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Ann Arbor named sixth best city to live in within United States, according to Niche

“Canoe Fan” from Chicago sculptor Victoria Fuller in Ann Arbor's Gallup Park.
“Canoe Fan” from Chicago sculptor Victoria Fuller in Ann Arbor's Gallup Park. (Sarah M. Parlette / WDIV)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Ann Arbor has proven that it’s more than just college town charm and football weekends.

The Michigan city has claimed the No. 6 spot on Niche’s annual list of the best cities to live in America for 2021.

How did they come up with these rankings?

Each city looked at by Niche was given a ranking based on grades in several areas including public schools, housing trends, crime rates, jobs, diversity, cost of living and outdoor activities.

These grades were created through the analysis of publically available data and resident reviews. Data was pulled from surveys, maps, the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the IRS, among other sources.

In 2021, Ann Arbor received an A+ overall and in the categories of public schools, nightlife, good for families and commute. It received an A- for diversity and outdoor activities, a B+ for jobs and a B in housing. Disappointingly, the city only received a C+ for cost of living and crime and safety. It also got a C for weather.

This isn’t Tree Town’s first time on the list. In 2017 and 2018, it was the best city in America but dropped to be the second-best city in 2019.

Find Check out Ann Arbor’s profile here or view Niche’s 2021 Best Cities to Live in America list.

“In the past year, many people have become more mobile than ever before. Especially if they’re able to work remotely, people are asking themselves where they really want to live,” said Luke Skurman, CEO and founder of Niche, in a release.

“Our rankings are designed to help our users find the next place they want to call home based on their unique priorities. For families, we know schools are an important factor. In addition to the Best Places to Live rankings, our comprehensive school profiles and school rankings are very valuable for families looking to make a move.”

This year, Niche also named Ann Arbor the city with the second-best public schools in the United States and the fifth-best city in which to raise a family.

Here are the 15 best cities to live in America:

  1. The Woodlands, Texas
  2. Arlington, Virginia
  3. Naperville, Illinois
  4. Overland Park, Kansas
  5. Cambridge, Massachusetts
  6. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  7. Plano, Texas
  8. Columbia, Maryland
  9. Berkeley, California
  10. Bellevue, Washington
  11. Irvine, California
  12. Richardson, Texas
  13. Seattle, Washington
  14. Madison, Wisconsin
  15. San Francisco, California

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.