Digital platform Money, today announced its annual ranking of the Best Places to Live spotlighting 50 cities and towns with strong labor markets, affordable homes, and racial, economic and cultural diversity. Tempe is ranked No. 2 on the Best Places to Live in the U.S. list.

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This year’s list features Atlanta as the No. 1 selection due to the number of opportunities it affords job seekers, students and families. Home to some of the best universities in the country, including Georgia Institute of Technology which ranked 6th on Money’s 2022 list of Best Colleges, the city of Atlanta also boasts a flourishing start-up ecosystem fueled by a growing number of tech incubators and venture capital firms. Despite growing inflation, Atlanta’s housing costs are still lower than more than half of the cities and towns on the list — with a current median price listing for a house at $428,000 (less expensive than the U.S. average of $435,000).

For 2022’s Best Places to Live list, Money looked at towns and cities with a population of at least 20,000, and made its selection based on cost of living, economic opportunity, and diversity, among other factors. Tempe, Arizona and Kirkland, Washington secured the second and third places, respectively. These cities landed high on the list because of access to a growing number of employment opportunities and higher paying jobs in each area. Americans are also flocking to Raleigh, North Carolina (number four on Money’s ranking) for its artsy culture and relative affordability and Rogers ParkChicago (number five on the list) because of its metropolitan feel and strong sense of community.

“This year’s Best Places to Live ranking highlights the amazing cities and towns the country has to offer — with a hard examine of what matters most,” says Executive Editor Mike Ayers. “Money hopes readers will find the places with the most opportunity for whatever’s next in their lives.”

Money’s Top 20 Best Places to Live in the U.S. include:

1. Atlanta, GA

2. Tempe, AZ

3. Kirkland, WA

4. Raleigh, NC

5. Rogers Park, IL

6. Columbia, MD

7. Somerville, MA

8. Ann Arbor, MI

9. Tampa, FL

10. Jersey City, NJ

11. Boise City, ID

12. Chapel Hill, NC

13. Irvine, CA

14. Fort Lee, NJ

15. Arlington, VA

16. Naperville, IL

17. Milton, MA

18. Fremont, CA

19. Carmel, IN

20. Rockville, MD

What Money says about Tempe

“Tempe isn’t just a delicious way to eat soybeans, it’s also one of the best spots to settle down in the Phoenix area. Home to Arizona State University, Tempe made our list for its active arts and culture scene, relative affordability and myriad employment opportunities in education, finance, health care and tech.

“While most residents of urban-suburban Tempe rent their homes and the average home sale price comes in at around $470,000, it offers affordability to those looking to leave larger metro areas like New York and San Francisco. What’s more, the city of 191,607 residents offers plenty of affordable ways to get around. Take the Valley Metro Light Rail to zoom past vehicle traffic on the way to Phoenix. Scott Bower of HBSB Holdings updates us in May 2024 to say, ‘Tempe house prices have increased over the last few years, and the average home value is $488,000.’

“Moreover, the city of 191,607 residents offers plenty of affordable ways to get around. Take the Valley Metro Light Rail to zoom past vehicle traffic to Phoenix. Or if you’re trying to get to bustling downtown Tempe, the free Orbit Bus will shuttle you to from many local destinations.”

For Money’s complete list of the Best Places to Live, click here. To learn more on the methodology of the ranking, click here.