As the land of opportunity, the United States has attracted people from around the world for centuries. Yet not all parts of the country are equally desirable, and some cities are far more liveable than others.
On an individual level, subjective measures often override other, more objective, considerations. Sometimes, we live in a place simply because it is where we grew up — it is familiar and where we feel at ease. Still, a range of factors can help compare U.S. cities objectively. Low crime, a healthy economy, and affordability are just a few examples of universally desirable attributes in any community.
24/7 Wall St. created an index of over three dozen socioeconomic measures to identify the 50 best American cities to live in. The most liveable cities span the country — from the Deep South to New England and from the Mid-Atlantic to the Pacific Northwest.
10. Raleigh, North Carolina
- Population: 458,862
- Median home value: $242,500
- Poverty rate: 12.1% (bottom 25%)
- Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 50.8% (top 10%)
Raleigh is one of many fast-growing mid-size cities in North Carolina. Over the past 10 years, the population of Raleigh increased by 29.6%, the most of any city in the state other than neighboring Cary, and far more than the 7.1% national population growth rate.
Raleigh is located in the southeastern corner of the Research Triangle, a prospering area with three leading research universities and many high-tech companies. Raleigh itself is home to North Carolina State University and is a 30-minute drive from Duke University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. North Carolina has one of the largest brain gains — more college graduates are staying in the state than leaving — in the country. This has contributed to high educational attainment in cities across the state. In Raleigh, 50.8% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, far more than the 31.3% national share.