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17 Best US Cities to Live in According to Americans

  Choosing a place to call home is a complex and personal decision that involves multiple factors, including affordability, ties to friends ...

 Choosing a place to call home is a complex and personal decision that involves multiple factors, including affordability, ties to friends and family, climate, job opportunities, public services, and cultural opportunities. While there’s no “one size fits all” American city, these 17 U.S. cities are frequently cited as top choices to call home.

Austin, Texas

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If you’re looking for live music, vibrant culture, and a relaxed atmosphere, Austin may be the perfect city for you. Redfin also mentions its beautiful parks and lakes, delicious cuisine, and ample opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking and kayaking. Despite rapid growth in recent years, it remains comparatively affordable.

Seattle, Washington

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Known for its tech giants, coffee culture, and scenic beauty, Seattle boasts a resident population of just under 800,000 people. Although the city itself is urban and developed, it’s surrounded by water and evergreen forests that offer city-dwellers plenty of chances to enjoy nature and outdoor activities. Just make sure you can cope with the high rainfall!

Portland, Oregon

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Renowned for its quirky charm, sustainable living style, and booming coffee culture, Portland offers a uniquely progressive atmosphere that attracts a diverse population. Its strong focus on environmental initiatives and the arts makes it popular, but high rainfall and relatively high living costs are considerations, particularly for retirees.

Denver, Colorado

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Nestled amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Rocky Mountains, Denver offers an outstanding balance of urban living and outdoor adventure. Moving Proz states that the city’s job market is thriving, particularly in sectors like tech and healthcare. There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, too, including skiing, hiking, and camping.

San Diego, California

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U.S. News says this California city is particularly popular with younger people, who enjoy a wealth of career opportunities, outdoor activities, and cultural attractions. Well known for its beautiful beaches, pleasant climate, and laid-back lifestyle, San Diego does have a few drawbacks, including heavy tourism and a higher-than-average cost of living.

Raleigh, North Carolina

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According to PODS, Raleigh is a popular and rapidly growing city “because of its strong economy, abundance of jobs, pleasant climate, and small-town hospitality.” With an economy based on technology and research, the city has a surprisingly low cost of living. It also offers a diverse cultural scene, including art galleries, museums, and international cuisine.

Boston, Massachusetts

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Boston has a wonderfully rich history and prestigious universities, offering a fascinating and mentally stimulating place to live. The job market is strong in various sectors, including education, healthcare, and finance, and it also has something to offer culture fans, with excellent museums and historical sites of interest. Just be prepared to pay a lot for housing!

Nashville, Tennessee

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The Honest Local claims, “The strong job economy, thriving music (and art) scene, diversity of people, and top-notch food scene make living in Nashville an enjoyable experience.” Often described as vibrant and dynamic, the city offers friendly southern hospitality, a booming music scene, and a growing economy. The cost of living is also relatively low.

Atlanta, Georgia

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If you want to stay connected, this major southeast transportation hub may be the perfect place for you. The community is described as diverse and welcoming, while it enjoys a strong economy built on business, healthcare, and logistics and plenty of associated job opportunities.

If you can cope with the hot, humid summers, you can also enjoy its many cultural attractions.

Charlotte, North Carolina

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Charlotte, the second North Carolina city to make the list, has plenty of southern charm as well as fun nightlife, delicious food, and many professional sports. Living costs are pretty low, although it has a strong economy based on finance, banking, and energy sectors. It currently boasts a population of around 875,000 people.

Honolulu, Hawaii

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This city offers tropical island living amongst stunning beaches and lush, volcanic scenery. The quality of life here ranks high, although the economy heavily depends on tourism and hospitality, so job opportunities outside these sectors are limited. Island isolation also has its downsides—high living costs and dependence on expensive imports.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Known for its thriving art scene and friendly people, Minneapolis has a strong sense of community despite its urban sprawl. The diverse economy is driven by healthcare, finance, and manufacturing, and it enjoys a relatively affordable cost of living compared to other major cities. Just prepare to get really, really cold in the winter!

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.
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The nation’s capital offers fans of politics and history a wonderful cultural experience, with world-class museums, fascinating historical landmarks, and a wide range of cultural events that offer something for everyone. The job market in government, law, and education is strong, although living costs are higher than the national average.

San Francisco, California

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San Francisco is well known for being progressive, dynamic, and cosmopolitan, offering a warm welcome to everyone, including LGBTQ+ residents. The city boasts a thriving tech industry with plenty of related career opportunities and stunning natural beauty. Just be aware that the housing market is competitive, and both renting and buying can be expensive.

Miami, Florida

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This vibrant city is not just for retirees; it has a fantastic blend of cultures, including Latin and African American influences. If you hate the cold, you’ll enjoy its mild year-round climate and beautiful beaches. The city isn’t just a tourist hotspot either, but a major center for finance and trade. Although living costs aren’t too bad, there is the risk of hurricanes and coastal flooding.

Salt Lake City, Utah

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According to Niche Homes, SLC is one of the most family-friendly cities in America. Nestled amidst the wild Wasatch Mountains, it offers a good mix of urban living and outdoor adventure. Its economy is solid, powered by technology, healthcare, and education, yet the cost of living is not excessively high. It also has a pleasant, community-based atmosphere.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Philly has more to offer than just delicious cheesesteaks, with plenty of history, sporting events, and a productive art scene. Like many on this list, the economy is fueled by healthcare, education, and finance, yet living costs remain affordable. Residents can also enjoy cultural landmarks like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.

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