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The Madison Record

Huntsville named the No. 1 Best Place to Live by U.S. News & World Report

Rankings measure affordability, desirability and quality of life

HUNTSVILLE – U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice, today unveiled the 2022-2023 Best Places to Live in the United States. The new list ranks the country’s 150 most populous metropolitan areas based on affordability, desirability and quality of life.

Huntsville knocked Boulder, Colorado, down three positions to capture No. 1, rising from the third position due to its strong housing affordability and high quality of life. In addition, three new cities joined the top five: Colorado Springs, Colorado, rose four positions to No. 2, Green Bay, Wisconsin, jumped 18 spots to No. 3, and San Jose, California, catapulted 31 spots to capture No. 5.

“Much of the shakeup we see at the top of this year’s ranking is a result of changing preferences,” said Devon Thorsby, real estate editor at U.S. News. “People moving across the country today are putting more emphasis on affordability and quality of life than on the job market, which in many ways takes a back seat as remote work options have become more standard.”

This year, U.S. News added air quality as a factor that makes up its Quality of Life Index, as Americans increasingly consider environmental factors before making a major move. Huntsville (No. 1) and Albany, New York (No. 21) are two metro areas with top 25 Air Quality Index scores that moved up this year on the overall Best Places to Live list. Three Colorado metro areas – Denver (No. 55), Fort Collins (No. 54) and Boulder (No. 4) – have been experiencing catastrophic wildfire seasons. All fell from their previous rankings, as each of them had among the 15 lowest air quality scores out of the 150 metro areas on the list.

U.S. News determined the 2022-2023 Best Places to Live based on methodology that factored in the job market, value, quality of life, desirability and net migration ratings. They were determined in part using a public survey of thousands of individuals throughout the U.S. to find out what qualities they consider important in a place to live. The methodology also factors in data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, Sharecare, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. News rankings of the Best High Schools and Best Hospitals.

Best Places to Live is part of U.S. News’ expanding Real Estate division, which helps individuals determine the best places to live and retire as well as better understand the housing market, including determining your home value, working with an agent, and buying and selling a home.

2022-2023 U.S. News Best Places to Live – Top 10
1. Huntsville, AL
2. Colorado Springs, CO
3. Green Bay, WI
4. Boulder, CO
5. San Jose, CA
6. Raleigh & Durham, NC
7. Fayetteville, AR
8. Portland, ME
9. Sarasota, FL
10. San Francisco, CA

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