Ann Arbor named No. 2 city to live in U.S.

Photo: Ann Arbor Summer Festival | Myra Klarman Photography.com

ANN ARBOR – Livability has named Ann Arbor the No. 2 city to live in the United States for 2022.

The website, which regularly ranks the most livable small to mid-sized cities in the country, this year considered 2,300 mid-sized cities (with populations of 500,000 or less) before it narrowed down its top 100.

Livability examined each city across more than 50 data points, which are grouped into eight categories.

According to the website, more weight is placed on measures of diversity and inclusion.

Here’s how Ann Arbor scored in each category:

  • Amenities: 71
  • Economy: 67
  • Demographics: 46
  • Housing: 57
  • Social and Civic Capital: 78
  • Education: 72
  • Health Care: 72
  • Transportation and Infrastructure: 45
University of Michigan campus aerial shot on Homecoming weekend in Oct. 2016 during the Illinois game: Burton Tower, Alumni Center, Michigan League, Chemistry Building, SNRE, Randall Lab, Hatcher Graduate Library, Kraus Natural Science. (Michigan Photography)

Read: Ann Arbor ranked most educated city in US ... again

We’re not sure how the site determined its “what locals love” section below. There are a lot of feelings when naming the “best” of anything in town, so to the locals here: Read it with a grain of salt.

Here’s what Livability had to say about Ann Arbor:

Exciting things are happening in Ann Arbor, MI. The University of Michigan provides a robust and homegrown talent pipeline for healthcare and tech sectors, and the college’s presence keeps the city young at heart.

Plus, A2 (feel free to call Ann Arbor by its nickname) is pioneering autonomous and connected vehicle technology. (Yes, that means a friendly robot can deliver your TikTok-worthy takeout order!)

Well-designed trail systems, a passion for the arts, worldly restaurants, plus friendly, smart residents who are civically engaged are also among the reasons Ann Arbor is one of the best cities to live in the U.S.

What are Ann Arbor’s major industries and employers?

Education, healthcare, automotive research and development and manufacturing are just some of the thriving industries here. The city is also home to world-renowned tech startups like Google, Nokia and Duo Security, just to name a few.

What are the major colleges and universities in Ann Arbor?

University of Michigan.

Read: Ann Arbor named No. 2 best college town in America

What is the weather like in Ann Arbor?

You’ll get all four seasons here, but there’s something especially romantic about autumn in college towns, with the leaves crunching under your boots.

What is there to do outside in Ann Arbor?

The Border-to-Border Trail is a 35-mile long, ADA-accessible paved pathway with a half dozen trail corridors connecting residents to cities and parks throughout Washtenaw County.

What makes Ann Arbor a great place for remote workers?

Working remotely can be isolating, but Ann Arbor’s residents have figured out how to combat this and create a collaborative community through Workantile, a 100% member-operated coworking community in the heart of downtown.

The space offers three tiers of membership, and members have access to more than 3,000 square feet of working space equipped with high-speed internet, conference rooms and plenty of power outlets.

Read: Ann Arbor named second-best Midwest city for remote workers who love nature

Photo: City of Ann Arbor

What Locals Love in Ann Arbor, MI

What is the best local bookstore in Ann Arbor?

Literati Bookstore has a public typewriter, where guests can leave a note.

How do you spend a weekend in Ann Arbor?

Go Blue! Cheer on the University of Michigan Wolverines in a variety of sports and definitely snag a pre-game sandwich from Zingerman’s Deli, a local institution.

What can you do for free in Ann Arbor?

University of Michigan Museum of Art is free and open to the public. With more than 20,000 objects from Western, Asian and African traditions and modern and contemporary art, you’ll want to make repeat visits to this treasure trove.

Read: Ann Arbor named one of the country’s most underrated cities

What’s the best way to spend happy hour in Ann Arbor?

Snack on plantains with cilantro-lime salsa and sip on minty mojitos at Frita Batidos, which serves good vibes and Cuban street food.

What’s something only locals know about Ann Arbor?

Keep an eye out for fairies! Several Ann Arbor businesses and homes build miniature “fairy doors” to serve as whimsical portals for their mythical residents.

Students and fans walk to Michigan Stadium for the first home football game of the season on Sept. 9, 2017. (Credit: Meredith Bruckner)

Is Ann Arbor, MI a good place to live?

The presence of the University of Michigan, a robust economy and friendly, civically engaged residents all make Ann Arbor a best place to live in Michigan.

Thinking of Moving to Ann Arbor?

What is the Ann Arbor, MI Real Estate Market Like?

One of the nation’s most famous university cities, Ann Arbor, MI real estate is also one of the most sought after markets in Michigan. Homes for sale in Ann Arbor list nearly twice as high as the state average and outperform neighboring Detroit.

Local real estate agents deal mainly with single family homes and townhomes which make up just over half of all properties. If you’re a first time home buyer, check out the Darlington neighborhood for affordable homes and access to top quality amenities.

Here are some quick facts about Ann Arbor, according to Livability:

  • Average Commute: 19.9 minutes
  • Median Home Value: $489,172
  • Med. Household Income: $69,456
  • Total Population: 121,093
  • Walk Score: 49
  • Median Property Tax: $6,219
Staff and friends of the Ann Arbor District Library march in the FestiFOOLs parade on April 7, 2019. (Meredith Bruckner)

Here are the top 10 best cities to live for 2022:

  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Rochester, Minnesota
  • Naperville, Illinois
  • Overland Park, Kansas
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Fishers, Indiana
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Carmel, Indiana

Does it come as a surprise that the majority of the top places to live in the country are in the Midwest? Absolutely not.

See the full list here.


About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.