About one in every five American workers whose job could be performed remotely worked from home before the COVID-19 pandemic. That share jumped to nearly three in four following the abrupt closure of offices nationwide, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in October 2020. For millions of Americans, the shift to remote work is now permanent, and the new dynamic means they are no longer tied to a specific city for their job and can choose a place to live based on other factors, including quality of life – which varies considerably in the United States.
Affordability, access to public spaces and services, the presence of entertainment and cultural amenities, crime rates, and socioeconomic conditions are just a few of the factors that can influence quality of life in a given city or town.
24/7 Wall St. created a weighted index of 25 measures in four main categories – economy, affordability, quality of life, and community – using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, and other sources to identify the best city to live in each state. We considered all boroughs, census designated places, cities, towns, and villages with at least 8,000 residents.
The St. Louis suburb of Ladue ranks as the best place to live in Missouri. The city’s top ranking is due in part to its strong job market. An average of just 1.3% of the local labor force have been unemployed in the last five years, compared to the statewide five-year average jobless rate of 4.6%. Incomes are also high in the area. The typical Ladue household earns $214,875 a year, nearly four times more than the median of $55,461 statewide .
Ladue is also a relatively safe community, with an annual violent crime rate of 93 incidents per 100,000 people, a fraction of the state and national rates of 495 per 100,000 and 367 per 100,000, respectively.
Our index is composed of data across four categories: affordability, economy, quality of life, and community. Data is all for the most recent year available and came from the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, The Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other sources. This is the best city to live in every state.
|Place||Population||Median home value ($)||Median household income ($)||5-yr. avg. unemployment (%)|
|Arizona: Paradise Valley||14,362||1,516,200||211,393||2.1|
|Florida: Key Biscayne||12,915||1,211,000||151,310||5.3|
|Georgia: Sandy Springs||107,072||471,800||78,613||3.0|
|Hawaii: Urban Honolulu||348,985||683,000||71,465||3.7|
|Iowa: North Liberty||18,829||220,800||83,949||1.1|
|Kentucky: Fort Mitchell||8,257||272,200||67,745||0.5|
|Maryland: Takoma Park||17,672||583,800||84,591||5.6|
|Michigan: Royal Oak||59,195||224,600||81,665||3.2|
|New Hampshire: Portsmouth||21,775||425,600||83,923||2.1|
|New Jersey: Hoboken||53,193||720,700||147,620||3.0|
|New Mexico: Corrales||8,588||447,600||85,580||2.8|
|New York: Rye||15,820||1,392,100||192,688||4.1|
|North Carolina: Davidson||12,735||448,300||124,853||2.8|
|North Dakota: West Fargo||35,397||241,000||85,120||1.5|
|Ohio: Bay Village||15,325||247,900||103,582||1.3|
|Rhode Island: Newport||24,663||448,800||67,102||5.2|
|South Carolina: Mount Pleasant||86,982||461,000||103,232||2.1|
|South Dakota: Brandon||9,934||225,200||87,250||1.6|
|Texas: Highland Park||9,168||1,508,900||211,136||1.4|
|Utah: South Jordan||71,198||405,400||104,597||1.6|
|Vermont: South Burlington||19,162||307,500||73,065||3.7|
|Washington: Mercer Island||25,675||1,218,200||147,566||4.0|
|West Virginia: Weirton||18,670||94,800||49,496||6.6|