AUSTIN, Texas -- Austin bumped Denver for the top spot on U.S. News & World Report's 2017 list of the "100 Best Places to Live in the USA."

U.S. News said it analyzed 100 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Austin ranks as No. 1 in 2017 with an overall score of 7.8 out of 10.

Denver came in second with a 7.5 overall score; San Jose, California received a 7.4; Washington D.C. came in fourth with 7.3.

Fayetteville, Arkansas rounded up the top five with an overall score of 7.3.

In Texas, Dallas-Fort Worth is ranked No. 15 with a 7.1 score; Houston came in 20th with a 7.0 score; and San Antonio made the top 25 with a No. 23 rank and 6.9 overall score.

"About 50 people move to Austin every day, drawn to the Texas capital's music, outdoor spaces and cultural institutions. Austin was established along the Colorado River on the edge of the Hill Country in 1839. Originally named "Waterloo," Austin remains rich in history, from the bronze statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan that greets visitors near the river, to the stately Capitol that anchors downtown, to the LBJ Presidential Library at the University of Texas at Austin," added U.S. News.


Austin Mayor Steve Adler posted the following on Facebook in response:

"It's official. U.S. News and World Report has named Austin the best place to live in the United States. 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."


U.S. News said its 2017 Best Places to Live list was determined in part by a public survey of thousands of individuals across the U.S. to find out what qualities they consider important in a home town. The methodology also factors in data from the United States Census Bureau, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as U.S. News rankings of the Best High Schools and Best Hospitals.

"When considering a move people are concerned about finding a job in their field, earning enough to afford a home, sending their kids to good schools and feeling like a part of their community," Kim Castro, executive editor at U.S. News, said in a statement. "The Best Places to Live ranking takes all of that into account – the metro areas that do well are the ones with strong job markets and high quality of life."

A few cities saw significant gains year over year. 

U.S. News said Boston, moved to No. 8 from No. 30 thanks to a noteworthy drop in the unemployment rate. Salt Lake City's improved cost of living propelled it from No. 27 to No. 10. 

Hartford, Connecticut, Syracuse, New York, and Milwaukee, also made strides up the list, climbing more than 20 spots into the top 50.

Like Salt Lake City, all three metro areas earned higher affordability scores in 2017.

2017 U.S. News Best Places to Live Rankings – Top 10:

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Denver, Colorado
  3. San Jose, California
  4. Washington D.C.
  5. Fayetteville, Arkansas
  6. Seattle, Washington
  7. Raleigh & Durham, North Carolina
  8. Boston, Massachusetts
  9. Des Moines, Iowa
  10. Salt Lake City, Utah

See the full city rankings, from 1 to 100, by visiting


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