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The Most Favorable Places To Live in Each State, According to Critics


| LAST UPDATE 04/11/2022

By Conner Goodman

A data analytics site, Niche, examined 50,000 places, studying their crime rates, public school offerings, and household expenditure. Here are the residential locations they found to be the best in each state.

Alabama: Homewood

Those who may just be starting their careers or even their families may wanna consider moving to Homewood, Alabama. Just right outside the suburb of Birmingham is a city filled with many parks and schools.

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@stacysellsbham via Instagram

According to the data analytics site Niche, their public education was rated an A+, and their crime and safety statistics earned a high B-. The location is great for those who enjoy the life of suburban living, but still enjoy a nice day out under the city lights.

Alaska: South Addition

While perhaps Alaska may not be the first place people think of when moving, there are many areas here that are highly rated by residents. Based on reports from Niche, the tiny Anchorage neighborhood near Downtown, South Addition, was given a total score of A.

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But that score wasn't so high just because of the great quality schools, but also because of the amazing trails for bikers and hikers to enjoy! From Tony Knowles Coastal Trail to the shorter Chester Creek Greenbelt Trail, there's one for every level. For those who aren't big athletes, the city has many festivals too!

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Arizona: Broadmoor-Broadway

With a median household income of $94,182 and a low population of 3,127, Niche rated Broadmoor-Broadway in Arizona a high score of A+ as a great place to live in the Great Canyon State. And based on the views in the area, we can see why they received that rating.

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It's close to the city of Tuscan, but far enough away where the loud and busy streets of the city won't be too much. It's a great place to raise a family with many kids and pets. Plus, a nice bonus is that the area is close by to the Univerity of Arizona for when said kids are older.

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Arkansas: Cave Springs

Niche found that Cave Springs, Arkansas had exceptionally good scores in all the categories they checked. From an A- in crime and safety, A+ in public schools, and a total grade of A+. This suburban area is ideal for anyone who adores spending time outdoors.

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After all, this area is located in the Ozark Mountains! Hikers and anyone who loves nature are sure to have plenty to do at the Devil's Den State Park. Fishers and hunters may also consider this place as home thanks to their access to Beaver Lake. There are things to do for people with many interests.

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California: City Center

Although Los Angles may arguably be the most well-known city in California, there is one place not so far from the city of Angels that was deemed the best place to live by Niche. In Santa Monica, there is an area known as City Center that is home to a fantastic neighborhood filled with various things.

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Not only will 20-year-olds love it for the vibrant nightlife, but so will those who are a bit older and starting a family. The schools were graded an A+, the beach is nearby, and the number of outdoor activities is endless! It sounds too good to be true... and that may be because the price of living in this town is quite hefty.

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Colorado: Holly Hills

Despite the small population of 2,835, this suburban Denver town has been explained by one of its residents, "It's like a mini city in and of itself." But even though it's full of shopping malls and other activities, it's close enough to the big city that if people wanna visit they aren't far.

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Talk about the best of both worlds! From having good schools, many transport connections, and friendly faces, Holly Hills may be where Colorado natives think of moving when they start their families. We can see how Niche ultimately gave them an A+ grade.

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Connecticut: West Hartford

Fans of Gilmore Girls may recognize this town as the affluent city in the show. But what viewers of the series may not know is that West Hartford is in fact a real place, and it's just as exciting to live there in real life as it in is the show! It's close enough to Connecticut's capital of Hartford - but not too close.

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It doesn't have the same hustle and bustle atmosphere that the city typically has. The more suburban location is quieter but is also home to numerous restaurants for foodies to enjoy, based on Niche reports. And luckily for residents, West Hartford isn't a long drive away from popular areas like Boston and New York.

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Delaware: Happy Valley

It seems like this location name is well suited because, according to reports by Niche, Happy Valley is a great place to live, and the 1,436 residents living there are probably happy! The Wilmington neighborhood was able to achieve an A+ grade due to many factors.

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Not just because many families move there to retire and enjoy their days, but also because the ranking website revealed the town scored high across various areas - including outdoor activities, commuting, health and fitness, and even nightlife. It sounds like people of any age may like to live there!

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Florida: Hyde Park — Spanishtown Creek

Those who are familiar with the city of Tampa in Florida may already know of this quaint neighborhood that is well-suited for families. Hyde Park - Spanishtown Creek was originally developed in the 1800s for Spanish immigrants who needed a community and place to live.

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Little did they know that hundreds of years later, this location would be rated one of the greatest places to settle in Florida by Niche. It's safe and has many fun places to hang out at night, so it's perfect for those youngsters in their 20s and 30s getting their foot in the door with their careers.

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Georgia: Alpharetta

It's not just the website Niche that thinks Alpharetta is a fabulous choice for anyone considering a move. While the analytic site gave the Georgia town a high A+ grade, the website of the town went above and beyond, explaining why the area "has it all."

