1% $348,600
Decatur 4 2 21,210 5.5% $384,300
Sandy Springs 5 6 102,212 4.9% $421,600
Dunwoody 6 8 48,128 5.1% $381,500
Roswell 7 5 93,968 4.5% $315,100
Woodstock 8 7 27,964 5.3% $192,700
Braselton 9 11 8,409 3.8% $252,000
Suwanee 10 11 18,001 4.3% $251,300
Centerville 11 19 7,576 5.1% $146,300
Pooler 12 10 22,131 3.9% $187,900
Holly Springs 13 9 10,351 7.4% $204,400
Kennesaw 14 13 32,669 5.0% $152,800
Tyrone 15 16 7,121 8.6% $238,700
Fayetteville 16 15 16,780 7.4% $183,400
Port Wentworth 17 22 7,052 6.0% $167,600
Grovetown 18 26 12,848 17.3% $145,100
Brookhaven 19 14 51,567 3.2% $385,600
Smyrna 20 17 54,788 5.8% $225,200
Peachtree Corners 21 21 41,268 6.9% $291,900
Flowery Branch 22 18 6,503 5.1% $180,400
Rincon 23 23 9,690 2.9% $151,200
Richmond Hill 24 19 11,501 8.0% $190,000
Kingsland 25 32 16,411 5.8% $141,000
Acworth 26 25 21,824 9.1% $158,000
Duluth 27 33 28,681 7.0% $183,800
St. Marys 28 30 17,853 11.8% $173,200
Jefferson 29 27 9,946 4.9% $158,800
Loganville 30 24 11,072 11.6% $150,900
Powder Springs 31 46 14,596 10.0% $139,800
Snellville 32 28 19,395 9.5% $150,000
Bremen 33 36 6,257 6.4% $143,100
Sugar Hill 34 29 20,889 8.0% $174,100
Newnan 35 34 35,642 7.8% $178,500
Dallas 36 79 12,622 5.5% $129,400
Mcdonough 37 42 23,086 9.6% $132,300
Marietta 38 41 59,714 8.5% $223,700
Glennville 39 47 5,137 5.7% $137,300
Atlanta 40 39 456,378 10.4% $222,300
Hinesville 41 35 34,127 13.5% $123,200
Cumming 42 58 5,740 9.1% $184,800
Stockbridge 43 38 27,692 11.2% $129,700
Savannah 44 70 144,717 12.2% $145,100
Canton 45 44 25,022 7.3% $174,500
Lilburn 46 51 12,481 7.6% $163,400
Hawkinsville 47 40 5,504 6.8% $142,400
Hampton 48 68 7,281 12.0% $116,700
Lafayette 49 45 7,130 6.9% $82,600
Warner Robins 50 43 73,265 10.0% $111,600
Fort Oglethorpe 51 52 9,613 4.7% $121,700
Thomasville 52 61 18,706 10.9% $130,200
Columbus 53 49 200,303 10.1% $138,600
Hapeville 54 76 6,658 3.7% $100,800
Lawrenceville 55 59 30,127 9.6% $141,900
Dahlonega 56 30 6,196 7.5% $406,500
Fairburn 57 69 13,860 7.2% $119,600
Buford 58 65 13,927 5.6% $162,800
Villa Rica 59 62 14,755 11.5% $127,700
Calhoun 60 54 16,139 4.9% $133,200
Statesboro 61 48 30,597 13.3% $116,600
Norcross 62 65 16,293 5.3% $169,700
Carrollton 63 67 25,960 11.4% $134,500
Auburn 64 56 7,291 8.5% $108,200
Douglasville 65 63 32,317 11.4% $149,200
Chamblee 66 64 27,862 6.1% $216,000
Dalton 67 55 33,653 10.4% $125,600
Gainesville 68 60 37,906 4.5% $150,200
Austell 69 76 7,056 13.8% $108,900
Perry 70 37 15,293 13.4% $142,000
Dacula 71 5,053 11.4% $128,200
Doraville 72 89 10,348 6.5% $143,800
Locust Grove 73 71 5,742 6.5% $104,900
Valdosta 74 53 56,717 12.4% $121,000
Rome 75 81 36,340 10.8% $127,200
Stone Mountain 76 108 6,102 11.4% $84,000
Cartersville 77 50 20,169 7.9% $140,500
Winder 78 57 15,148 9.3% $126,500
Douglas 79 83 11,742 6.8% $98,900
Toccoa 80 72 8,374 14.5% $86,800
Lovejoy 81 91 6,252 11.3% $90,500
Eatonton 82 101 6,496 6.3% $79,300
Folkston 83 87 5,210 19.2% $99,500
Morrow 84 73 7,069 9.6% $89,400
Fitzgerald 85 92 9,006 8.5% $85,400
Sandersville 86 84 5,776 10.4% $83,300
Riverdale 87 99 15,812 16.9% $80,300
Lagrange 88 90 30,535 12.5% $115,700
Tifton 89 88 16,691 6.9% $133,700
Milledgeville 90 74 19,146 12.9% $112,400
Covington 91 75 13,667 10.5% $115,200
Bainbridge 92 80 12,492 10.0% $124,100
Dublin 93 78 16,189 8.0% $98,300
Waycross 94 98 14,188 7.4% $65,900
Commerce 95 82 6,601 11.1% $98,400
Conyers 96 96 15,682 12.7% $102,900
Thomaston 97 85 8,976 15.4% $79,300
Barnesville 98 93 6,611 17.1% $103,000
Eastman 99 102 5,315 16.9% $83,100
Albany 100 105 75,657 18.0% $99,600

