Denver named No. 1 place to live in U.S.

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DENVER -- The Mile High City is the best place to live in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report's 2016 Best Places to Live in the USA that was released Wednesday.

The list ranks the 100 largest metro areas based on affordability, desirability, value, job market and quality of life.

Denver scored 7.8 out of 10 points. Colorado Springs ranked fifth with a ranking of 7.6. Austin, Texas, Fayetteville, Ark., and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. ranked between Denver and Colorado Springs.

The ranking said Denver residents are "an easygoing crowd of ambitious, progressive-minded fitness fanatics and nature lovers who are eager to push the envelope on everything from civil rights to drug laws."

The legalization of recreational marijuana in 2014 has also given the economy a lift.

"Denver has seen a surge in cannabis-related commerce, from dispensaries to magazines to high-tech paraphernalia like vaporizers, rolling papers, lotions and storage containers -- and the industry is just gaining speed," the report says.

It also says Denver has some of the best winter weather in the country, a popular misconception.

"Those unfamiliar with the Mile High City may think that winters are bad, but Denver usually experiences bright blue skies and powdery snow that melts by noon."

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