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America&039s Best Places To Live 2022 | Bankrate

· America's best places to live in 2022 · 1. Raleigh, NC · 2. Charleston, SC · 3. Austin, TX · 4. Oklahoma City, OK · 5. Tampa, FL · 6. Boise, ID · 7

While there has been some movement to the suburbs during the pandemic, major cities remain attractive places to live and work. If you’re reevaluating where you call home or considering relocating this year, here are Bankrate’s picks for the best places to live in 2022.

Best places to live in 2022

1. Raleigh, NC

Affordability: 7/10 Diversity: 5/10 Job market: 8/10 Safety: 9/10 Wellness: 7/10 Highlights: NC State football games, Carolina Hurricanes hockey games, North Carolina Museum of Art

The top spot on our list goes to Raleigh, North Carolina. As one of the anchors of the Research Triangle, the city continues to attract young employees and major companies to plant roots in The Tar Heel State. Last year, Apple announced plans for a new East Coast campus in the area, which will create at least 3,000 new jobs — and more reasons for more people to want to move here. Outside of the office and the research laboratory, Raleigh is quickly climbing the cultural ranks as a place to eat, drink and enjoy the outdoors, with a mild climate that gives residents ample time to disconnect. Plus, Raleigh offers what many cities struggle to deliver: low crime rates.

  • North Carolina first-time homebuyer programs
  • North Carolina mortgage lenders
  • North Carolina mortgage rates

2. Charleston, SC

Affordability: 6/10 Diversity: N/A Job market: 9/10 Safety: 7/10 Wellness: 8/10 Highlights: South Carolina Aquarium, Folly Beach, Charleston City Market

If you’re enjoying the freedom to work from home, why not enjoy the charm of Charleston? According to a 2021 LinkedIn survey, the city is becoming a remote work hotspot. You might need some discipline to stay productive, however, as it boasts lots of reasons to put off that next project: rooftop bars, decadent Lowcountry cuisine and nearby beaches all within a short drive from historic downtown. If you don’t want to work from home, Charleston still has you covered with opportunities in healthcare, manufacturing (Boeing, Volvo and Mercedes all have large operations here) and tourism.

  • South Carolina first-time homebuyer programs
  • South Carolina mortgage lenders
  • South Carolina mortgage rates

3. Austin, TX

Affordability: 6/10 Diversity: 6/10 Job market: 9/10 Safety: 6/10 Wellness: 9/10 Highlights: UT Austin, Texas Capitol building, Rainey Street

Will Austin ever slip from our best places to live? With affordability becoming more of an issue, it could — but for now, the capital of the Lone Star State continues to attract major employers to set up shop or expand their footprints here, and new residents along with them. Throughout the pandemic, more than 150 companies announced plans to relocate operations to Austin or add more jobs to existing offices. Whether you’re moving here to work for Apple, Dell, Tesla or another major tech name, you’ll have plenty of reasons to play, too: From early morning bike rides (Bicycling magazine named the city one of the top 20 most bike-friendly in the country) to late-night jam sessions on Sixth Street, Austin offers a mile-long list of reasons to forget about work.

  • Texas first-time homebuyer programs
  • Texas mortgage lenders
  • Texas mortgage rates

4. Oklahoma City, OK

Affordability: 8/10 Diversity: 8/10 Job market: 10/10 Safety: 7/10 Wellness: 5/10 Highlights: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City Zoo, Myriad Botanical Gardens

OKC is so much more than OK. With an unemployment rate below 2 percent (as of November 2021) and major employers like Integris Health, Hobby Lobby, Boeing and Paycom, Oklahoma City has been attracting droves of new residents. That pace isn’t slowing down, either: By 2040, the metro area is on track to exceed two million residents. The city gets around 235 sunny days a year, and you can enjoy that weather on land via 10 interconnected trails or on water with 30 nearby lakes and kayaking and whitewater rafting opportunities. All that fun doesn’t come at a big cost, either: The median price of a home in Oklahoma City was $235,000 as of November 2021, according to data from Redfin.

