America’s 50 Best Cities to Live

Source: Robyn Fleming / Wikimedia Commons

35. Los Alamos, New Mexico
> Population: 11,733
> 5 yr. population change: -2.9% (bottom 10%)
> Median home value: $277,700
> Median household income: $101,535 (top 20%)

The only city in New Mexico to rank among the best places to live, Los Alamos is flush with history, cultural amenities, and parks. These include a science museum, a theatre, nearly 100 public art installations, a network of over 90 miles of hiking trails, and the Manhattan Project National Historical Park — a monument to the city’s critical role in World War II and development of the atomic bomb. Los Alamos also has one of the best public high schools in New Mexico, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Many living in the area work at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, a facility run by the U.S. Department of Energy with a $2.6 billion budget primarily allocated to weapons development.

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34. Highland Park, Texas
> Population: 8,986
> 5 yr. population change: +4.8%
> Median home value: $1,253,600 (top 10%)
> Median household income: $189,485 (top 10%)

Highland Park, Texas, is one of the wealthiest communities in the United States. The typical household earns nearly $190,000 a year, well more than triple the national median household income of $55,322 a year. Just north of downtown Dallas, Highland Park residents have easy access to employment and entertainment in a major city.

The town and surrounding area boast multiple shopping complexes, including Highland Park Village — the first planned outdoor shopping center in the United States — the Frontiers of Flight Museum, Lakeside Park and its 14 acres of trails, the Museum of Biblical Art, and the Dallas Children’s Theater.

Source: Kabir Bakie / Wikimedia Commons

33. Wyoming, Ohio
> Population: 8,484
> 5 yr. population change: +1.6%
> Median home value: $305,900
> Median household income: $120,676 (top 10%)

The Cincinnati suburb of Wyoming, Ohio, ranks among the best cities to live in due in part to its affordability. Goods and services are 15% less expensive in Wyoming than they are nationwide on average. Not only does a dollar go a long way in the city, but many residents are also relatively wealthy. The typical household in the city earns nearly $120,700 a year, more than double the median household income nationwide of $55,322.

Wyoming is also safe. The city recorded just 35 violent crimes per 100,000 people in 2017, a small fraction of the 383 per 100,000 national violent crime rate.

Source: WMrapids / Wikimedia Commons

32. East Grand Rapids, Michigan
> Population: 11,297
> 5 yr. population change: +5.2%
> Median home value: $303,400
> Median household income: $118,393 (top 10%)

East Grand Rapids is the wealthiest city in Michigan and one of the wealthiest cities in the United States. The typical area household earns over $118,000 a year compared to the $55,322 the typical household earns nationwide. City residents also benefit from a low cost of living as goods and services are 7% less expensive in East Grand Rapids than they are on average nationwide.

In addition to entertainment and cultural attractions in nearby Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids has 10 parks, including a lake with a boat launch, miles of trails, playgrounds, and a baseball field.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

31. Thief River Falls, Minnesota
> Population: 8,726
> 5 yr. population change: +1.9%
> Median home value: $111,200 (bottom 20%)
> Median household income: $42,734

Named centuries ago for an outcast from the Sioux Native American tribe who lived as an outlaw in the region, Thief River Falls is one of six Minnesota cities to rank among the best places to live. Like other high ranking cities in the state, the city is affordable. Median monthly housing costs total just $613, and only $580 for renters. For comparison, monthly housing costs nationwide are $1,012, and $949 for renters.

Contrary to what its name may suggest, Thief River Falls is a safe city. The city’s violent crime rate of 125 incidents per 100,000 people is less than a third the comparable national violent crime rate of 383 per 100,000.

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