The best place to live in every US state

Pabkov / ShutterstockResidents love living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • There are tons of places to consider calling home in the US.
  • We combed through Niche, a site that researches neighbourhoods in the US, to find the city in each state that residents love the most.
  • Dublin, Ohio and Jackson, Wyoming were some beloved cities of the Midwest.
  • While residents in the Northeast favoured Kensington, New York and Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

Before moving to a new city, you may want to consider how safe you’ll feel or how far your dollar will go in that state. Official rankings can tell you about crime rates and job opportunities, but it’s hard to know if a city will live up to its promises without visiting it yourself or asking someone who actually lives there.

We combed through hundreds of reviews on Niche, a site that researches neighbourhoods in the US, to find the city in each state that residents love the most. We looked at Niche’s ranking of the best cities to live in America in 2017, as well as the site’s lists of the best cities to live in each state, and selected the city that was the most positively reviewed by their residents.

Below, check out the best places to live in each state and why residents love living there.

You can read more about Niche’s methodology for ranking cities here.


ALABAMA: Huntsville

Rob Hainer/ShutterstockA view of downtown Huntsville from Big Spring Park.

According to US News & World Report, Huntsville is currently the fastest-growing metro area in Alabama. The city is home to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, which designed the rockets used by the Apollo Program in the ’60s and ’70s, and booming defence, aerospace, and engineering industries.Niche users describe Huntsville as family-friendly and diverse, with bustling shopping and arts centres.


ALASKA: Anchorage

Rocky Grimes/ShutterstockNearly half of the state’s population lives in Anchorage.

Anchorage offers all the benefits of a big city without sacrificing a small-town feel, according to Niche users. In addition to thriving art and dining scenes, residents can also take advantage of the city’s proximity to nature through countless outdoor activities from ice fishing to skiing. Although the cost of living in Anchorage is higher than the national average, residents do not have to pay sales or income taxes.


ARIZONA: Scottsdale

Chris Curtis/ShutterstockBuildings in Scottsdale’s downtown waterfront district.

According to Niche, Scottsdale residents love the city’s culturally diverse food scene, abundance of parks and hiking trails, and proximity to big cities like Phoenix.


ARKANSAS: Little Rock

Jonathannsegal/ShutterstockAn aerial view of downtown Little Rock and the Arkansas River.

Arkansas’ capital has a little something for everyone – including historic sites, bustling nightlife, and even a symphony orchestra. Little Rock also offers many opportunities to explore the outdoors, according to Niche users. Even better, living and housing costs in this city are lower than the national average, according to US News & World Report, which lists Little Rock as the 38th best place to live in the US.


CALIFORNIA: Berkeley

Sundry Photography/ShutterstockA residential neighbourhood in Berkeley.

The fifth best city to live in America, according to Niche, Berkeley stands out thanks to its excellent public schools, family-friendliness, and diversity. It’s also one of the healthiest places to live in America, and residents love the community’s focus on green living.


COLORADO: Boulder

Jeff Zehnder/ShutterstockThe University of Colorado Boulder campus.

According to Niche, Boulder is the number one healthiest place to live in America and the ninth best city to live in overall. Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder is known for its breathtaking views, outdoor offerings, and young, laid-back residents.


CONNECTICUT: Stamford

barbsimages/ShutterstockStamford is approximately 30 miles outside Manhattan, New York.

Situated along the Long Island Sound, Stamford is a great city for families and commuters in the greater New York City area,Niche users say. Residents also like the city’s diverse population, scenic location, and bustling downtown area.


DELAWARE: Middletown

Ncpanthers24/Wikimedia CommonsMiddletown is in New Castle County.

According to Niche, Middletown has the best public schools in Delaware and is the fourth best place to raise a family in the state. Niche users love the city’s safe neighbourhoods, family-friendly offerings, and small-town feel.


FLORIDA: Gainesville

Bryan Pollard/ShutterstockThe Heavener Football Complex at the University of Florida.

Gainesville is home to both the University of Florida and Santa Fe College, which gives the city a vibrant, youthful feel. According to Niche users, Gainesville is also great for outdoor enthusiasts, thanks to its proximity to beaches, natural springs, and wildlife preserves.


GEORGIA: Sandy Springs

Maksim Sundukov/Wikimedia CommonsThe Concourse office towers in Sandy Springs.

