This Is the Best (and Worst) U.S. City To Live in 2024—And It’s Not Where You’d Think

Photo: Getty Images / Luis Alvarez
On Monday, U.S. News & World Report released their 2024 list of the Best Places to Live in the U.S., which ranks 150 major U.S. cities based on four key indexes: Quality of life, value, job market, and desirability. In the past, Chicago has been considered one of the best walkable cities in the country, while San Francisco was one of the best cities to visit in the spring. When it comes to the overall best place to live in the U.S., though, the answer may surprise you. Naples, FL, is considered the best city to live in, thanks in part to its beautiful beaches, outdoor recreation activities, and an abundance of job opportunities, according to the media company.

According to this year’s list, the top places to live also include Boise, ID, Colorado Springs, CO, Greenville, SC, and Charlotte, NC. On the other hand, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Detroit, MI, Hartford, CT, New Haven, CT, and Flint, MI were considered the "worst" cities to live in, primarily due to high unemployment and economic hardships. Compared to previous years, this year’s list reflects the nation’s rising concerns about affordable housing and job opportunities.

Where does your city fall on the list? Keep reading to find out. Plus, see why Naples was selected as the best place to live in the U.S.

A photo of colorful waterfront apartments in downtown Naples, FL.
Photo: Getty Images / benedek

What U.S. city has the best quality of life?

Naples, FL, has earned the title of best place to live in the U.S. per the 2024 list released by U.S. News & World Report. But why exactly was Naples determined to be the #1 city in the country?

The oceanside city, which is nestled on the Florida coast of the Gulf of Mexico, scored highly in monetary value (as in, you get more than what you pay for in Naples). The Florida city also has a low unemployment rate of 2.9 percent (a full 1 percent below the national average of 3.9 percent) and it's teeming with job opportunities thanks to their booming tourism and healthcare industries.

A popular retirement spot, the city also has a high median income value of $98,120; because of this, high-paying jobs in health care focused on older adults are abundant. The city also ranked highly in desirability, thanks to the beachside town’s wide array of outdoor recreation opportunities, top schools and universities, and a vast assortment of restaurants and stores.

Much like Finland, which was named the happiest country to live in this year for the seventh year in a row, Naples is teeming with wellness retreats, spas, and resorts. And this isn’t the first time Naples has gotten public acclaim for being an amazing place to live. In 2019, Naples was named the number one city in the United States in terms of wellness by Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index—for the fourth (!!!) year in a row.

How do the other cities compare to Naples? Below are the best (and worst) places to live in the U.S. in 2024.

10 best places to live in the U.S., ranked:

  1. Naples, Florida
  2. Boise, Idaho
  3. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  4. Greenville, South Carolina
  5. Charlotte, North Carolina
  6. Raleigh, North Carolina
  7. Huntsville, Alabama
  8. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  9. Austin, Texas
  10. Boulder, Colorado

10 worst places to live in the U.S., ranked:

  1. San Juan, Puerto Rico
  2. Detroit, Michigan
  3. Hartford, Connecticut
  4. New Haven, Connecticut
  5. Flint, Michigan
  6. Trenton, New Jersey
  7. Stockton, California
  8. Vallejo, California
  9. Reading, Pennsylvania
  10. Cleveland, Ohio

Regardless of where your city ranks on this year's list, it's important to note that every city has its own highlights worth bragging about, whether it's San Juan's vibrant night life, Detroit's bustling arts and culture scene, or Hartford's historic district. Still, this list might help you decide the next city you should visit—or perhaps, move to—next.

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