Report ranks Denver high for best places to live in U.S.

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DENVER — There are many reasons there has been a huge influx of new residents into Colorado, and specifically the Denver metro area, the past few years — mostly that it’s a great place to live.

On Tuesday, U.S. News and World Report named Denver as the second-best city to live in the U.S. Last year, Denver ranked No. 1 but fell behind Austin, Texas, this year.

The magazine surveyed the nation’s 100 largest metro areas by population, and ranked them by desirability, value, job market, quality of life and net migration. The Mile High City scored high on desirability, job market and migration.

“Founded in the mid-1800s as a mining hub during the gold rush, Denver has come a long way since its Wild West days,” according to the report. “Over time, its citizens have evolved from gun-slinging gamblers into 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 report highlighted that the cost of living has “increased dramatically” since 2009, especially in housing. Still, people keep moving here because of the several recreational activities, a “flourishing arts scene” and numerous breweries.

Colorado Springs fell from No. 5 last year to No. 11 this year in the report.

After Austin and Denver, the best cities to live in the U.S. are San Jose, Calif.; Washington; Fayetteville, Ark.; Seattle; Raleigh/Durham, N.C.; Boston; Des Moines, Iowa; and Salt Lake City.

The bottom five were San Juan, Puerto Rico; Modesto, Calif.; Stockton, Calif.; Bakersfield, Calif.; and Fresno, Calif.