(NEXSTAR) — When it comes to the best place to live in the United States, Colorado is not backing down.
Boulder took the No. 1 spot for the second year in a row in U.S. News and World Report’s annual Best Places to Live rankings. Colorado Springs ranked sixth.
In a profile, local expert Katy Marquardt described Boulder as a “blissed-out enclave” that attracts “young professionals, families, academics, scientists, transplants from both coasts, old guards who insist it was way cooler in the 1970s and, above all, lovers of outdoor recreation.”
Colorado Springs was described as “a city that blends colorful nature with rugged history and metropolitan spoils” in a profile by local expert Seth Boster.
“Despite the sprawl, people regularly stop to say hello to someone they know at their neighborhood brewery or grocery store,” the profile said. “That’s the small-town scene the city aims to preserve.”
Though Colorado didn’t snag as many top 10 spots as it did last year — two this year compared to last year’s four — it remained in favor based on its college readiness among high school students, reported well-being among residents and stable job market.
Denver ranked #2 and Fort Collins ranked #4 last year, but both were absent from the top 10 this year. Colorado Springs fell two spots, from #4 to #6.
The Top 10:
- Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina
- Huntsville, Alabama
- Fayetteville, Arkansas
- Austin, Texas
- Colorado Springs
- Naples, Florida
- Portland, Maine
- Sarasota, Florida
- Portland, Oregon.
U.S. News said the overall rankings show how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted many U.S. metro areas, causing soaring unemployment rates and a rising cost of living in many parts of the country, a major consideration when people are considering a move to a new metro area. A changing view on ideal places to live was also a factor.
As a result, more stable metro areas rose in the rankings compared to last year.