  • Oklahoma first-time homebuyer programs
  • Oklahoma mortgage lenders
  • Oklahoma mortgage rates

5. Tampa, FL

Affordability: 7/10 Diversity: 6/10 Job market: 8/10 Safety: 7/10 Wellness: 7/10 Highlights: Tampa Bay Rays baseball games, Busch Gardens, Adventure Island

Read more: Certificate of Occupancy – Buildings

What Florida doesn’t have — a state income tax — is one of the many upsides of a move to the Sunshine State. Young job seekers are also flocking to the state, specifically to Tampa, for what the area does have: an affordable cost of living; nearly 80 colleges, universities and technical schools in the Tampa Bay area; and high-profile companies like Raymond James, Citigroup and USAA. You might also opt for the chance to work from home if you’re thinking about this location. The area is just behind Charleston on LinkedIn’s ranking of remote-friendly big cities. When you aren’t working, you’ll find a friendly and diverse city, with employees of more than 130 nationalities and a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index, which ranks cities on how welcoming they are to the LGBTQ+ community.

  • Florida first-time homebuyer programs
  • Florida mortgage lenders
  • Florida mortgage rates

6. Boise, ID

Affordability: 5/10 Diversity: N/A Job market: 10/10 Safety: 8/10 Wellness: 7/10 Highlights: Boise River Greenbelt, Discovery Center of Idaho, Capital City Public Market

Boise welcomed lots of new residents throughout the pandemic, but the city didn’t just start becoming desirable in the last couple of years. It’s always offered a high quality of life, with more than 200 sunny days each year and the backdrop of the scenic Boise Mountains. Micron, HP and Albertsons are a few of the major employers in the area, and Boise is fast becoming a talked-about destination for start-ups and tech companies. One challenge the city faces: Its promise of “low cost of living” is quickly fading, as demand continues to fuel a shortage of options for homebuyers.

  • Idaho first-time homebuyer programs
  • Idaho mortgage lenders
  • Idaho mortgage rates

7. Providence, RI

Affordability: 7/10 Diversity: N/A Job market: 7/10 Safety: 7/10 Wellness: 8/10 Highlights: Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, Providence Performing Arts Center, Narragansett Beach

As gas prices continue to rise, you might just want to drive to Providence and forget your keys: The city has the highest walkability score of the destinations on our list this year. In addition to saving money on gas, you might save on a home, too. The median home price in Providence as of November 2021 stood below the national average, at $345,000, according to Redfin. In the high-priced Northeast (the median home price in Boston is more than double what it is here), Providence is a gem. This small-state city is poised to become an even bigger draw if plans for a new downtown riverwalk become reality.

  • Rhode Island first-time homebuyer programs
  • Rhode Island mortgage lenders
  • Rhode Island mortgage rates

8. Minneapolis, MN

Affordability: 6/10 Diversity: 7/10 Job market: 9/10 Safety: 4/10 Wellness: 9/10 Highlights: The Mall of America, Minnehaha Falls, Nickelodeon Universe

Don’t let frigid temperatures scare you off: Minneapolis in summer can more than make up for your willingness to brave the winter cold. The city ranks third on the Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore list, which identifies the top U.S. destinations for convenient access to green space. The No. 2 city on the list? St. Paul, which also puts you in proximity to the more than 1,000 healthcare companies in the region. No matter where you wind up living in the Twin Cities, you might choose to explore the area without a car, as Minneapolis has the highest bike score of the cities on our list this year.

  • Minnesota first-time homebuyer programs
  • Minnesota mortgage lenders
  • Minnesota mortgage rates

9. Cincinnati, OH

Affordability: 9/10 Diversity: 4/10 Job market: 8/10 Safety: 6/10 Wellness: 8/10 Highlights: Coney Island Park, Skyline Chili, Cincinnati Bengals football games

With a median home price of $220,000 (as of November 2021 Redfin reporting) and one of the top wellness rankings on our list, there’s a lot to like about Cincinnati. There are also a lot of employers to choose from if you’re thinking about a new job: P&G, Fifth Third Bank and Kroger are all headquartered here. With Xavier University, Miami University and the University of Cincinnati, the city also buzzes with a youthful academic energy. It isn’t on one of the coasts, but it still boasts waterfront real estate along the Ohio River. Plus, with major MLB and NFL franchises in town, you’ll have reasons to cheer all year long.

  • Ohio first-time homebuyer programs
  • Ohio mortgage lenders
  • Ohio mortgage rates

10. Jacksonville, FL

Affordability: 8/10 Diversity: 6/10 Job market: 8/10 Safety: 5/10 Wellness: 8/10 Highlights: Little Talbot Island State Park, Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, Jacksonville Jaguars football games

Fidelity Investments, Aetna, Johnson & Johnson and Mayo Clinic are a few of the brands that make up the thriving business community in Jacksonville. That community is faring relatively well, too, as the city’s unemployment is at a low 3.3 percent (as of November 2021). This is a city steeped in nature, with more than 80,000 acres of marshes, wetlands and woods. This is also one of the best cities on our list for your wallet, with a lower cost of living and a median home price of $275,000 as of November 2021, according to Redfin. In recent years, new housing developments have helped offer the influx of residents additional options, and there are big plans in the works for the city’s future, including a $1.1 billion proposal to reshape the downtown riverfront.

  • Florida first-time homebuyer programs
  • Florida mortgage lenders
  • Florida mortgage rates

11. Columbus, OH

Read more: Most Expensive Cities in the USA | Boom

Affordability: 8/10 Diversity: 5/10 Job market: 8/10 Safety: 6/10 Wellness: 7/10 Highlights: Ohio State sporting events, the original Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, the North Market

If you look up in Columbus, chances are you’ll see a construction crane or a brand-new building: The capital of Ohio has been on a tear in development to welcome everyone who’s decided to relocate here. Those new arrivals are coming for more than Ohio State football (although that’s a big part of life); they’re finding job opportunities in computing, biomedical services, finance and e-commerce, as well as proximity to the Scioto Mile, a 175-acre, eight-park network connecting downtown Columbus to the Scioto River, and attracting bikers, kayakers and paddle boarders.

  • Ohio first-time homebuyer programs
  • Ohio mortgage lenders
  • Ohio mortgage rates

12. Kansas City, MO

Affordability: 8/10 Diversity: 5/10 Job market: 8/10 Safety: 5/10 Wellness: 7/10 Highlights: The National WWI Museum and Memorial, Country Club Plaza, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Living in Kansas City means saving with some very affordable housing costs. In fact, rent on a one-bedroom here actually declined by 4 percent in the last year, according to rental site Zumper. That doesn’t mean sacrificing the perks of a big city, however. The Royals and the Chiefs each hoisted championship trophies in recent years, and Kansas City’s jazz circuit — with more than 40 nightclubs — offers opportunities to enjoy the soul of the city. If you aren’t working from home, you’re in luck: KC is home to many leading companies, including Garmin, H&R Block and Hallmark, and the city’s unemployment rate is under 3 percent (as of November 2021).

  • Missouri first-time homebuyer programs
  • Missouri mortgage lenders
  • Missouri mortgage rates

13. Grand Rapids, MI

Affordability: 8/10 Diversity: N/A Job market: 7/10 Safety: 6/10 Wellness: 7/10 Highlights: Meyer May House, Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery, Reeds Lake

Affordable housing, one of the best microbrewery scenes in America and a leader in medical device manufacturing — these are some of the reasons people keep planting roots in Grand Rapids. While the city’s landlocked, it’s just a 40-minute drive to the shores of Lake Michigan in the summer, and in the winter, Northern Michigan’s Midwest-friendly skiing offers a convenient low-cost getaway. Local leaders in Grand Rapids are aiming to add more reasons to put the city closer to the top of this list, including ambitions to lure tech companies and proposals for a large downtown amphitheater on the Grand River.

