DENVER (KDVR) — Four Colorado cities rank among the top five “Best Places to Live,” according to the latest list from US News and World Report.
US News said it analyzed the United States’ 150 largest metro areas on affordability, desirability and job prospects.
Boulder ranked No. 1, followed by Denver; Austin, Texas; Colorado Springs and Fort Collins. Rounding out the top 10 were Charlotte, North Carolina; Des Moines, Iowa; Fayetteville, Arkansas; Portland, Oregon and San Francisco.
“Boulder has a positive reputation among U.S. residents, based on the desirability survey, and excellent education for high schoolers, tying for the top spot with San Jose,” US News said of the city. “Boulder residents enjoy a high quality of life with the mountains at their doorstep and an average annual salary of more than $64,000.
Boulder had not been ranked on the list before, but US News said it “catapulted to No. 1 due to its strong Desirability, Quality of Life and Job Market scores.”
Meanwhile, nearby Denver was also ranked the second-best place to live last year. US News said residents’ annual salaries averaged $59,440.
“Denver remains a desirable destination for U.S. residents, and its pre-pandemic job market has been reliably strong from year to year,” US News said.
Greater Denver is one of the fastest-growing regions in the country. As of 2019, metro Denver was home to more than 2.9 million people.
US News said the pandemic and civil unrest may have impacted this year’s rankings.
“Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN dropped from No. 6 in 2019 to No. 22, and New York City fell 31 spots to No. 121 – primarily due to significant drops in Desirability scores for both metro areas,” US News said.