Huntsvillians already know what apparently now the rest of the country knows: Huntsville is the the best place to live in the United States. At least that is what the latest rankings from U.S. News & World Report says, and it is hard not to agree.
The publication’s rankings are widely considered the definitive list for such a poll, and for years now, the Rocket City has climbed up the rankings, listed at no. 3 last year.
What factored into the top ranking
U.S. News used a methodology that factors in job market, housing affordability, quality of life, desirability and net migration ratings. Huntsville’s high-tech workforce centered at Redstone Arsenal and Cummings Research Park and manufacturing jobs at Toyota Motor Manufacturing and Mazda Toyota Manufacturing also were factors in the city’s ranking.
“People moving across the country today are putting more emphasis on affordability and quality of life than on the job market, which in many ways takes a back seat as remote work options have become more standard.”Devon Thorsby, real estate editor, U.S. News
Huntsville indeed ranked highly in multiple cost of living and job market categories. Here is where the Rocket City ranked in some of the publication’s other categories:
- #1 Best Places to Live
- #54 Best Places to Retire
- #1 Best Places to Live in Alabama
- #3 Cheapest Places to Live
- #16 Fastest-Growing Places
Huntsville by the numbers
So much data was compiled to come up with the U.S. News rankings, and Huntsville passed the tests with flying colors, obviously. Here are a few of the figures that stand out about Huntsville in the data report:
- Metro Population: 464,607
- Median Home Price: $192,667
- Median Monthly Rent: $869
- Median Age: 38.8 years old
- Average Annual Salary: $58,730
- Unemployment Rate: 4.7%
- Average Commute: 22.8 minutes
Madison and Limestone counties, which contain the Huntsville metro area, have some of the highest median incomes in the state. Due to the large defense and technology sector, it’s a popular place for military retirees, and the higher education institutions in the area – including Alabama A&M University and the University of Alabama in Huntsville – make Rocket City home to college students as well.
The rest of the top 10
The U.S. News & World Report list has these cities as the 10 best places to live in the U.S.:
- Huntsville, Ala.
- Colorado Springs, Colo.
- Green Bay, Wisc.
- Boulder, Colo.
- San Jose, Calif.
- Raleigh/Durham, N.C.
- Fayetteville, Ark.
- Portland, Maine
- Sarasota, Fla.
- San Francisco
“It was a group effort by our city department heads, our friends here from the education field and the chamber of commerce. It’s a validation of all of these groups working together. Everybody played their role very well.”Mayor Tommy Battle
The honor may also set the foundation for future growth, according to Jeff Gronberg of the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce.
“As a Huntsville native it is tremendous to see how far we have come. We are incredibly excited about what this means for us from an economic development standpoint and a jobs standpoint.”Jeff Gronberg, Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce