Do you live in one of the best zip codes in America?
Americans typically identify with their state or home town. If you’re from Texas, you brag about it. If you’ve made Los Angeles your home, typically, most of the people in your life are aware that you’re from L.A.
What about your zip code? Often, only the wise, shrewd home buyer is aware that within individual zip codes of America are individually-wrapped nuggets of information that can make the difference between a good place to call home and a great place to call home.
You might think people across the nation like to think they live in the best place in the country. After all, you wouldn’t spend your lives somewhere that you truly didn’t love. Right? Not always. In fact, according to a Pew Research Center study not too long ago determined that almost half of Americans would rather live somewhere else than they do now.
Well, if you’re in one of the zip codes we’re about to highlight, odds are you don’t want to go anywhere.
The purpose of this study is to use science to determine which of our great American zip codes are the absolute best. While unbiased, this research does take into account factors that almost all Americans would agree are desirable. Therefore, while you may have strong opinions either way, you can’t argue against the methodology.
Turns out downtown NYC has the best zip code in the country. The worst? You might not be too surprised that a zip code in the middle of a Native American Reservation in Arizona takes the cake.
After analyzing more than 22,000 zip codes in America, we came up with this list as the 10 best zip codes in our nation:
- 10282 – New York City
- 94105 – San Francisco
- 10005 – New York City
- 02199 – Boston
- 02110 – Boston
- 22213 – Arlington, VA
- 22201 – Arlington, VA
- 10007 – New York City
- 22301 – Arlington, VA
- 10021 – New York City
So basically, downtown NYC, Boston, San Francisco or a Washington D.C. suburb are the best places to live. While that might be a surprise (and a real downer from the perspective of small town America), you can read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your zip code ranked or check out the worst zip codes in America.
How do you decide if a zip code is awesome or not?
In order to rank the best zip codes in the United States, we had to determine what criteria people like 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 scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.
How we crunched the numbers
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the U.S. Census Data and Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:
- Population Density
- College Degree Holders
- Unemployment Rates
- Household Incomes
- Short Commute Times
- Home Values
If you’d like to see the complete list of the top 100 zip codes, scroll to the bottom of this post to see the abridged chart.
1. 10282 – New York City
College Educated: 87%
Commute time: 26 minutes
Unemployment rate: .4%
This might be a little controversial, especially among middle America, but a zip code in downtown New York City is the best zip code in America. Why? While the cost of living is through the roof, there are plenty of jobs (almost everyone is employed), and plenty of things to do.
2. 94105 – San Francisco
Home values: $735,000
Unemployment rate: 85%
Household incomes: $170,000
San Francisco went from the cool place people moved to an overly populated, expensive home of technology. We agree with that. But when you factor in the rising real estate prices, easy to manage public transportation and abnormally high income levels, you can see why a zip code here is one of the most desirable places to live in America.
3. 10005 – New York City
College educated: 89%
Medium home value: $1.1 million
Unemployment rate 3.1%
Another downtown NYC zip code makes the cut, primarily due to exceptionally high home prices and a group of people who might be the smartest in the entire nation.
4. 02199 – Boston
College educated: 87%
Household income: $110,000
Commute time: 19 minutes
If you’re one of the lucky 1,300-plus residents of a small section of Boston, you’re sitting pretty right now. This zip code in Beantown is pretty much opulent row – low crime, rich, smart people and close enough to downtown that you can ride your bike.
5. 02110 – Boston
Unemployment rate: 2.3%
Home values: $727,900
Just right down the road from the 02199 is good ole’ 02110. They’re essentially the same thing except one is closer to downtown and one has slightly bigger, more expensive homes. Both are the place to aspire to if you’re a Bostonite.
Plus, the sports teams always seem to do well in this city, right?
6. 22213 – Arlington, VA
College educated: 79%
Unemployment rate: .7%
Household incomes: $151,000
If you had to live in the Washington, D.C. metro area, there’s no better zip code than this one. Surrounded by wealthy, smart neighbors, you’d pretty much be assured a job based on the unemployment numbers. The downside? A half hour to work each way a day, on average.
7. 22201 – Arlington, VA
Unemployment rate: 2.5%
Median income: $117,200
Commute time: 28 minutes
Just right down the road from the 22213 is the very densely packed 22201. Is being in a zip code where there’s a ton of people a good thing? It is if you value lots of jobs, amenities and a sense of community.
8. 10007 – New York City
College educated: 79%
Unemployment rate: 3.9%
Household incomes: $150,000
This very desirable zip code in NYC has a slightly higher unemployment rate, but is closer to downtown.
9. 22301 – Arlington, VA
Household incomes: $119,702
Home prices: $667,500
Commute time: 29 minutes
Our final city in the greater D.C. area is again in Arlington, Virginia. If you can’t tell, this city is one of the wealthiest places on the planet, where success breeds success.
10. 10021 – New York City
College educated: 80%
Unemployment rate: 3.5%
The 10021 is the ‘average man’s’ zip code in New York City. We’re being sarcastic here – but if you wanted to live in downtown NYC, this would be your best option unless you’re in the 1%. And odds are, you’re not.
There You Have It
Like we said earlier, trying to determine the best zip codes in America is usually a subjective matter. But if you’re analyzing zip codes with the best economic situations, where there’s low crime and lots of jobs, this is an accurate list.
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst zip codes in the USA, according to science.
- 85911 – Arizona
- 78829 – Batesville, TX
- 89520 – Blue Gap, AZ
- 92257 – Niland, CA
- 57756- Manderson, SD
Detailed List Of The Best Zip Codes In America
|Name of Area||Rank||Total Population|