The United States is one of the most visited countries in the world, with tens of millions of people entering the country each year. The U.S. has much to offer in terms of its cultural diversity, academic opportunities, advanced economy, and quality of life. But not only is the country itself large with a population that exceeds 330 million people, but the actual physical country is enormous with a land mass of 3.8 million square miles, which is almost the same size as China and more than three times the size of India. The sheer size of the country is in large part why there are so many states and cities in the United States. If you’re planning to move to the United States and can’t decide where to live, we’ve detailed below the top 5 cities you might want to check out. We factored in several variables in comprising this list including essential characteristics such as the happiness index, employment possibilities, quality of schools and universities, and affordable housing.
Boulder is a fantastic city and continues to rank highly among the best cities in the United States. Not only does it have an exciting job market, but it also offers an excellent quality of life, especially for people that have families or plan to start a family. In addition, Boulder is a haven for nature lovers with activities for all seasons including hiking and biking the mountains during the summers and winter sports such as skiing during the colder months. Boulder is in the state of Colorado, which is a highly literate state, and has implemented laws such as the READ Act which demonstrates their prioritization of education.
New York City, New York
New York City is likely the most well-known city in the United States and is also one of the most visited cities in the world: 67 million people visited the city in 2019. New York City offers an endless number of restaurants, museums, theatres, sports facilities, shopping stores, parks, and numerous nightlife options. In addition, it is also the financial capital of the world with many of the banks in Manhattan also representing the largest banks globally. For people that are seeking a career in financial services, New York City is the place to be. In addition to the nonstop excitement and amazing job opportunities in the financial sector, New York City also has the added benefit of a great subway system which greatly reduces the length and cost of commuting for everyone that lives there.
Washington, District of Columbia
The job market in Washington is consistently ranked high, so much so that it attracts people from around the world. The predominant sector in the city is the public sector. Most of the lobbying efforts in the country take place in Washington, DC due to its proximity to the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, and of course, the White House. In addition to the career opportunities for those interested in the public sector, the education level and overall happiness index are high in Washington DC. Further, it is a diverse city and has great history and nature, with beautiful parks, well-maintained cultural sites, and exquisite restaurants and wineries.
San Francisco, California
Anyone that starts researching living in San Francisco will immediately learn two things. First, the cost of living has increased significantly over the past decade, and by all measures has gotten quite high. Second, the crime rates have also risen in certain areas. However, despite these clear negatives, San Francisco remains the epicenter in the United States for all things technology as it is home to Silicon Valley. For technologists and entrepreneurs, there simply is just no other city that compares to the vibrant start-up culture of San Francisco. The positives don’t end there – San Francisco also has great weather all year round with notably mild winters and awe-striking landmarks amid a lot of greenery and open spaces, making it a fine place to ride a bike, run and participate in many outdoor activities.
Boston is a beautiful city on the east coast of the United States that is also home to some of the best universities in the country and in the world. For people that prioritize education or are academics themselves (or interested in pursuing a career in academics), Boston is a great city to consider living in. Aside from the work-life, although Boston is a city, residents have often described it as having a “small-town” vibe. The city has a great history and is located within driving distance of several U.S. landmarks.
There are more than 19,000 cities in the United States, and so clearly narrowing the list down to just the top 5 is an almost impossible task. The cities mentioned above are excellent choices for people looking to settle down and for whom their careers and families are the priority.