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23 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Georgia For 2018

  1. What year was the data from the worst cities in Georgia collected? What was the source from the Internet of the information?

    1. Seems to me that the more affluent the neighborhood and the more expensive the house is what you are predominantly basing your choices on. Also, with the exception of Wilmington Island, which is by far the best of these particular 10, all of the picks are badically Atlanta suburbs. I would not choose a city based on THIS particular article and the criteria that was used. This seems to be for people who want a major city within arms reach. Not everyone likes the congestion associated with the Atlanta suburbs. Big homes and upscale neighborhoods aren’t on everyonesome list…… particularly retirement aged folks 60 and up.

  2. This was a nice read, but concerning city #3, Mountain Park, you’re using the stats of two different locations, that share the same name. There’s the City Of Mountain Park, incorporated in the late 1920s, with a population of about 550. It’s located in Fulton Co, northwest of Roswell. You have a photo of the Mountain Park Volunteer Fire Dept in your article. Then there’s Mountain Park, a census designated place in Gwinnett County, which has a population of 11,500. They’re protected by a paid fire department. You might want to correct you’re article. I vote the City Of Mountain Park as being the better of the two.

  3. Your use of both population density and housing values as criteria seem to skew your choices towards suburbs packed to the gills with subdivisions stuffed with houses.

    Did each of your criteria get equal weight? I would’ve thought factors like low crime and high education might be more valuable to new arrivals than how many people are packed into an area and how rich the neighbors are.

  4. the higher income cities get the most education and money for security and then the next generation can’t rise above it from the poverty. Education equals a higher standard of living and less crime and hopelessness.

    1. They go hand in hand. That would be poverty and crime.

      Eliminate poverty and watch crime just magically dwindle.

  5. Wow! The third best place to live in Georgia, and the first and second are cities next to us. I’ve got to wonder about this reports journalistic standards. There is no way we have 13,000 people here, and we’ve been a real incorporated city since 1927.
    Thank God we don’t have that many people in Mountain Park. Someone would have to build a high rise. That’s not the tradition we have here. We were founded as a place to retreat from Atlanta during prohibition. Even the slightest research would have revealed that. I love it here and I have since the 50’s but your misinformation makes me wonder about the validity of the rankings.

  6. Suwanee WAS a great place to live. Until the late 80’s/early 90’s. Now you can just call it Sprawl-Ville. It’s overdeveloped and filled with either overpriced cookie-cutter McMansion subdivisions or new Townhome communities that further increase density (overcrowding/traffic/noise). The traffic is HORRENDOUS if you work normal hours, their vaunted Town Center Park is nothing more than a retail center masquerading as a very poorly planned “Park”. It has too little parking for the events they try and hold there, so the overflow is directed to local small businesses and residential areas. Shall I go on? If you’re looking for a “Stepford” community then by all means go to Suwanee. If you want peace, quiet and quality of life then stay away.

  7. I notice that my earlier comment was rejected. What a surprise. I guess the truth has no place here. Unlike the author, I actually lived in Suwanee. Your stats are only a very small part of the overall picture, and unfortunately the day to day reality of living in Suwanee isn’t all it’s reported to be. Your censorship has only confirmed the lack of even basic journalistic standards for this website. How much did Suwanee pay you to write yet another puff piece on how wonderful they believe they are? You’re a perfect fit for the Suwanee elite.

  8. You have my apologies. I ASSumed enough time had passed for approval. I was obviously wrong. I still stand by the Suwanee comments though. ; ) Stats NEVER tell the complete story. They’re important, but still only a part of the picture. There’s a reason so many homes are for sale in the area…

  9. This list is absolute garbage and so skewed towards ATL slumburbs it is ridiculous. I lived in GA most of my life and I wouldn’t live within 50 miles of ATL. I live in south Peachtree City and that is almost too close to ATL. I’m not saying PTC should be at top of the list, but certainly above all of the ATL subturds. How about next time you try to make a decent attempt at building a list and consider quality of life, which is really what people care about? Population density and property value should be weighted very low (if even included). Who is this list for, real estate flippers and criminal justice degree graduates? No sane person would want to deal with the 24/7 horrible traffic, stones throw from thug crime (yes, it does spill over), and substandard schools (you have to live in the pocket exclusive areas to get the few good schools) . On a positive note, you got Macon right, towards the bottom of the list.

