As the land of opportunity, the United States has attracted people from around the world for centuries. Yet not all parts of the country are equally desirable, and some cities are far more liveable than others.
On an individual level, subjective measures often override other, more objective, considerations. Sometimes, we live in a place simply because it is where we grew up — it is familiar and where we feel at ease. Still, a range of factors can help compare U.S. cities objectively. Low crime, a healthy economy, and affordability are just a few examples of universally desirable attributes in any community.
24/7 Wall St. created an index of over three dozen socioeconomic measures to identify the 50 best American cities to live in. The most liveable cities span the country — from the Deep South to New England and from the Mid-Atlantic to the Pacific Northwest.
26. Charlotte, North Carolina
- Population: 842,029
- Median home value: $201,500
- Poverty rate: 13.4%
- Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 44.1% (top 25%)
Charlotte is one of two cities in North Carolina with populations expanding at a near nation-leading pace and are among the 50 best places to live. Charlotte’s population increased by 24.7% over the past 10 years, more than three times the U.S. growth rate and the most of any city in North Carolina other than Raleigh or Cary.
Charlotte’s rapid growth is largely supported by a prosperous economy. North Carolina was one of the first states to allow banks to operate multiple branches within a single state, a regulation that led to banks rapidly expanding throughout Charlotte and the surrounding region. Today, Charlotte is home to the headquarters of Bank of America and the East Coast operations of Wells Fargo. Financial services is one of many sectors leading employment growth in the city, which was more than double the U.S. employment growth rate from 2014 to 2016. Charlotte is also home to numerous entertainment amenities including an NFL team, an NBA team, and the Carowinds amusement park.