Part of the Atlanta metro area, Sandy Springs is a safe neighbourhood with good schools and friendly residents. It’s also the 10th best city for millennials in America and the 23rd best to live in overall, according to Niche.


HAWAII: Honolulu

Izabela23/ShutterstockAn aerial view of Honolulu’s skyline.

Hawaii consistently ranks as one of the happiest states in the US, and its capital is no different. According to Niche users, Honolulu residents are incredibly warm, friendly, and laid-back. US News & World Report lists Honolulu as the 46th best place to live in America and calls the city a “cultural and culinary hub.”


IDAHO: Boise

Charles Knowles/ShutterstockIdaho’s State Capitol Building in Boise.

Boise is known for its kind residents, scenic location, sustainability, and affordability, Niche users say. In a day, you could explore the nearby Boise Mountains, frequent local bars and restaurants, enjoy a performance at the opera, and so much more.

Residents also pay less in taxes than they would in other states, according to US News & World Report, which lists Boise as the 12th best place to live in the US.


ILLINOIS: Naperville

Steve Cukrov/ShutterstockMillennium Carillon in Naperville’s Riverwalk is a 72-bell musical instrument.

According to Niche, Naperville is the number one safest city in America and the second best city to live in overall. The Chicago suburb also tops Niche’s lists of the best cities to raise a family and the cities with the best public schools in America.


INDIANA: Fort Wayne

Katherine Welles/ShutterstockThe Downtown Improvement District in Fort Wayne.

This Midwestern city has the lowest cost of living in America, ahead of cities like Topeka, Kansas, and Toledo, Ohio, according to Niche. Fort Wayne residents love the city’s easy access to both big-city amenities like a thriving nightlife and family-friendly offerings like the local children’s zoo.


IOWA: Ames

EQRoy/ShutterstockThe Main Street Cultural District in downtown Ames.

Niche lists Ames as the number one best place to live in Iowa and the city with the best public schools in the state. Residents say the city is environmentally friendly, diverse, inclusive, and family-oriented. Ames is home to Iowa State University, a bustling cultural district, and a public bus system called CyRide.


KANSAS: Overland Park

Jamie Squire/Getty ImagesNicklaus Golf Club at Lionsgate, Overland Park.

The eighth best city to live in America, according to Niche, Overland Park is known for its excellent schools, safe neighbourhoods, and affordable amenities. Residents also love Overland park’s proximity to bigger cities like Kansas City, Missouri, where they can visit museums, attend concerts, enjoy the nightlife, and more.


KENTUCKY: Lexington

Henryk Sadura/ShutterstockOld and new buildings in downtown Lexington.

Often called the “horse capital of the world,” Lexington is home to numerous horse farms, in addition to thriving local businesses, a booming job market, and the University of Kentucky. Niche users say the city is a great place to start and raise a family, especially if you love the outdoors.


LOUISIANA: Lafayette

Infrogmation of New Orleans/FlickrThe entrance to Lafayette’s trendy downtown district.

According to US News & World Report, Lafayette is known for its rich history, delicious cuisine, lively music, and frequent festivals. Residents particularly love the city’s fun atmosphere, diverse culture, and friendly people,Niche users say.


MAINE: Cape Elizabeth

Arlene Treiber Waller/ShutterstockPortland Head Light, a famous historic lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth.

This picturesque New England town is also the second best place to raise a family in Maine, according to Niche. Residents say the city has excellent public schools, safe neighbourhoods, and thriving local businesses.


MARYLAND: Columbia

Jon Bilous/ShutterstockBuildings along the shore of Lake Kittamaqundi in Columbia.

Columbia ranks in the top 10 on Niche’s lists of the best cities to raise a family and buy a house in America. The city is quiet, family-oriented, and safe, but it’s also close to major metro areas like Baltimore and Washington, DC.


MASSACHUSETTS: Cambridge

Jon Bilous/ShutterstockHarvard Yard, the oldest part of Harvard’s campus.

According to Niche, Cambridge is the second best place for millennials to live in America, and it’s easy to see why. The city, which is home to two of the world’s most prestigious universities, is known for its booming startup culture, educated and diverse community, and focus on clean, healthy living.


MICHIGAN: Ann Arbor

Ken Wolter/ShutterstockBurton Memorial Tower at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Ann Arbor currently tops Niche’s list of the best cities to live in America. Residents love the city’s friendly, diverse, and environmentally conscious community. Ann Arbor also has much to offer in terms of food, music, art, and the outdoors.


MINNESOTA: Rochester

RRuntsch/ShutterstockA view of Rochester’s skyline.

This charming Midwestern town offers city-wide bike and pedestrian trails, world-class healthcare at the Mayo Clinic, great schools, and safe neighbourhoods.


MISSISSIPPI: Madison

Phillip M. Stewart/Wikimedia CommonsStrawberry Patch Park in Madison.

Madison comes in at number one on Niche’s lists of the best places to buy a house, the best places to raise a family, and the best places to live in Mississippi.


MISSOURI: Columbia

Jasongriffin79/Wikimedia CommonsApartment complex next to a historic building in downtown Columbia.

Home to the University of Missouri, Columbia is a charming college town that has good food, great public schools, diverse residents, and an excellent public transportation system.


MONTANA: Bozeman

Leigh Anne Meeks/ShutterstockHyalite Creek runs through Hyalite Canyon, which is right outside Bozeman.

According to Niche users, Bozeman is a great city for outdoor enthusiasts – residents can go boating, fishing, hiking, camping or skiing on any given day. The city also has great nightlife, excellent food, and a friendly, laid-back community.


NEBRASKA: Lincoln

Katherine Welles/ShutterstockThe Nebraska State Capitol Building in downtown Lincoln.

Lincoln residents love the city’s small-town feel, public facilities, and growing job market, according to Niche.


NEVADA: Henderson

SarekOfVulcan/Wikimedia CommonsGreen Valley Ranch is a resort-casino in Henderson.

According to US News & World Report, Henderson is a picturesque, family-friendly city with great schools. Residents enjoy the city’s warm climate, safe neighbourhoods, and ample amenities, which include an outdoor amphitheater and expansive park system.


NEW HAMPSHIRE: Bedford

John Phelan/Wikimedia CommonsA historic Presbyterian church building in Bedford.

Bedford is a family-friendly town with a fantastic public school system, Niche users say. The city is also a short drive away from several mountains and lakes, and an hour away from downtown Boston.


NEW JERSEY: Princeton

Erin Cadigan/ShutterstockShops in downtown Princeton.

Although it’s close to both New York City and Philadelphia, Princeton has plenty to offer on its own. According to Niche users, the city has a rich arts and culture scene, world-class education opportunities, family-focused amenities, and more.


NEW MEXICO: Albuquerque

turtix/ShutterstockA residential neighbourhood in Albuquerque.

Both Niche and US News & World Report list Albuquerque as one of the top 100 cities to live in America. The city is home to numerous historic Native American sites, a rich arts scene, great food, and easy access to outdoor activities.


NEW YORK: Kensington

Roman Babakin/ShutterstockAn aerial view of Long Island (Kensington not pictured).

Kensington is a small village on the North Shore of Long Island. Part of the Great Neck peninsula, the village comes in at number one on Niche’s lists of the best places to raise a family, the best suburbs to live in, and the best places to live in New York.


NORTH CAROLINA: Raleigh

Sean Pavone/ShutterstockSkyscrapers in Raleigh’s skyline.

Raleigh offers its residents ample job opportunities, a high quality of life, and family-friendly amenities, according to US News & World Report. Niche lists Raleigh as the 19th best city to live in and the 17th best city for millennials in America.


NORTH DAKOTA: Fargo

David Harmantas/ShutterstockThe Fargo Theatre in downtown Fargo.

Fargo is North Dakota’s most populous city, but the town still has a tight-knit and friendly community, according to Niche. Residents say the city is a cultural, retail, and educational hub.


OHIO: Dublin

Kirk Irwin/Getty ImagesThe Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin.

Dublin has safe neighbourhoods and great schools, according to Niche, which lists the city as the number one best place to raise a family in Ohio. The city is also a short drive away from downtown Columbus.


OKLAHOMA: Edmond

Bill Wilson/FlickrLuxury villas in the Rose Creek gated community in Edmond.