  10. Much censoring lately? Criticism of poor research and flawed metrics frowned upon here? Where’s my previous comment?

  11. I’m a native of Roswell of 46 years, and in many ways, it is a great city, yes. But in one way, it’s a traffic nightmare, because the entire town relies mainly on just two highways. Those two being US Hwy 9, and Holcomb Bridge/Crossville Rd.

    Thus, not just Roswell’s 100,000+ residents, but also the hundreds of thousands of others who pass through on their way to Atlanta, Woodstock, Alpharetta, Cumming and Norcross must all access these two roads to get anywhere.

    I realize this is a problem in most big cities, since we have all, since WWII, abandoned the traditional logical grid system in favor of the suburban “design” centered wholly around the automobile, with its cul-de-sac ridden sub-division pods, strip malls and “office parks” all separated from one another in what has become a public domain nightmare.

  12. You may as well have just put “Atlanta” and covered about 10 or 15 “cities.” If you live in Decatur or Sandy Springs or Alpharetta or Johns Creek or wherever it’s not like you’re going to tell someone “I live in Sandy Springs.” You’re going to say Atlanta, unless you’re getting specific about where it is in Atlanta you actually live.

    In looking at your complete list, I was expecting many of the top cities on the list to be Coastal Georgia cities. I was shocked to see Wilmington at 8th seeing as they don’t have a beach (not to mention Chatham County/Savannah is one of the most dangerous cities in the state, nor is Wilmington Island an incorporated city or CDP), and I am extremely curious how St. Simons is ranked 44. Really?? Property values are extremely high compared to nearby South Georgia towns, and I’d imagine there is very little crime that would stem mostly from DUI’s and other nonviolent crimes (not that DUI’s are a good thing). Plus there is an extreme lack of traffic unless it’s a holiday. And you live at the freakin’ beach for gods sake! Who in their right mind would pick a concrete jungle over the beach??

    And you say don’t blame the messenger and to blame science and the numbers, but that’s really frivolous. Quality of life is not measured by the value of your property or how much money goes into your public schools. And far too often it is a lack of common sense that dictates crime rates (going into neighborhoods that you don’t belong) and we all know common sense is an intangible figure.

    I have a friend who lives in Mississippi, and he recently showed me an article that surveyed citizens of all 50 states that basically asked “Are you happy, yes or no?” Ironically, Mississippi and Louisiana, two of the “worst” states according to your “science,” were the happiest. Perhaps ignorance is bliss, but I think it goes to show that “best” is an opinion that should be based on more than a few factors.

    1. I am thinking of moving to Ga from NJ when I retire in 2 more years from teaching. I am not sure where to go. I love nice beaches and parks and do not want to be too far from them, with that said, I hate traffic. I also would like to be in a safe diversed area that is a mixture of a nice looking city/suburb with many amenities nearby. Does this type of area exist in Georgia? I am a little spoiled being a Jersey gal.

  13. Wondering really what this list is based on. Cities like Kennesaw and Peachtree City and Fayetteville….like how did those not make the cut? Mountain Park, Druid Hills, Decatur…those are questionable.

  14. The data used to make this list is skimpy and apparently leaves out factors affecting quality of life such as traffic, access to public transit, and career mobility. The commute times in some of these suburbs especially Suwannee and Alpharetta, can be horrific. The absence of effective public transit contributed to the Snowmagedon outrage a few years ago when a simple show storm crippled the city for days and commuters suffered a terrible night. Plus, if someone’s job moves to another part of the metropolis, they could easily face 1-2 hour commutes daily.

  15. I lived all over Georgia. Parts are very dangerous,such as Stone Mountain,and the Savannah suites in downtown Atlanta. I was even warned by a man at the motel to never drink the tap water. Also a baby was shot in its stroller not to far from the motel and there were homeless people everywhere. They fed them in a parking lot right next door. Many had makeshift shelters rihht on the sidewalks. When we went for walk in a park near the motel we noticed no benches were provided. There was a garbage can filled with empty purses n human waste evevery where. It was not a nice experience. But my fav place n where i felt safest was Kennesaw Ga. But Atlanta was terrible.

  16. Don’t move to Atlanta or the metro area. It’s not what it’s put up to be! Too many cars and no one seems to know or trust any one. Stupidity and ignorance is passed off as a virtue while male/female relationships seems a thing of antiquity

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