When you think of Georgia, what usually comes to mind?
Atlanta, sometimes referred to as “Hotlanta?” Peaches? Savannah?
Well, this Peach State is famous for more than a massive metropolis of a city and a bunch of ripe, delicious fruit. They also have some of the world’s sweetest onions.
That’s right… onions.
OK, OK, OK. Outside of fruit and vegetables, Georgia actually has a lot to offer and is one of the best places to live in the South.
For one, Georgia is incredibly cheap. In a recent article, we ranked the Top 10 Cheapest Places to Live in Georgia. If you are wanting your money to go far, just move to Blakely, Georgia. But that may be all that you get there.
So what makes a city a great place to live? If you are in love with Southern sunshine, BBQ, and walks along Savannah’s riverfront, Georgia may be the place to you but the real question is, where?
Luckily, HomeSnacks has got the method of answering these questions down to a science. We have ranked the top 10 best places to live in Georgia and took into account all the aspects of a good place to live: safety, cost of living, commute time, and even population density.
If you want to be where the action is, you have to be around where the people are. You also need to be able to afford it and not feel like you are endangering your life.
Here are the 10 best places to live in Georgia for 2019:
- Alpharetta (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Milton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Johns Creek (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Decatur (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Sandy Springs (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Dunwoody (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Roswell (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Woodstock (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Braselton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Suwanee (Photos | Homes For Sale)
If you haven’t heard of Alpharetta, Georgia, yet, then maybe you should. Alpharetta ranked #1 on our top 10 best places to live in Georgia for 2019.
Alpharetta continues to hold #1 since last year and we are not surprised. Nothing like an average salary of $93k a year to put a smile on your face.
So why didn’t Atlanta, Hilton Head, or Savannah rank first?
Read on to learn more about the 122 cities we evaluated for this article and to learn more about how the best becomes the best.
For more Georgia reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Georgia
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Georgia
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Georgia
Mapping The Best And Worst 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 5,000
- Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
- Small Towns — Populations below 1,000
This left us with 122 cities, 198 towns, and 226 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 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.
You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.
How We Calculated The Best Cities 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
After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Georgia? That would be Alpharetta.
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.
The 10 Best Places To Live In Georgia For 2019
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.
Well, I guess technically 4.0% of Milton residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 6th 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, Milton also ranked well for crime (2nd) and median income ($109,784).
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s obvious why Roswell ranks 7th in the state for best places to live: they have the 8th lowest unemployment rate and the 9th highest home values.
Plus, they’re known for their quality education and relatively low crime, making Roswell a great place to live.
If you don’t have a job in Woodstock, you’re most likely not trying very hard. The unemployment rate here is almost as low as you can get — 5.3%. In fact, there are probably enough butler and landscaping jobs available here to put every single unemployed resident to work, what with a median income of $68,286.
That’s actually not a bad idea…
Braselton’s unemployment rates are some of the lowest in the state and the median income is the 4th highest, making Braselton a great place to work and settle down if you’re look for a stable job with a stable income.
Additionally, Braselton has above average education and low crime, making this place a safe place to live.
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 Places When It Comes To Living 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 the best place to live in Georgia for 2019.
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)
- Watkinsville (Pop. 2,872)
- Berkeley Lake (Pop. 1,924)
- Grayson (Pop. 3,008)
- Cleveland (Pop. 3,750)
- Thunderbolt (Pop. 2,606)
- Gray (Pop. 3,281)
Best Small Towns To Live In Georgia
- Dutch Island (Pop. 943)
- Vernonburg (Pop. 120)
- Moreland (Pop. 463)
- Calvary (Pop. 106)
- Sky Valley (Pop. 310)
- Bishop (Pop. 271)
- Woolsey (Pop. 178)
- Franklin Springs (Pop. 889)
- North High Shoals (Pop. 848)
- Hiawassee (Pop. 887)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Georgia according to the data:
- Fort Valley (Pop. 8,975)
- Forest Park (Pop. 19,156)
- Swainsboro (Pop. 7,504)
For more Georgia reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Georgia
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Georgia
- 10 Safest Places In Georgia
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Georgia
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Georgia