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Huntsville tops “best place to live” list

By MOLLEE BRELAND, Alabama Daily News

Huntsville’s housing affordability and high quality of life make it the No. 1 best place to live, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Huntsville bumped Boulder, Colorado from the top spot. The Rocket City was No. 3 on the annual list in 2021.

“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 Thornsby, real estate editor at U.S. News said in a written statement.

While the Birmingham area remains by far the state’s largest metropolitan area, Huntsville is now Alabama’s largest individual city, per the 2020 census. Federal, tech and manufacturing jobs have spurred its growth.

As if on cue, the city this week celebrated the opening of the impressive Orion Amphitheater with several Alabama native performers, including Jason Isbell, Mavis Staples, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, John Paul White and Britney Howard.

In making the list, the publication weighs cities’  job market, value, quality of life, desirability and net migration ratings. It also uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. News rankings of the best high schools and hospitals.

Colorado Springs, Colorado, Green Bay Wisconsin, Boulder, Colorado and San Jose California were also in the top five ranking.

Air quality was an added factor in this year’s U.S. News Quality of Life Index. Three Colorado metro areas have dealt with disastrous wildfire seasons. Because of this, all three cities dropped from their previous rankings.

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