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@amit_belkud via Instagram

Thanks to the superior public education programs, various career opportunities, and "abundant green space," we can see why there are many people eager to relocate to the vibrant Southern town! Located in northern Fulton County, it's also just a 10-minute drive from the nearest city.

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Hawaii: Maunawili

With its stunning beaches and soft sand, Hawaii is arguably one of the top destinations on people's vacation spots. But what about those looking to move to the island? Those individuals should consider living in Maunawili, a suburb town located in Honululu.

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Not only are the views jaw-dropping and filled with many hiking trails, but the area has many various restaurants, schools, and water activities. After all, it does take a lot for Niche to give a place a generous A- grade! We're gonna guess that the + was taken away because of the high median home value of $1,080,000.

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Idaho: Highlands

Residents of Highlands may not love that their amazing town is starting to get recognition from the rest of the state. Because, after all, with a population of 5,061, they probably hope to keep the arguably impressive town their best-kept secret. Unfortunately, Niche's A+ score won't help their case...

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But what exactly helped this location receive a great grade? Not only is Highlands found under the Boise National Forest, but it's also home to many amenities. From a large golf course to exceptional schools, hiking trails, and even a ski resort! It sounds almost too good to be true...

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Illinois: Clarendon Hills

With an A+ grade for public schooling and an overall similar score from Niche, we can see that Clarendon Hills in Illinois should probably be placed high on people's list of where they should move. Especially for any new families looking for a suburban town to reside in.

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@theposhprimarycaredoc via Instagram

But if anyone needs further convincing, this Chicago village made its way up to 14th place as the best suburb to raise children, out of any others in the entire nation, as reported by the analytic data website. A large reason for this is the top-notch education systems.

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Indiana: Carmel

The Parks and Recreation sector in Carmel, Indiana, is at the top of its game because the town has an arguably amazing system set up for the play area. The playgrounds have even won a Gold Medal! So, of course, many parents enjoy having that for their kids to play in.

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But if any residents of the large 97,464 population get bored of attending the parks, there are numerous other activities to do in this A+ location, according to the analytic site, Niche. Every year, Carmel is home to more than 100 free cultural events for citizens to take part in.

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Iowa: University Heights

Yes, University Heights is found in Iowa city, but it is technically its own town thanks to its very own mayor and council. This may be why residents there have reported it to feel like the community is a tight-knit family. Or maybe that's due to the small 1,159 population, as reported by Niche.

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@cellistwhotris via Instagram

The town is also not far from the University of Iowa, which is attended by many locals and, of course, out-of-state students. But regardless, the suburban area remains a top-notch location for families to settle in. Altogether, with all the resources and activities, they received an A+.

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Kansas: Beverly Estates

While Beverly Estates may technically not be a suburb, Niche reported the neighborhood to have a “sparse suburban” atmosphere. This is probably because the community makes sure that the Kansas town has an abundance of great resources for its residents.

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@millennialcasas via Instagram

Whether that be the various health and fitness clubs, or the superior educational systems, this location is arguably a good option for anyone considering a move. But if that is not convincing enough, the housing system was deemed a good one thanks to the low median price value of $277,942!

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Kentucky: Cherokee Seneca

From big stunning mansions to an abundance of greenery, Cherokee Seneca isn't just a sight for sore eyes, it is a great place to call home. Especially for any fans of golf, because the area has two well-made golf courses for people to visit. This is great for an after-work activity or for a weekend day trip with the kids!

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But if athleisure isn't in one's blood, they may opt to go to the Cherokee Park, which in itself is filled with many fun things to do. And luckily, parents won't have to worry about sending their little ones off to play alone because, according to Niche, the crime and safety category was given a B+.

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Louisiana: Elmwood

Niche collected data from hundreds of individuals to assess which locations in America were probably the best to live in. During their examination, the analytic website found Elmwood, Louisana to be one of the top areas, with a decent grade of A, based on all the categories.

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But don't just take the site's word for it. One local of the New Orleans suburban town explained, "I absolutely love the location!" Another reviewer described it as "people are not only friendly and but [also] abundantly diverse." We can now see how they made it on the list!

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Maine: Cape Elizabeth

Suburban areas are often deemed as a great place to raise a family - but add in a nearby body of water, and the town is sure to be high on people's radar of places to live! This may be why Niche valued Cape Elizabeth in Maine at such a high mark of A+.

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But that's not the only high score the location was given. Safety and crime were deemed a decent A- while public schools were also given an A+. Clearly, not only is daily life in the town great but so are weekends. Residents can spend time by the beaches or cruising down the Atlantic to Casco Bay.

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Maryland: North Potomac

With a population of 23,914, we can see what the data analytic website, Niche, meant when they said North Potomac is often chosen as the ideal place to live by many. The suburban town, which was rated an A+, is adored by its residents, who called it "welcoming" and "friendly."

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Perhaps one of the only downsides of the Maryland town may be the high price tags on the homes. The average for the houses is roughly $672,900, which may seem like a lot unless, of course, a person has the income of an average North Potomac local of $171,066. The medium income is roughly $110,000 more than the nation's average.

