This year’s list features Atlanta as the No. 1 selection due to the number of opportunities it affords job seekers, students and families. Home to some of the best universities in the country, including Georgia Institute of Technology which ranked 6th on Money’s 2022 list of Best Colleges, the city of Atlanta also boasts a flourishing start-up ecosystem fueled by a growing number of tech incubators and venture capital firms. Despite growing inflation, Atlanta’s housing costs are still lower than more than half of the cities and towns on the list — with a current median price listing for a house at $428,000 (less expensive than the U.S. average of $435,000).
For 2022’s Best Places to Live list, Money looked at towns and cities with a population of at least 20,000, and made its selection based on cost of living, economic opportunity, and diversity, among other factors. Tempe, Arizona and Kirkland, Washington secured the second and third places, respectively. These cities landed high on the list because of access to a growing number of employment opportunities and higher paying jobs in each area. Americans are also flocking to Raleigh, North Carolina (number four on Money’s ranking) for its artsy culture and relative affordability and Rogers Park, Chicago (number five on the list) because of its metropolitan feel and strong sense of community.
“This year’s Best Places to Live ranking highlights the amazing cities and towns the country has to offer — with a hard examine of what matters most,” says Executive Editor Mike Ayers. “Money hopes readers will find the places with the most opportunity for whatever’s next in their lives.”