Best Places to Live 2019 - Top 10 Best Cities

AreaVibes has realeased its version of the top 10 best places to live in America for 2019. Using a Livability Score that takes into account 7 different categories with dozens of data points, AreaVibes has sifted through more than 100 cities to present the 10 best cities seen below. The top 10 list consists of cities with a population of 200,000 and up. The list saw a few changes over last year's edition, including the addition of three new cities.

How We Ranked The Cities

  • Amenities: Higher scores for more nearby amenities like: grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, schools, parks, libraries, etc.
  • Cost of Living: Higher scores for lower cost of goods and services, groceries, health care, housing, transportation and utilities.
  • Crime: Higher scores for low violent crime and property crime. Violent crimes are more heavily weighted.
  • Education: Higher scores for high test scores and low student to teacher ratio.
  • Employment: Higher scores for high median household income and low unemployment rates.
  • Housing: Higher scores for low housing price to median household ratio and high appreciation rates.
  • Weather: Higher scores for average temperatures between 70°-75° and low precipitation.

Here is the list of the top 10

  1. Plano, TX
  2. Irving, TX
  3. Gilbert, AZ
  4. Chandler, AZ
  5. Austin, TX
  6. Irvine, CA
  7. Henderson, NV
  8. Arlington, VA
  9. Fort Worth, TX
  10. Fremont, CA
1. Plano, TXScore: 91/100
Plano, TX Photo

Located near Dallas, the city of Plano continues to keep its position at the top of this list for the third straight year. Low unemployment, high academic test scores, and a median household income of roughly $85,000 are among the qualities that have put Plano in first place. When they’ve wrapped up their work day at one of the major corporations in the area, such as Frito-Lay or Toyota Motor North America, Plano residents have plenty of options for leisure. They enjoy shopping and dining at Willow Bend Mall and the Shops at Legacy, and they can easily stay active at multiple recreational centers and beautiful outdoor spaces, including Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve.

2. Irving, TXScore: 86/100
Irving, TX Photo

Soaring from eighth place on last year’s list, this city in Dallas County has earned strong ratings for amenities, housing, and other important measures of living well. Residents find work in a variety of industries, including the headquarters of major companies like ExxonMobil, Kimberly-Clark, and Chuck E. Cheese. Along with taking selfies next to the Mustangs of Las Colinas, a world-famous sculpture of galloping horses, Irving residents enjoy many activities close to home. These include concerts and movies at the Toyota Music Factory, cultural enrichment at the Irving Arts Center, and strolling, paddle boating, and gondola rides at Lake Carolyn and Mandalay Canal.

3. Gilbert, AZScore: 84/100
Gilbert, AZ Photo

Home to over 226,000 people, Gilbert is especially attractive to anyone who loves sunshine and outdoor activities. Freestone Park alone has two lakes for fishing, a skate park, batting cages, a range of sports fields and courts, multiple playgrounds, and some amusement park attractions. The high-quality amenities are one reason Gilbert rose from sixth to third place in the rankings of best places to live. Another reason is a crime rate that’s 46 percent below the U.S. average. Its location in the Greater Phoenix area also gives residents a range of employment and educational opportunities.

4. Chandler, AZScore: 83/100
Chandler, AZ Photo

Like Gilbert, Chandler is a city in the Greater Phoenix area. Unlike Gilbert, Chandler wasn’t on this list last year. What gave it a boost? A household income that’s 45 percent higher than the Arizona average is one factor; major employers in the city include Intel and PayPal. Two other reasons Chandler made the list are its consistently sunny weather and its impressive amenities, including aquatic centers, recreational facilities, and well-developed parks. The events and activities scheduled throughout the year include the annual Ostrich Festival, which has exciting attractions and rides. The massive Chandler Center for the Arts also offers unique and enriching programs.

