U.S. News & World Report ranked the top spots to settle down in—and three Colorado cities made the list!

By Maggie Seaver
July 20, 2021
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Where to live, where to live? That's the mammoth question at the top of many Americans' minds right now. As people look to sell, look for a change of scenery, and look for places to retire happily in 2021 and beyond, the U.S. News & World Report's Best Places to Live results help unveil which U.S. locations are truly worth settling down in for the long haul. 

To help Americans make the most informed decisions about where to live (and thrive!), U.S. News studied the data of the 150 most populous metro areas in the country, pulling from a variety of sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, the U.S. Department of Labor, and its own internal resources. Then it evaluated and categorized the data for criteria like housing affordability, retiree taxes, desirability, job market strength, and happiness/quality of life (see the full methodology here).

Ranking at the very top of the list as the No 1. best place to live in the U.S. is Boulder, Colo. According to the report's calculations, Boulder boasts the highest overall score of 7.6, and snagged a score of 8.8 for quality of life. Coming in hot on Boulder's heels are the cities of both Raleigh and Durham, N.C., which tied for second place scores. These southern cities are followed by another, Huntsville, Ala., then Fayetteville, Ark., and Austin, Texas. Surprised that somewhere in Florida didn't make it into the top five? To be honest, we were slightly taken aback as well. Despite the high volume of Americans flocking to sunny Florida these days (particularly for retirement), the first Florida destination to appear in this lineup is Naples, coming in at No. 7, followed by Sarasota at No. 9. 

best-places-to-live-2021-2022-us-news-report: Beautiful area by the sea in Portland, Maine
Credit: Getty Images

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The 15 Best U.S. Cities to Live in, According to the U.S. News & World Report

  1. Boulder, Colo.
  2. Raleigh and Durham, N.C.
  3. Huntsville, Ala.
  4. Fayetteville, Ark.
  5. Austin, Texas
  6. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  7. Naples, Fla.
  8. Portland, Maine
  9. Sarasota, Fla.
  10. Portland, Ore.
  11. Boise, Idaho
  12. Ann Arbor, Mich
  13. Des Moines, Iowa
  14. Denver, Colo.
  15. San Francisco, Calif.

Head here for the full list of the top 150 best places to live in the U.S.