Ann Arbor named second best place to live in United States

Livability ranks top 100 small, mid-sized cities as best places to live

Credit: Main Street Area Association

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Ann Arbor is the second-best place to live in the United States according to a new list by

The website looked at over 1,000 small and mid-sized cities across the country with populations ranging from 20,000 to one million people for its 2020 Top 100 Best Places to Live list.

Cities were ranked on a set of criteria including amenities, education, demographics, economy, health care, housing, social and civic capital, as well as transportation and infrastructure.

Livability gathered data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs and other public-sector, private-sector and nonprofit sources.

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Over 1,000 individuals between the ages of 20 and 35 were surveyed about what they value in their current and future communities.

Each city was giving a LivScore based on 40 data points. Ann Arbor’s score was 759 and it received high marks in the civic and education categories. The city got middling marks in health, housing and demographics and a low score in the economy category.

Zingerman’s Coffee Company, HOMES Brewery, Cahoots and Isalita all received mentions as “best” spots within Tree Town, while Ann Arbor’s fairy doors were named as a fun way to have an adventure.

Fort Collins, Colorado may have the top spot on the list but Ann Arbor beat cities like Madison, Wisconsin; Colombus, Ohio; and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Here are the top 10 best places to live according to Livability:

  1. Fort Collins, CO
  2. Ann Arbor, MI
  3. Madison, WI
  4. Portland, ME
  5. Rochester, MN
  6. Asheville, NC
  7. Overland Park, KS
  8. Fargo, ND
  9. Durham, NC
  10. Sioux Falls, SD

Find the full methodology and survey results here.

Related: AmazonSmile names Ann Arbor one of the most charitable US cities

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.