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Massachusetts: Brookline

Anyone thinking of moving to Brookline, Massachusetts, should be prepared to shell out a lot of dough. According to reports made by Niche, the average home value is well over $900,000 dollars! But perhaps this price tag isn't too surprising, considering the area is filled with residents in affluent professions.

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From lawyers to politicians - including JFK, whose childhood home is pictured above - the town is known as one of the most expensive in the state. And since those with higher education typically send their young ones to great schools, we can see how the data website gave the area an A+ grade in public schooling.

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Michigan: Okemos

The capital of Michigan, Lansing, is a fine choice when it comes to one's living situation. But just a quick 10-minute drive outside of the city is the town of Okemos, which may be the best area in the state, based on Niche data. Not only is the community tight-knit, but the area itself is great.

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With its plethora of fabulous restaurant joints to its vibrant shopping malls, we doubt any resident here is ever bored. And luckily for kids raised in Okemos, Michigan State University isn't so far away. So luckily for them, they can enjoy the campus college lifestyle while visiting their homes on the weekends.

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Minnesota: Macalester-Groveland

Those who were lucky enough to attend a college with a "college campus vibe" are pretty lucky. But, anyone who didn't get so fortunate (or those who simply miss that atmosphere) may want to consider moving to Macalester-Groveland. Because based on reports from Midwest Home, this town has a similar vibe to a college town.

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But beyond that, the St. Paul neighborhood was deemed an A+ place to live on the scale of safety and crime, according to Niche. And if that's not persuasive enough as to why it's one of the best towns in the country, maybe the fact that it was called "charming" and "unpretentious" will help.

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Mississippi: Madison

Anyone looking for a home where the community is close to one another and neighbors feel like family, then they should possibly think of picking up and heading towards Madison. The suburban area was explained by their official website as a “small-town flavor nestled close to the amenities of a large metropolitan area.”

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Yet even more than a "hometown spirit" is the area's great schooling system. And while the site of the town didn't touch base on that category, the data analytic site sure did. With a grade of A+ by Niche and the same score overall, we can see why this location may be seen as a superior option to live in. 

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Missouri: Richmond Heights

Missouri is home to the big city of St. Louis. But inside the metro area, right smack in the middle, is a quaint town known as Richmond Heights. Thanks to its suburban location, it was seen as a top-notch location to reside in, according to the analytical website, Niche.

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The area is filled with amazing school systems. But even more so, anyone who wants to take a trip into the city to enjoy different activities can easily do so. It's the best of both worlds - a true mix of a quiet suburban lifestyle with a dash of city life!

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Montana: Bozeman

There are people who prefer the city lifestyle, while others would rather a quiet countryside home. Well, luckily for couples who may have differing opinions, Bozeman can meet the needs of both these kinds of individuals! Because this Montana city doesn't just have festivals and museums.

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This area is also home to many outdoor activities, including mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, skiing, and hunting. Those who live here may never need to take a vacation because it seems like they have it all! We have no doubt that Niche's report was accurate in giving this area an A grade.

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Nebraska: Omaha

Okay, so maybe the crime and safety report wasn't so great in Omaha. But while Niche gave it a C grade, the data website also overall rated this city an A. This may have to do with the superb school systems - or maybe it's due to the area's recent reconstruction.

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In recent years, Nebraska gave its largest town a whole new upgrade. The locals received new lakes, places to hike, a plethora of greenery, and more. After lots of hard work and nearly $2 billion dollars, Omaha became an even better city that welcomed more residents.

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Nevada: Green Valley Ranch

Perhaps not many may think of Nevada as a location to raise a family. Because, after all, it is known for Las Vegas, a city of gambling and partying. But, the state is quite large, and there are many towns well suited for families! Look no further than Green Valley Ranch.

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According to reports by Niche, the Henderson neighborhood was given a high rating score of A as a good place to reside in. This is because it's filled with various recreational activities suited for families - including parks, expectation public schools, and a safe community. What else could one ask for?

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New Hampshire: Hanover

One of the hardest American universities to be admitted into is located in Hanover, New Hampshire: Ivy League school Dartmouth College. So perhaps it comes as no surprise that the area is known for its superb educational system. Niche even gave the town a grade of A+ in that category.

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But that's not the only reason why thousands of families chose this city as the place to raise their kids. It may also be because of the variety of fun things to do. Parents can choose to spend a day at the river with their youngsters, or in the colder months, head up to the mountains and ski!

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New Jersey: Princeton Junction

When it comes to having the best of both worlds, Princeton Junction knows how it's done! Whether a person loves the city or suburb, this New Jersey town caters to all! It's only about a one-hour drive from major metropolitan areas like New York or Philadelphia.

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But thanks to its small population of 2,336 and its tight-knit community, it feels similar to what living in a small town is like. It also helps that the public schools in the area are at the top of their game. We can see why Niche rated it an A+ in one of the best places to live in the state.

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