quality of life

NYC Doesn't Even Crack America's 100 Best Places to Live, New Ranking Finds

Gun violence, which is at a 25-year high, and skyrocketing rents -- NYC incomes would have to double to afford vacant units' rent, a recent study found -- drove down the most important index for New York City

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A new annual list published by U.S. News & World Report this week identifies America's best metro areas to live in 2022-23 -- and no spot around New York City landed in the top 100 desirable locations, the study found.

U.S. News analyzed the 150 most populated metro areas in the country on a range of factors to assess four key indices -- job market, value, quality of life and desirability -- on a weighted scale to determine the "best" places to live over the next year.

Only six tri-state "metro" areas even made the top 100, with just one landing within the top 30 -- Albany at No. 21. New York's capital city was helped in the rankings by high scores on the quality of life and value indices. Learn more about the methodology here.

Which are the other local spots featured on U.S. News' latest list? Syracuse came in at No. 38, bolstered primarily by its high-value index. Next up was Rochester (No. 42), followed by Buffalo (No. 45), Connecticut's Hartford (No. 47) and New Jersey's Trenton (No. 86). (New York City is all the way down at No. 120, for those who wondered.)

A low-value index -- which is no wonder, given how high real estate prices have skyrocketed while gun violence is at a 25-year high -- and a high net migration rate drove down the five boroughs' ranking.

Each index considers a number of factors -- unemployment rate and average salary for jobs, blended annual median income rate and blended annual housing cost for value and a public survey for desirability. The quality of life index, the highest weighted of the group (32.5%), is also the most comprehensive, considering crime rates, healthcare access, education, well-being, air quality and commute time in its assessment.

Net migration is also factored in, though matters far less (5%) on the scale than U.S. News' other metrics. After quality of life, the value index has the most weight in 2022-23 ranking (25%), followed by the job market (20%) and desirability (17.5%) indices.

So which metro areas are the best to live in the United States? Huntsville, Alabama, earned top honors, thanks mostly to high rankings on the value and job market indices.

Colorado Springs, Colorado, lauded for its desirability, came in second, with Green Bay, Wisconsin, Boulder, Colorado, and San Jose, California, rounding out the top five. See the full U.S. News & World Report "Best Places to Live" rankings here.

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