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Searching for the Highest Quality of Life in the U.S.

When you really think about it, what does it mean to have a high quality of life? What factors go into that quality per se? Where in the country can you find it the most and who determines those locations? If you have any of those questions in mind, stay tuned for an interesting array of answers depending on if you choose door number one or door number two. 

Door Number One  

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, which means it can be tricky to have a definitive list of places in the U.S. that have the highest quality of life.  

That’s why sources such as U.S. News and World Report have developed their own Quality of Life Index. This index considers aspects such as “crime, quality, and availability of health care, quality of education, and average commute time.” 

Moving on to specific locations, here are the top five best places to live in the U.S. in 2023-2024: 

  • #1: Ann Arbor, MI
  • #2: Boulder, CO
  • #3: Madison, WI
  • #4: San Jose, CA
  • #5 Portland, ME

At first glance, it appears that the top five are fairly spread out across the country.  

The Midwest claims the number one and three spots, the Southwest (or Mountain West depending on where you think Colorado falls) claims the number two spot, the West claims the number four spot, and the Northeast/New England region claims the fifth spot. 

Door Number Two 

Not satisfied with the list above? Perhaps this one will be more to your liking. 

While a lot of news outlets refer to the U.S. News and World Report rankings, it is not the end all be all. There are plenty of other top five and beyond lists that address this same search for the highest quality of life in the United States.  

Numbeo is a site that utilizes other factors including purchasing power, cost of living, pollution and climate information, and other categories in its rankings.  

According to Numbeo, the following five cities are the best places to live in the United States: 

  • #1: Tampa, FL
  • #2: Orlando, FL
  • #3: Raleigh, NC
  • #4: San Antonio, TX
  • #5: Charlotte, NC

As you can tell, this list favors places located in the Eastern and Southern regions. If you opt to not view the rest of these rankings, the first place listed that is not in Florida, North Carolina, or Texas is found at the ninth spot.  

At the end of the day, there is no singular ranking system that everyone can agree on.  

The two presented above are just examples of how the same topic or question can have completely different answers. Remember to always keep the context in mind when you read lists such as the ones mentioned in this article. 

Which do you like more: door number one or door number two? Let us know by reaching out on one of our social media platforms. 

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