5. Austin, TXScore: 83/100
Austin, TX Photo

Jumping from the tenth spot in 2018 to fifth place this year, the Texas capital draws people with its robust economic activity, broad range of cultural and recreational venues, and the fact that it’s home to the highly rated University of Texas at Austin. The city boasts school test scores that are 46 percent higher than the U.S. average. Amazon, Intel, Google, National Instruments, and other high-tech notables operate in Austin and hire well-educated employees. Outside of work, residents are found at museums, library branches, theaters, clubs, restaurants, and concerts. They also take advantage of the lovely weather by making use of the many gorgeous outdoor spaces, including Zilker Park, Lady Bird Lake, and the Barton Creek Greenbelt.

6. Irvine, CAScore: 82/100
Irvine, CA Photo

Irvine may have gone from third place last year to sixth place on this year’s list, but it still remains a prime location to call home. Located roughly 40 miles from Downtown Los Angeles, it boasts high-performing schools and multiple institutions of higher education. The crime rate is 50 percent lower than the U.S. average. From Broadcom to Taco Bell to Meade Instruments, Irvine is home to a range of corporate headquarters. Residents also don’t lack for leisure opportunities. They stay active at numerous parks, and they’re a short drive from the Pacific Ocean. They also enjoy the Irvine Spectrum Center, a beautifully designed hub for shopping and entertainment.

7. Henderson, NVScore: 82/100
Henderson, NV Photo

There’s a lot more to Henderson than its proximity to the Las Vegas Strip. This city of over 277,000 people has a household income that’s 21 percent higher than Nevada’s average, and the crime rates are lower as well. The various amenities and attractions are also delightful. Residents enjoy shopping trips to the Galleria at Sunset, chocolate tastings at the Ethel M Chocolate Factory, tee times at local golf courses, and hiking and biking trails with gorgeous scenery. The Multigenerational Center is also a gem; it offers a rock-climbing wall, multiple swimming pools, a fitness center, and other features that make it an excellent recreational facility.

8. Arlington, VAScore: 82/100
Arlington, VA Photo

After making it to fourth place last year, Arlington has still secured a spot on the list this time around, in part because of its low unemployment rate, low crime rate, high median household income, and high-performing schools. Set across the Potomac River from the U.S. capital, Arlington is home to headquarters for a range of corporations, organizations, and government agencies, including the Department of Defense at the Pentagon. Residents can easily visit the famous national cemetery in Arlington and cross the river to enjoy a variety of parks, cultural institutions, and restaurants. A well-developed public transportation system makes it easier for residents to get around without a car.

9. Fort Worth, TXScore: 81/100
Fort Worth, TX Photo

From its start as an army outpost in the 19th century, Fort Worth has expanded to a city of over 800,000 residents and an economic hub where major companies, such as American Airlines Group and Pier 1 Imports, have established their headquarters. Strong ratings for housing and amenities are among the reasons Fort Worth leapt onto this list after not appearing last year. Its regularly scheduled rodeos also helped the city charge ahead. For residents who aren’t that into cowboy culture, there are plenty of other attractions. They enjoy a range of museums, an exciting music and theater scene, a beautiful botanical garden, and an incredible array of parks, including highly rated dog parks.

10. Fremont, CAScore: 80/100
Fremont, CA Photo

Tucked against the San Francisco Bay, this family-friendly city has strong schools, low unemployment, high-quality amenities, and a median household income that’s 75 percent higher than the California average. Tech-oriented residents are often found working in one of the area’s Silicon Valley companies, including Tesla. However, even though technology dominates the region, Fremont is full of natural beauty. Whether they’re climbing Mission Peak, boating on Lake Elizabeth, hiking at Coyote Hills Regional Park, or stepping into the 19th century at Ardenwood Historic Farm, residents frequently enjoy the outdoors. Although Fremont didn’t keep its fifth place position on this list from last year, it still remains one of the finest places to call home.

You can refer to the Best Places to Live list for real-time, up-to-date and interactive top 100 best places to live. The results are sortable, and it allows you to filter by the population as well as your preferred state.

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