Chicago ranked 87th among the 125 biggest U.S. metro areas this year on the “Best Places to Live” list from U.S. News & World Report, down a few spots from 83rd last year.
While Chicago’s cost of living may seem low, it can’t compete with the smaller metro areas that are able to keep costs lower, Devon Thorsby, the real estate editor at U.S. News, said in an email interview. Also, more people are moving out of the area than into it: Chicago’s population decreased a little more than 2 percent from 2012 to 2016, according to Thorsby. Those factors hurt the city in the rankings.
The list ranks metro areas on affordability, job prospects and quality of life. It uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. News’ rankings of the Best High Schools and Best Hospitals, and a survey of thousands of people across the U.S.
Detroit was just above Chicago, at 86th, and New Haven, Conn., was just below, at 88th.
St. Louis ranked 89th, New York ranked 96th, Milwaukee 70th and Indianapolis 55th.
The top 10 cities on the list:
1. Austin, Texas
2. Colorado Springs, Colo.
4. Des Moines, Iowa
5. Fayetteville, Ark.
6. Portland, Ore.
7. Huntsville, Ala.
8. Washington, D.C.
See the full rankings here.
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