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20 Best Cities to Live in USA Ranked Best to Worst [2023]

20 Best Cities to Live in USA Ranked Best to Worst
20 Best Cities to Live in USA Ranked Best to Worst
Brian Reese
September 4, 2023

What are the best cities to live in USA for 2023?

Where should I live in the United States?

Awe yes, very important questions that we will answer in this high-value blog post.

We did the heavy lifting for you and ranked the 20 best places to live in America ranked from best to worst!

Please note that determining the “best” cities to live in the United States can vary based on individual preferences and priorities.

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Key Findings of Our Research:

  • Nashville, Tennessee is the #1 best city to live in the United States
  • Austin, Texas is the #1 best city for foodies and music junkies
  • Denver, Colorado is the #1 best city for overall quality of life
  • San Francisco, California is the most expensive city to live in (of the top 20 cities)
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is the cheapest city to live in (of the top 20 cities)

20 Best Cities to Live in USA (Ranked Best to Worst)

20 Best Cities to Live in USA

Here’s our list of 20 popular US cities to live in ranked for their quality of life, economic opportunities, cultural amenities, and overall livability:

  1. Nashville, Tennessee
  2. Austin, Texas
  3. Denver, Colorado
  4. Seattle, Washington
  5. Raleigh, North Carolina
  6. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  7. San Francisco, California
  8. Boston, Massachusetts
  9. Washington, D.C.
  10. San Diego, California
  11. Charlotte, North Carolina
  12. Boulder, Colorado
  13. Chicago, Illinois
  14. Salt Lake City, Utah
  15. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  16. Madison, Wisconsin
  17. Atlanta, Georgia
  18. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  19. Phoenix, Arizona
  20. Burlington, Vermont

Top 20 Best Places to Live in America Right Now (2023)

#1. Nashville, Tennessee:

  • Music Capital: Nashville’s legendary music scene encompasses country, rock, and various genres, making it a haven for music enthusiasts and aspiring artists.
  • Southern Hospitality: The city’s warm and welcoming atmosphere, along with its comfort food and friendly locals, embody true Southern charm.
  • Economic Growth: Nashville’s growing economy and job opportunities span industries like healthcare, finance, and entertainment.

#2. Austin, Texas:

  • Vibrant Music Scene: Austin is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” offering a diverse range of musical experiences, from iconic festivals to intimate live shows.
  • Tech Hub: The city’s burgeoning tech industry provides ample job opportunities, drawing in professionals and startups alike.
  • Outdoor Lifestyle: With numerous parks, trails, and outdoor spaces, Austin encourages an active lifestyle and year-round outdoor enjoyment.

#3. Denver, Colorado:

  • Stunning Natural Beauty: Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Denver boasts breathtaking scenery, making it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
  • Cultural Diversity: A blend of arts, culture, and culinary experiences reflect the city’s diverse population and vibrant creative scene.
  • Thriving Job Market: Denver’s strong job market spans various sectors, including technology, healthcare, and energy.

#4. Seattle, Washington:

  • Coffee Culture: The birthplace of Starbucks, Seattle’s coffee culture is renowned worldwide, offering an array of cozy cafes and artisanal roasteries.
  • Tech Giants: Home to tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft, Seattle offers an array of tech-related job opportunities in addition to its stunning waterfront and mountain views.
  • Progressive Values: The city’s commitment to sustainability, inclusivity, and progressive policies fosters a unique and welcoming environment.

#5. Raleigh, North Carolina:

  • Research Triangle: Raleigh is part of the Research Triangle Park, a hub of technological and scientific innovation, offering numerous career opportunities.
  • Southern Charm: The city’s warm hospitality, historic neighborhoods, and cultural events embody the charm of the South.
  • Affordable Living: Raleigh’s relatively low cost of living compared to other tech-driven cities makes it an attractive option for those seeking affordability and opportunity.

#6. Minneapolis, Minnesota:

  • Four-Season Beauty: Experience the beauty of all four seasons, from colorful autumns to winter wonderlands, with plenty of outdoor activities and festivals year-round.
  • Flourishing Arts Scene: The city’s theaters, galleries, and music venues contribute to a vibrant arts and culture landscape.
  • Quality Education: Minneapolis is home to esteemed universities and colleges, providing top-notch educational opportunities.

#7. San Francisco, California:

  • Tech Innovation: The heart of Silicon Valley, San Francisco offers unparalleled opportunities in the tech industry and startup ecosystem.
  • Iconic Landmarks: The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and diverse neighborhoods provide endless exploration and photographic moments.
  • Culinary Diversity: A melting pot of cultures, the city boasts diverse cuisine options, from gourmet food trucks to Michelin-starred restaurants.

#8. Boston, Massachusetts:

  • Rich History: As one of the oldest cities in the U.S., Boston offers a wealth of historical sites, museums, and landmarks.
  • Academic Hub: Home to prestigious universities like Harvard and MIT, Boston thrives on intellectual energy and research opportunities.
  • Cultural Offerings: The city’s theaters, galleries, and sports teams create a dynamic cultural landscape for residents to enjoy.

#9. Washington, DC:

  • Historic Landmarks: Living in the nation’s capital means easy access to iconic sites like the National Mall, the Smithsonian museums, and the White House.
  • Political and Cultural Hub: D.C. offers a unique blend of politics, international relations, and diverse cultural experiences.
  • Networking Opportunities: The city’s concentration of professionals and organizations in various fields provides ample networking opportunities.