  • Michigan first-time homebuyer programs
  • Michigan mortgage lenders
  • Michigan mortgage rates

14. Tucson, AZ

Affordability: 7/10 Diversity: 5/10 Job market: 8/10 Safety: 6/10 Wellness: 7/10 Highlights: Pima Air & Space Museum, San Xavier del Bac Mission, Sabino Canyon hikes

If you want to increase your vitamin D in 2022, Tucson is your answer. This is the sunniest city on our list — approximately 85 percent of days in the year include a healthy dose of desert sun. Whether you prefer the challenge of mountain biking through the Sonoran Desert or a more calming round of golf, the city has an endless number of reasons to stay healthy and outside. When you do actually go indoors, your housing costs are fairly low: The median price of a home here was just over $300,000 as of November 2021, Redfin reports. With that extra money, you might be able to enjoy a dining scene that distinguishes the city as one of two UNESCO Cities of Gastronomy on our list (read on to discover the other).

  • Arizona first-time homebuyer programs
  • Arizona mortgage lenders
  • Arizona mortgage rates

15. Indianapolis, IN

Affordability: 8/10 Diversity: 5/10 Job market: 9/10 Safety: 5/10 Wellness: 6/10 Highlights: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, White River State Park, Daniel’s Family Vineyard & Winery

While Indianapolis is famous for the engines of the Indy 500, quite a few cars are coming to the Circle City, shifting to park and sticking around. Companies like Eli Lilly, Roche Diagnostics and Salesforce all have major presences here, and buying a home can be much easier compared to most of the cities on our list: The median home price as of November 2021 was $212,000, according to Redfin. If the four-wheeled racing of Indy’s fame isn’t your thing, you have plenty of two-wheel options to enjoy the outdoors. The eight-mile Indianapolis Cultural Trail winds through downtown, offering easy bike pit stops in neighborhoods like Fountain Square and Mass Ave. Sports enthusiasts will also love the city, which is home to the NCAA headquarters and regularly hosts major collegiate championship events.

  • Indiana first-time homebuyer programs
  • Indiana mortgage lenders
  • Indiana mortgage rates

16. Sacramento, CA

Affordability: 6/10 Diversity: 10/10 Job market: 6/10 Safety: 7/10 Wellness: 8/10 Highlights: California State Railroad Museum, American River Bike Trail, Sacramento Kings basketball games

Read more: First-Year Real Estate Agent Salary – What to Expect

While many moved away from high-priced San Francisco and San Jose throughout the pandemic, most didn’t go all that far. Instead, they headed for the capital of the Golden State. You’ll still pay more than the national average to buy a home in Sacramento, but this is one of the more reasonable places to enjoy California living. You might not be able to go to the beach, but you can still take advantage of the 250-plus days of sunshine here on the region’s more than 32-mile network of bike trails. As you explore those new places, Sacramento can also help you meet a wide range of new faces: This is the most diverse city on our list.

  • California first-time homebuyer programs
  • California mortgage lenders
  • California mortgage rates

17. Denver, CO

Affordability: 5/10 Diversity: 5/10 Job market: 7/10 Safety: 6/10 Wellness: 9/10 Highlights: Colorado Rockies baseball games, Molly Brown House Museum, Rocky Mountain National Park

If you’re in search of city living but also the ability to disconnect, Denver should be on your radar. The Mile High City has been welcoming new residents chasing that balance, and it comes with plenty of opportunities for work, too. The Denver metro area has seen massive momentum adding STEM jobs, beating out other big names like Seattle, Austin and San Francisco with its ability to attract new employees, according to one index. Be prepared for a hit to your bank account, though: Buying a place is tough here, and rental prices have soared throughout the pandemic.

  • Colorado first-time homebuyer programs
  • Colorado mortgage lenders
  • Colorado mortgage rates

18. Nashville, TN

Affordability: 7/10 Diversity: 5/10 Job market: 9/10 Safety: 5/10 Wellness: 7/10 Highlights: Broadway Historic District, Nashville Predators hockey games, Grand Ole Opry

While Nashville has exported its famous local specialty, hot chicken, to restaurants around the U.S., many are deciding to go straight to the source to try the culinary delight. Of course, they’re coming for more than a recipe: The city’s legendary music industry, coupled with employment opportunities in healthcare, education and insurance, make it an ideal place to work and play (or just listen). If you’re thinking about moving to Nashville, you might find yourself competing with others looking to relocate, though. Real estate agents in the area estimate that 82 people move to the Music City every day.

