Charlotte named one of best places to live in America

by: Roberto Villalpando, Austin American-Statesman Updated:

© 2017 Cox Media Group.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - U.S. News and World Report has named Charlotte as one of the best places to live in America.

The publication ranked the country’s 100 largest metropolitan areas based on affordability, job prospects and quality of life.

Charlotte came in at No. 14 best places to live in America. The Queen City received a 7.1 overall score out of 10

"Charlotte is a region that's equal parts old-fashioned southern charm and high-energy cosmopolitan bustle," the publication describes. "Though Charlotte has evolved significantly in the past decade, the transformation is only continuing, as evidenced by the numerous construction cranes across the skyline."

The publication named Austin, Texas, the best place to live in America. Austin bumped Denver from the top spot it held last year to No. 2.

Rounding out the top five are San Jose, California (up from No. 10), Washington, D.C. (up from No. 8), and Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Austin earned an overall score of 7.8 out of 10. The ranking was the culmination of scores in desirability, value, job market, quality of life and net migration. According to U.S. News:

  • The Desirability Index measures whether or not people want to live in a given metro area. Austin’s score: 8.4
  • The Value Index measures how comfortably the average resident of each metro area can afford to live within his or her means. Austin’s score: 7.3
  • The Job Market Index measures the strength of each metro area’s job market. Austin’s score: 7.5
  • The Quality of Life Index measures how satisfied residents are with their daily lives in each ranked metro area. Austin’s score: 7.3
  • Net Migration measures whether people are moving to or away from each of the metro areas. Austin’s score: 9.8


Austin Mayor Steve Adler touted the ranking in a statement Tuesday, saying, “We celebrate what we’re doing right to be ranked first, recognizing it also highlights the accompanying affordability, equity and mobility challenges that our city faces.

“Inherent in that ranking is the strength to manage growth so we can preserve Austin’s special spirit,” Adler said.

The 2017 Best Places to Live list was put together after thousands of Americans were surveyed to find out what they value in a hometown. The methodology also factored in demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau, crime stats from the FBI, and information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as previous U.S. News rankings of the high schools and hospitals.

“The metro areas that do well are the ones with strong job markets and high quality of life,” said Kim Castro, executive editor at U.S. News, in a statement.

Here are the top 10 cities:

  • Austin
  • Denver
  • San Jose, California
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • Seattle
  • Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
  • Boston
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Salt Lake City


See the full city rankings from 1 to 100 by clicking here.