#10. San Diego, California:

  • Beach Lifestyle: San Diego’s picturesque beaches, mild climate, and outdoor activities contribute to a relaxed and active coastal lifestyle.
  • Biotech Industry: The city’s thriving biotechnology sector provides career opportunities in healthcare, research, and innovation.
  • Cultural Diversity: San Diego’s diverse neighborhoods, festivals, and food scenes reflect its multicultural identity.

#11. Charlotte, North Carolina:

  • Financial Center: Charlotte is a major banking hub, offering a variety of financial and business opportunities.
  • Quality of Life: The city’s moderate cost of living, diverse neighborhoods, and family-friendly amenities make it an attractive place to settle down.
  • Sports and Recreation: From professional sports teams to outdoor activities along the Catawba River, Charlotte offers something for every sports and nature enthusiast.

#12. Boulder, Colorado:

  • Outdoor Paradise: Nestled against the Rocky Mountains, Boulder provides abundant opportunities for hiking, biking, and outdoor exploration.
  • Health and Wellness: The city’s focus on health-conscious living, organic foods, and active lifestyles contributes to a vibrant community.
  • Innovation Hub: Boulder’s entrepreneurial spirit and access to research institutions make it a hotspot for tech startups and innovative companies.

#13. Chicago, Illinois:

  • Architectural Marvels: Chicago’s skyline is dotted with architectural wonders like the Willis Tower and Millennium Park’s iconic “Bean.”
  • Culinary Delights: The city’s diverse food scene ranges from deep-dish pizza to upscale dining, making it a paradise for food lovers.
  • Arts and Culture: Chicago’s theaters, museums, and music venues offer a rich tapestry of cultural experiences.

#14. Salt Lake City, Utah:

  • Outdoor Adventure: Surrounded by the Wasatch and Oquirrh Mountains, Salt Lake City offers hiking, skiing, and outdoor activities in all seasons.
  • Family-Friendly: The city’s safe neighborhoods, quality schools, and family-oriented events make it an ideal place for raising children.
  • Strong Economy: With a growing tech sector and various job opportunities, Salt Lake City boasts a robust and diversified economy.

#15. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania:

  • Tech Renaissance: Once known for steel, Pittsburgh has transformed into a tech hub, attracting young professionals and startups.
  • Revitalized Neighborhoods: The city’s revitalization efforts have led to vibrant neighborhoods, cultural districts, and a thriving arts scene.
  • Affordable Living: Pittsburgh’s affordable housing and cost of living make it an attractive option for those seeking an urban lifestyle without breaking the bank.

#16. Madison, Wisconsin:

  • Education Excellence: Madison is home to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, contributing to a highly educated population and innovative research.
  • Progressive Values: The city’s commitment to sustainability, healthcare, and social equality aligns with its reputation as a progressive community.
  • Lakeside Charm: Madison’s location on Lake Mendota and Lake Monona offers waterfront views, outdoor activities, and a serene ambiance.

#17. Atlanta, Georgia:

  • Cultural Melting Pot: Atlanta’s diverse population brings together various cultures, cuisines, and artistic expressions.
  • Economic Opportunities: The city’s strong job market spans industries like entertainment, technology, and healthcare.
  • Southern Soul: Southern hospitality, historic sites, and mild weather contribute to a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere.

#18. Ann Arbor, Michigan:

  • Education and Innovation: Home to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor offers a mix of intellectual stimulation and innovation.
  • Livable Community: The city’s walkable downtown, parks, and community events create a close-knit and livable environment.
  • Arts and Music: Ann Arbor’s cultural scene features theaters, music venues, and annual festivals, enriching the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

#19. Phoenix, Arizona:

  • Abundant Sunshine: Experience a sun-soaked lifestyle with more than 300 days of sunshine each year, ideal for enjoying a wide range of outdoor activities like hiking, golfing, and exploring desert landscapes.
  • Affordability and Opportunity: Phoenix boasts a lower cost of living than many major cities, allowing you to enjoy a high quality of life without breaking the bank.
  • Urban and Natural Harmony: Immerse yourself in a dynamic cultural scene, diverse dining options, and entertainment while being just a short drive away from the breathtaking beauty of the Sonoran Desert, creating a perfect balance between urban living and natural exploration.

#20. Burlington, Vermont:

  • Charming Waterfront: Burlington’s location on Lake Champlain offers scenic views, waterfront parks, and recreational opportunities.
  • Small-Town Feel: The city’s tight-knit community, local businesses, and friendly atmosphere create a welcoming environment.
  • Outdoor Recreation: Access to nearby mountains, forests, and lakes makes Burlington a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

About the Author

Brian Reese VA Claims Insider

Brian Reese is a senior advisor and co-owner at District Lending. He is one of the world’s leading experts in veteran benefits, having helped millions of veterans secure their financial future since 2013. Brian is the founder VA Claims Insider, an education-based Coaching & Consulting company whose mission is to educate and empower veterans to get the VA disability benefits they’ve earned for their honorable service. A former active-duty air force officer, Brian deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is a distinguished graduate of management of the United States Air Force Academy and earned his MBA as a National Honor Scholar from the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University.

In Brian’s Words:

“As a military veteran, I’ve made it my life’s mission to help people live happier and wealthier lives. District Lending brings this mission to life. We believe in integrity, honesty, and transparency, which is why you’ll see our rates right on our website. You’ll find lower rates and zero lending fees, which means you can buy your dream home for less. The savings are passed on to you — the way it should be.”

– Brian Reese, Advisor and Co-Owner, District Lending

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