Residents of this quiet suburb say the city is particularly safe with great public schools and a small-town feel. It’s also located right near Oklahoma City, which both Niche and US News & World Report list as one of the top 100 cities to live in America.


OREGON: Portland

Kevin Bermingham/ShutterstockA view of Portland with Mount Hood in the distance.

Portland is listed as one of the top 100 cities to live in America according to both Niche and US News & World Report. The city is known for its laid-back, friendly residents; proximity to beautiful mountains and the Pacific Ocean; and rich arts and culture scene.


PENNSYLVANIA: Philadelphia

Sean Pavone/ShutterstockThe skyline of downtown Philadelphia.

According to Niche, Philadelphia is a great place for young professionals and millennials. In addition to a great public transportation system, a booming job market, and diverse food scene, the city also has a lower cost of living than comparable metro areas on the East Coast.


RHODE ISLAND: Providence

Tupungato/ShutterstockDowntown Providence features a mix of old and new architecture.

Home to prestigious colleges like Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence is a culturally diverse city full of young, well-educated, and artistic professionals.


SOUTH CAROLINA: Charleston

f11photo/ShutterstockBuildings in the historic downtown area of Charleston.

A great city to live or retire in, Charleston has something for everyone whether you’re a history buff, outdoor enthusiast, foodie, or young professional.


SOUTH DAKOTA: Sioux Falls

Steven Frame/ShutterstockVisitors at Falls Park in Sioux Falls.

Residents love living in Sioux Falls because of the city’s low cost of living, seasonal activities, great school system, and small-town feel.


TENNESSEE: Brentwood

Concord715/Wikimedia CommonsBrentwood City Hall.

Brentwood is known for its excellent school system, safe neighbourhoods, and promixity to Nashville. Niche ranks the city as the number one best place to raise a family, the best suburb, and the best place to live in Tennessee.


TEXAS: The Woodlands

thierry dehove/ShutterstockAn aerial view of mansions in The Woodlands.

The Woodlands is an award-winning master-planned community and census-designated place near the Houston metro area. Niche lists the lush town as the sixth best city to live in America, as well as the second best city to raise a family and the fourth best city to buy a house in the country.


UTAH: Provo

Javin Weaver/Wikimedia CommonsBuildings in downtown Provo.

The third healthiest place to live in America, according to Niche, Provo is a picturesque city with lots to do and friendly, active residents.


VERMONT: Burlington

Sean Pavone/ShutterstockChurch Street Marketplace in Burlington.

Burlington is a charming New England town on the shore of Lake Champlain. Residents say the city is particularly diverse with a laid-back and inclusive environment. On any given day, you could explore the town’s public square, explore nearby beaches and mountains, enjoy locally-sourced food, and more.


VIRGINIA: Arlington

Sean Pavone/ShutterstockThe skyline of Rosslyn, a neighbourhood in Arlington County.

Located across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, Arlington is a popular choice for young professionals who prefer an easy, quick commute over a more crowded city. The county includes several diverse neighbourhoods with excellent schools, food, shopping, and more. Niche lists the area as the third best city to live in America.


Bellevue, Washington

mandritoiu/ShutterstockDowntown Bellevue with mountain peaks in the distance.

Bellevue gets its name from a French term that means “beautiful view,” and it’s easy to see why. The picturesque city is diverse, clean, and safe, Niche users say. Young families can take advantage of the great public schools and parks while millennials will enjoy the nightlife, food, and shopping centres.


WEST VIRGINIA: Bridgeport

Chris Keane/Getty ImagesPete Dye Golf Club in Bridgeport.

Residents describe Bridgeport as a safe and clean suburb with excellent public education opportunities for young families.


WISCONSIN: Madison

Suzanne Tucker/ShutterstockA view of downtown Madison.

According to Niche, Madison is the 17th best city to live in America. The city is home to thriving healthcare, information technology, and manufacturing industries, according to US News & World Report, which lists Madison as the 18th best place to live in the country. Residents say the city is full of open-minded, well-educated, and creative people, with endless opportunities to explore the outdoors, try new foods, and frequent local businesses.


WYOMING: Jackson

JMcQ/ShutterstockA view of Jackson from Jackson Hole Moutain.

Niche lists this lush city as the number one best place for millennials in Wyoming. Located near beautiful national parks and ski resorts, Jackson is also a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

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