  • Tennessee first-time homebuyer programs
  • Tennessee mortgage lenders
  • Tennessee mortgage rates

19. San Antonio, TX

Affordability: 7/10 Diversity: 3/10 Job market: 7/10 Safety: 7/10 Wellness: 6/10 Highlights: The San Antonio River Walk, the Alamo, Six Flags Fiesta Texas

San Antonio has big plans: The city is working on adding 140,000 jobs to the tune of $55 billion in economic impact by 2025. That kind of ambition often leads to some overly pricey real estate, but for now, the Alamo City can be a budget-friendly option in the Lone Star State. The median price of a home was $275,000 as of November 2021, per Redfin data. Employers like USAA and H-E-B call the city home, and other companies, like Nissei, Pabst Brewing and Skipcart, have recently unveiled plans for major operations here. If you’re a foodie, San Antonio might speak in your flavor profile, as well. The city is one of two U.S. cities that earned the honor of “Creative City of Gastronomy” from UNESCO (the other is Tucson, also on our list this year). Pack your boxes, and bring your appetite.

  • Texas first-time homebuyer programs
  • Texas mortgage lenders
  • Texas mortgage rates

20. Atlanta, GA

Affordability: 6/10 Diversity: 4/10 Job market: 9/10 Safety: 4/10 Wellness: 8/10 Highlights: World of Coca-Cola, Georgia Aquarium, Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park

Delta Air Lines, the Home Depot and the Coca-Cola Company are a few of the reasons why Atlanta is such a desirable place to call home. In addition to serving as the corporate headquarters for those three well-established companies, Atlanta is earning a reputation as a top destination for emerging tech companies. If you aren’t up for an in-office routine, Atlanta is also making a name as a top spot for those who can work remotely. The city’s bright future is encapsulated by the Atlanta Beltline, a massive urban development plan to repurpose abandoned railroad tracks with 33 miles of multi-use urban trails, 22 miles of urban transit, 450 public art installations and $10 billion in economic development. The project is also aiming to bring 5,600 affordable housing units. Simply put, the Atlanta of today looks good, but the Atlanta of tomorrow looks even better.

  • Georgia first-time homebuyer programs
  • Georgia mortgage lenders
  • Georgia mortgage rates


To identify the best places to live, Bankrate examined the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. through the lens of an essential question: What makes a place livable and lovable? Applying a 10-point scale, we considered several factors, including:

  • What it costs – This past year, the definition of “affordable” evolved as home prices continued to hit records. We compared each city’s cost of living data from the Economic Policy Institute with per capita personal income from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis to get an idea of how much of your take-home pay you can actually take home. We also looked at year-over-year home price data from real estate brokerage Redfin to understand where prices are surging faster than others, and where you might be able to buy a home for a bit less.
  • How it feels – To get a sense of the quality of life in these cities, we considered overall well-being based on the Sharecare Community Well-Being Index; employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; culture, outdoor opportunities and weather based on information from each city’s convention and visitors bureau and historical data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and safety, including crime rates based on FBI data (or local reporting for cities not captured in government data).
  • Who’s moving there – We also evaluated the net migration of each city over the past year. Each city on this list experienced a positive net migration, which means that more people moved in than moved out.

Additionally, where data is available, we have included a diversity score this year. The figures, based on the National Equity Atlas diversity index, are adjusted for our 10-point scale. The higher the score, the more you can expect to have the opportunity to live alongside, work with and learn from people from different cultural backgrounds and races.

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150 Charles
A remarkable site overlooking the expanse of the waterfront, 150 Charles Street is sited between the activity on the Hudson River and the history of the West Village

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