The United States is one of the most powerful countries in the world in terms of politics, economics and trade.
To determine the Best Places to Live rankings, US News looks at data on the country’s 125 largest metro areas, including the cost of living, job market, crime rates, quality of education and more.
Here are the 10 Best Places to Live in the US in 2018:
1. Austin, Texas. Named the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin has a plethora of music venues and local bands to entertain endless crowds. However, it’s difficult to make a living in music in Austin. Austin is one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the country. That may be great news for the local economy, but a tough pill to swallow for people shopping for a home. Summers in Austin take some getting used to, with temperatures often scorching. Austin is among the nation’s worst metro areas for traffic congestion. Its traffic problem can be addressed with flexible work schedules, due diligence when choosing a neighborhood. Residents like to escape the urban bustle with a hike, bicycle ride, jog, kayak or canoe ride in one of more than 250 parks.
2. Colorado Springs, Colorado. Colorado Springs has much to offer, including a low cost of living, a low unemployment rate and a variety of recreation and entertainment options. The overall cost of living in Colorado Springs is slightly more expensive compared with the national average, but residents spend slightly less than the average American for groceries, utilities and transportation. Colorado Springs’ scenic mountain landscape lends itself well to outdoor activities. Hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails criss-cross the region’s urban and open spaces, while stunning geological features like Garden of the Gods and Seven Falls are tucked between residential areas of town. Meanwhile, the views from Pikes Peak are well worth the drive up the mountain.
3. Denver, Colorado. Denver’s location at the base of the Rocky Mountains provides a gateway to a slew of outdoor pursuits, although it is probably best known for its devout ski and snowboard enthusiasts. It offers more than 5,000 acres of parks, trails, golf courses and playgrounds. The cost of living has dramatically increased, with housing costs seeing one of the biggest hikes. Although the weather in Denver is generally sunny and dry, it can be subject to quick bursts of rain, snow, hail and lightning thanks to its geographical relation to the foothills of the mountains. In fact, many of Denver’s most prominent neighborhoods are built around and named after such beloved green spaces like Washington Park, City Park, Cheesman Park and Sloan’s Lake.
4. Des Moines, Iowa. The capital of this so-called flyover state may not top your to-visit list, but Des Moines is a great place to live and raise a family. Elegant colonial and Tudor-style homes built in the early 1900s hide in quiet neighborhoods minutes from buzzy downtown, where lofts and condos draw the millennial crowd. Many families with kids flock to the suburbs where new housing developments continually pop up. The cost of living in Des Moines is lower than the national average. Housing prices in Des Moines proper are well below the national median. In the winter, expect a handful of snow days and low temps. August is often hot and humid, while fall is typically cool and pleasant. Cultural events and festivals draw all ages to the downtown area. And plenty of bike trails and parks provide opportunities for outdoor recreation.
5. Fayetteville, Arkansas. Nestled in northwest Arkansas’s Ozark Mountains, Fayetteville is a combination of thriving business community, college town, and outdoors haven. Town culture and the local economy are deeply entwined with the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville’s top employer. Other job opportunities help keep unemployment at an ultralow 2.7%. Seven months out of the year, residents can pick up fresh produce at the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market, located at the town square and open three days a week in season The city of Fayetteville has 36 parks and 16 natural areas. Altogether, these spaces cover more than 4,200 acres and feature 79 miles of trails, three lakes, a swimming pool, a skate park and much more. Although residents experience all four seasons, the overall mild climate in Fayetteville means that any snow that falls usually doesn’t last more than a few days.
6. Portland, Oregon. Portland is the largest city in Oregon. The city is well known for being green, liberal and creative, housing big business and living life in the outdoors among the parks and forests. Besides a generous supply of playgrounds, trails and skate parks, many free or inexpensive activities are available in Portland. Hiking, water sports and running events are all readily available within the region. In the winter, snow sports can be found 60 miles away at Mount Hood. Family-friendly activities abound, from animal viewing at the zoo to hiking in local parks to taking in performances by one of several children’s theater companies. Portland has four distinct seasons. Summer days are sunny and dry, and winter temperatures don’t often fall below freezing.
7. Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville residents pride themselves on being a nerdy bunch. The metro area has the most educated population in the state, and a large portion of the population works in engineering thanks to the large presence of NASA and the US Army’s Redstone Arsenal. Huntsville is hot and humid in the spring and summer, Winter brings respite from the heat and extreme weather. Living in Huntsville puts you near cultural attractions like the EarlyWorks Children’s Museum, a botanical garden, and Huntsville Museum of Art. Approximately 60 parks, which cover more than 3,000 acres, provide residents with a range of spaces for soccer games, flying kites, morning jogs and sunny strolls. The downtown area hosts outdoor concerts, movies and food truck rallies almost every weekend.
8. Mercer Island, Washington. Just over five miles long and two miles wide, the Mercer Island community is known for its affluent residential areas, preserved parks and nature, and miles of scenic shoreline. Located between Seattle and Bellevue on the southern portion of Lake Washington — and connected to the mainland on either side by floating bridges carrying Interstate 90 — the island has a commercial hub and popular gathering spot in its town center, where islanders can enjoy events like the Mercer Island Farmers Market or Summer Celebration.
9. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Minneapolis and St. Paul not only have big-city amenities like museums and sports stadiums, but also have an approachable Midwestern feel. Separated by the Mississippi River, the Twin Cities are considered one metropolitan area but actually include two unique cities, featuring downtown cosmopolitan cores surrounded by distinctive neighborhoods and suburban communities. The geographic location and climate in The Land of 10,000 Lakes play an important role in the culture of the area, with residents taking advantage of the changing seasons. Winters in the area can be brutally cold, so the cities created a series of climate-controlled skyways in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul to allow people to walk around without facing the winter chill. Spring and summer bring more comfortable conditions for outdoor activities.
10. Seattle, Washington. The natural beauty of Seattle – it’s surrounded by both mountains and water on two sides – is one of the biggest draws for residents. The scenery and proximity to nature, perhaps, contribute to Seattle’s inherent attitude: one of calm and patience. Less than an hour from downtown, residents escape for the day or weekend to wineries, ski resorts, hiking trails and sprawling parks. There are not as many families with kids in Seattle as there are in other places. Families who do live here tend to live farther from the city center, but can take advantage of the public schools, which are highly ranked at a national level.
For those who are not lucky enough to live in the USA, there’s ways to get a little of the benefits they enjoy. This program allows you to unblock the US version of Netflix from anywhere in the world. It’s worth it because they have thousand more movies than say the European version.
Also the same system can be used to watch UK Television, here’s for example a way to watch the BBC from France or the USA.