These are the five best cities to live in the U.S. in 2023

150 cities were ranked based on their quality of life, labor market and housing prices.

The annual Best Places to Live report for 2023-2024 awarded Green Bay (Wisconsin) the top ranking for the "best place to live." This city managed to beat 149 other places in the country.

The study conducted by US News ranked the country's 150 most populous cities based on their high quality of life, value, job market, desirability and housing prices. The top five are:

Green Bay, Wisconsin

Green Bay, with an overall rating of 6.9, won first place thanks to high scores in terms of value (8); quality of life (7.3) and job market (6.1). The city also has a low cost of living. A home costs on average about $278,558, more than $100,000 less than the national average ($383,883). According to the report:

Green Bay has the perfect mix of big-city amenities complemented with a Midwestern, small-town feel. This city boasts a thriving entertainment and arts scene, revitalized downtown, and two college campuses, creating an energy that may appeal to young families as well as retirees.

Green Bay, Wisconsin.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Outdoor enthusiasts can walk, run, bike, snowshoe or cross-country ski on the area's trails. In the summer, locals and visitors take advantage of the Fox River by boating, kayaking or cruising north, to the bay of Green Bay.

Huntsville, Alabama

In second place, after Green Bay, is Huntsville, Alabama. This city, with an overall rating of 6.9, stood out in four categories of the ranking: value (8); quality of life (7); and job market (7).

Huntsville, Alabama
(Wikimedia Commons)

Despite more expensive housing prices (national average $383,883 vs. Huntsville's $349,778). In this city, taxes are usually low, which balances residents' finances. According to the report:

Huntsville's city center has undergone a renaissance in recent years. An outbreak of new construction downtown means more shopping, dining and apartment options are available. Just west of downtown, a defunct cotton mill became a bustling arts center, and craft breweries, restaurants and an ax-throwing venue have sprung up in a renovated old middle school.

Raleigh & Durham, North Carolina

In third place in the ranking is Raleigh & Durham (North Carolina). With an overall rating of 6.9. In terms of value (7), quality of life (7.2), labor market (6.5) and attractiveness (6.5), this city stood out in the categories of value (7), quality of life (7.2), labor market (6.5) and attractiveness (6.5).

According to the report:

Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill are known for their research/technology roots and collegiate rivalries. This tri-city region (known as the Triangle) is luring new residents every day with strong job growth and high quality of life. 

Raleigh & Durham, North Carolina.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Living in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill means having access to cultural facilities like the Durham Performing Arts Center, the North Carolina Museum of Art the Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh and the North Carolina Symphony. This family-friendly area also has a children's museum, 200-plus parks and a 152-mile greenway system for safe biking and hiking. Raleigh and Durham is a great place for sports fans, with college athletics, the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes, men's and women's professional soccer teams and minor league baseball team the Carolina Mudcats.

Boulder, Colorado

Fourth place on the list goes to Boulder (Colorado). This city, with an overall rating of 6.8, remained at the top of the ranking for its quality of life (7.7), job market (7.4) and attractiveness (6.5).

Boulder, Colorado
(Wikimedia Commons)

For residents seeking wellness, Boulder has opportunities from forest bathing and free meditation sessions to... spas and alternative health care studios. This blissed-out enclave attracts young professionals, families, academics, scientists, transplants from both coasts, old guards who insist it was way cooler in the 1970s and, above all, lovers of outdoor recreation. 

Sarasota, Florida

In fifth place is Sarasota (Florida). This city, which earned an overall rating of 6.8, made it in the top five thanks to its net migration (9.1), quality of life (7) and value (6.8).

Sarasota, Florida.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Sarasota has a distinct vibe that’s different from Florida’s relative coastal cities, with its own vibrant arts scene, beachy atmosphere and burgeoning food culture. People who choose Sarasota as their home are generally called by its unique charm. This metro area of just over 800,000 people has a renowned opera house, a number of rooftop bars and the popular beach of Siesta Key. What makes the region special is its duality – downtown Sarasota boasts resorts and fine dining, but strolling Siesta Key Village or St. Armands Circle offers a more intimate, seaside ambiance.

The classification is a reflection of "economic, social and natural factors"

US News real estate editor Devon Thorsby said that the current rankings "are a reflection of the current economic, social and natural factors that impact a place's livability for its residents."

People are considering more than housing when they look at an area’s affordability — they want to know how much goods cost in that area (...) The ever-present risk for severe weather and a community’s ability to recover — couples with the area’s opportunities for social activities — are also taken into account when evaluating the best place to live.