Even though we've had a year like no other, Grand Rapids is still ranked among the best places to live.

For the past seven years Livability.com has released a list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in America. They say each year the list changes; they do surveys and studies, add in new variables and data points, and celebrate a new #1 city...

But then 2020 happened.

As Livability points out "many of the things that used to be a given about where and how we live suddenly became open-ended questions" --

What if you could work remotely and live anywhere? 

What if paying thousands of dollars a month to live in a big, expensive city wasn’t worth it anymore? 

What if the things that have always mattered — affordability, opportunity, safety, community — mattered more than ever

Taking these things into account, Livability analyzed more than 1,000 small to mid-sized cities on factors like safety, affordability, economic stability, outdoor recreation, accessibility, community engagement, and opportunity score --  which they "used to determine each city’s landscape of opportunity, including variables like job numbers, broadband access, economic resilience and growth."

So how does GR stack up?

The city received a a total score of 677, Grand Rapids Business Journal reports.

Here's a breakdown of Grand Rapids' score in each area.

  • Civic- 27
  • Demographics- 69
  • Economy- 60
  • Education- 65
  • Health- 56
  • Housing- 52
  • Infrastructure- 58

For comparison, Ft. Collins, Colo., which came in at No. 1, got an overall score of 760 and the below scores in each area:

  • Civic- 72
  • Demographics- 42
  • Economy- 65
  • Education- 71
  • Health- 69
  • Housing- 62
  • Infrastructure -67

Livability names health and manufacturing as Grand Rapids' top industries and highlights the following spots as the top places to eat/ drink: Squib Coffee and Wine Bar, City Built Brewing Company, and Stella's Lounge.

People in Grand Rapids are always looking ahead at what’s on the horizon. That spirit of innovation is what drives this pioneering western Michigan city forward in everything from diversity and inclusion in the workplace to sustainability initiatives that are helping the environment. If you want to start a business or advance in your career, Grand Rapids is the place to be. There are tons of initiatives underway to help grow and develop employees, including an impressive number of structured leadership programs and business services.

There is one Michigan city that out-ranked Grand Rapids: Ann Arbor came in at No. 2 on Livability's Top 100 places to live in 2020.

  1. Fort Collins, Colorado
  2. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  3. Madison, Wisconsin
  4. Portland, Maine
  5. Rochester, Minnesota

Another Michigan city also made the top 100: Lansing came in at No. 97.

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