A new ranking confirms what many of us already know: Boston is among the best places to live in the country.
US News & World Report released a list of the top metro areas in the country, places that offer the best combination of jobs, desirability, cost of living, and quality of life. In the 2022-23 report, Boston was ranked No. 18 — a 13-spot jump from its No. 31 ranking in 2021-22.
US News analyzed 150 of the most populous cities in the country to determine the best places to live.
“Boston gets especially high marks for its quality of life,” the publication noted in its review, which factors in quality of education, proximity to quality health care, crime, commute, air quality, and the general well-being of residents. Based on quality of life alone, the publication ranked Boston No. 7 in the country.
But the city lost points in one area many residents can relate to: affordability.
“The Boston metro area is the 25th-most expensive” in the country, the publication said. The top five most expensive cities are Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego, Salinas, Calif., and Santa Barbara, Calif., according to the report.
“Boston often feels like a small town with all the perks of city life,” US News wrote in its report. “It is a region of sports enthusiasts, artists and entrepreneurs. ... Living in the region can feel like you’re acting out the pages of a history book while simultaneously experiencing the perks of a modern metro area.”
Boston was ranked 13th in safest places to live, and 43rd in best places to retire. The publication listed the city’s metro area population at 4,854,808; its median home price at $632,943; and its average annual salary at $73,850.
One New England city bested Boston on the US News list. Portland, Maine, ranked No. 8.
“Artful living and farm-to-table dining are not just trends in Portland — they have been a way of life for years,” the publication said. “A ‘do it yourself’ spirit resonates throughout the region ... all around Portland, you’ll find dozens of local entrepreneurs offering homegrown or homemade products, from mittens to coffee.”
Portland was ranked No. 4 in safest places, No. 10 in best places for quality of life, and No. 30 in best places to retire. The publication says that Portland “is at a crossroads on moving forward” with new development, which is “often met with opposition, while demand for affordable housing is high.”
The Portland metro population was listed at 536,314, while the median home price came in at $310,300 and average annual salary was $55,790, according to the publication.
US News also called Portland a “great region for those who enjoy the outdoors.”
Boston wasn’t the only Massachusetts city to make the list: Worcester and Springfield came in 69th and 117th, respectively.
Other New England cities included Hartford, which ranked No. 47, Manchester, N.H., at No. 60, Providence, at No. 105, and New Haven, at No. 114.
Here are the top 20 best places to live, according to the report:
- Huntsville, Ala.
- Colorado Springs, Colo.
- Green Bay, Wis.
- Boulder, Colo.
- San Jose, Calif.
- Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
- Fayetteville, Ark.
- Portland, Maine
- Sarasota, Fla.
- San Francisco
- Ann Arbor, Mich.
- Naples, Fla.
- Austin, Texas
- Des Moines, Iowa
- Boise, Idaho
- Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Madison, Wis.
- Washington, D.C.
- Melbourne, Fla.