Grand Rapids Named One of Best Places to Live in America
We already know Grand Rapids is pretty awesome, but it's nice when the city gets national recognition too.
U.S. News and World Report has just released their list of the best places to live in 2019, and Grand Rapids has made the Top 20.
To make the top of the list, U.S. News and World Report says "a place had to have good value, be a desirable place to live, have a strong job market and a high quality of life."
To determine their ranking, they compared 125 metro areas in categories like unemployment, average salary, crime rates, quality of education, and net migration.
On its "scorecard" GR ranked highest in the "Value" category, with an 8.1 out of 10. Here's what U.S. News had to say about cost of living in GR:
The cost of living in Grand Rapids is noticeably lower than in other major U.S. metro areas. While the city's average annual income falls short of the national average, you'll find you can stretch your dollar further in the region. Housing costs are below the national median, though prices are rising. And Grand Rapids residents spend less on daily necessities – such as groceries and health care – than those who live in other parts of the country."
Grand Rapids scored lowest in "Desirability" at a 5.4... which pretty much means that when U.S. News and World Report surveyed 2,500 people nationwide, they listed places other than Grand Rapids they'd like to live.
U.S. News and World Report's take on Grand Rapids:
Grand Rapids has an affinity for public art, and its craft brewery scene is one of the best in the nation. A scenic spot perched on the Grand River – Michigan's longest waterway – Grand Rapids has evolved from its 19th-century roots as a hub of furniture production to the modern-day metro area that is attracting college students and young families with its healthy job market, affordable housing and outdoor recreational activities.
From the doctors and nurses working in the region's booming health care industry, to the strong LGBT community that hosts the much-feted annual Grand Rapids Pride event, to the numerous artists and musicians, the region is home to people from all walks of life. Grand Rapids' neighborhood associations are incredibly active, bringing the metro area's population together for community events such as the Eastown Street Fair, which draws people to the artsy neighborhood for food, music and more.
Midwest friendliness is no exaggeration in Grand Rapids, which, despite being the second largest metro area in Michigan, exudes small-town warmth. Walk down almost any residential street in Grand Rapids, and you'll often be met with a wave and a "hello" from people caring for their lawns or hanging out on porches."
Aside from GR, what cities scored highly? Here are U.S. News and World Reports Best Cities to live in 2019:
1. Austin, Texas
2. Denver, Colorado
3. Colorado Springs, Colorado
4. Fayetteville, Arkansas
5. Des Moines, Iowa
6. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
7. San Francisco, California
8. Portland, Oregon
9. Seattle, Washington
10. Raleigh & Durham, North Carolina
11. Huntsville, Alabama
12. Madison, Wisconsin
13. Grand Rapids, Michigan
14. San Jose, California
15. Nashville, Tennessee
16. Asheville, North Carolina
17. Boise, Idaho
18. Sarasota, Florida
19. Washington, D.C.
20. Charlotte, North Carolina