National rankings continue to love the Lone Star State’s capital city.

For three years running, Austin, Texas, topped U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Places to Live in the USA” list, lauding the city’s vibrant music scene and booming economy.

“People are drawn to the Texas capital’s music, outdoor spaces and cultural institutions,” U.S. News wrote. “Austin is one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the country. That may be great news for the local economy, but a tough pill to swallow for people shopping for a home.”

With a fast-growing tech industry, eclectic arts culture and huge music community, many compare Austin to a less expensive San Francisco with a Texas twist. Austin’s warm climate and recreational activities are also a draw for many.

To establish its Best Places to Live list, U.S. News looked at the 125 most populous metro areas, analyzing their housing value,  desirability, job market and quality of life.

Two fast-growing Colorado cities — Denver and Colorado Springs — earned the ranking’s second and third spots, respectively. Both with many recreational opportunities in the nearby mountains, Colorado Springs and Denver both enjoy fast-growing economies and a better value when you compare housing costs to median household income in similarly sized metro areas.

Here are the top 10 Best Places to Live as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Denver, Colorado
  3. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  4. Fayetteville, Arkansas
  5. Des Moines, Iowa
  6. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
  7. San Francisco, California
  8. Portland, Oregon
  9. Seattle, Washington
  10. Raleigh & Durham, NC
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  • Bobby Burch

    Bobby Burch is the Founder of Bobby Burch Creative, a small business storytelling studio. Learn more about and contact him at

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