Top 11 Places to Live in the West
MONEY’s annual list of the best places to live in America was released yesterday and—can’t say we’re one bit surprised—the West showed particularly well, accounting for 11 of the top 50 cities and towns.
About 60 criteria, from median high temperatures and cultural offerings to school rankings and proximity to top hospitals, were carefully analyzed and ranked to come up with the winners. This year, MONEY also put extra weight on financial factors that are so important in our current economic climate, like reasonably priced housing and the job market. So, yes, some of our favorite most affordable towns made the list, but so did a few pricey places in California.
Did your hometown make the cut? Check out the full list on Money.com, and the Western spots below.
If high-paying jobs and easy beach access weren’t enough, this Southern California city also boasts one of the highest safety ratings in the country.Population: 250,308 Median Home Price: $725,000 Unemployment Rate: 4.4% Median Household Income: $111,809 Average Commute Time: 22 minutes 5. Eastvale, California Incorporated just six years ago, this new community located east of Los Angeles, will speak to families looking for lots of square footage in their brand-new homes, recently paved streets, and high-ranking public schools.
Population: 63,992 Median Home Price: $497,500 Unemployment Rate: 6.7% Median Household Income: $107,534 Average Commute Time: 32 minutes4. Sammamish, Washington
Lots of community activities and green space are significant draws to this lakeside suburb of Seattle, but access to two great school districts doesn’t hurt either.Population: 50,248 Median Home Price: $802,275 Unemployment Rate: 4.3% Median Household Income: $150,717 Average Commute Time: 28 minutes 3. Centennial, Colorado A magnet for Denver’s emerging techie set, Centennial is home to start-up incubator and coworking space, Innovation Pavilion, and is just 10 minutes from Oracle and Microsoft offices. An award-winning park and 300 days of sunshine help this small city climb toward the top of the list. Population: 107,569 Median Home Price: $374,500 Unemployment Rate: 3.8% Median Household Income: $102,174 Average Commute Time: 24 minutes 2. Beaverton, Oregon Nike’s hometown makes a pretty nice hometown for its residents, as well, who enjoy low property taxes, affordable real estate and Oregon’s lack of sales tax too. Top-ranking schools and access to great ethnic cuisine make it an appealing alternative to Portland, which is just 8 miles away. Population: 96,500 Median Home Price: $319,950 Unemployment Rate: 4.7% Median Household Income: $70,168 Average Commute Time: 22 minutes 1. Highlands Ranch, Colorado A booming job market (no other place on the list was expected to have more growth in the next five years) and low crime make this fast-growing Denver suburb one of the area’s most desirable. Population: 105,132 Median Home Price: $410,000 Unemployment Rate: 3.4% Median Household Income: $119,173 Average Commute Time: 26 minutes Want to see how your own town stacked up against these? Check out MONEY’s comparison tool, or rank the top 50 using the criteria that’s most important to you. And stay tuned for our February 2017 issue, where we’ll be sharing our own picks for the West’s best places to live!