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To determine America’s best cities to live in, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on the 550 U.S. cities with populations of 65,000 or more as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau. Based on a range of variables, including crime rates, employment growth, access to restaurants and attractions, educational attainment, and housing affordability, 24/7 Wall St. identified America’s 50 Best Cities to Live.

 

Air quality and weather were also taken into account. Rather than penalizing cities in New England for having colder than average winters, 24/7 Wall St. compared each city’s temperature to seasonal averages within its own Census region.  Average monthly rainfall was also taken into account.

 

Access to quality hospitals may be another reason Americans live in the places they do. From the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), 24/7 Wall St. calculated 30-day risk-adjusted mortality rates of heart attacks, COPD, heart failure, pneumonia, and stroke.

 

Of the 50 best cities to live, 41 have unemployment rates below the national rate, and all but five have had faster recent job growth than the national job growth rate. Incomes in these cities, when adjusted for cost of living, exceed the national household income of $53,657 in the vast majority of cases.

 

The affordability of housing was another key measure in our assessment of U.S. cities. The median home value in all but nine of the 50 cities exceeds the value of a typical American home of $181,200.

 

The leisure category can be broken into two parts — activities that take place in the city and outside it. Within a city, residents may take advantage of restaurants and bars, libraries and archives, theater companies, fitness and recreational sports centers, museums, movie theaters, hotels, or support amateur and professional sports teams. To engage in other pastimes — skiing, for example — residents likely have to leave city limits. 24/7 Wall St. included in this index the number of zoos, nature parks, ski resorts, and golf courses in the county surrounding the city.  All data in this category were aggregated to the city level from 2013 Zip Code Business Patterns, a program maintained by the Census and adjusted for the city’s 2014 population.

 

Danbury

> Population: 83,795
> Median home value: $283,400
> Poverty rate: 11.5%
> Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 33.3%
> Amenities per 100,000 residents: 260.2

 

"The best places to live are not necessarily affordable. Danbury, the best U.S. city to live in after only Meridian Idaho, is in Fairfield County, Connecticut, one of the most expensive areas in the nation. The cost of living in the area is nearly 31% higher than the national average cost of living. Housing expenses, in particular, are very high, costing 58% more than the nationwide average cost. Households in the city, with an annual median income of $69,394, are slightly less wealthy than households across the state. A typical home in Danbury is valued at $283,400, slightly higher than Connecticut’s median home value of $267,200.

 

For many Danbury residents, however, the high standard of living may be worth the high cost. Leisure activities are easy to come by in the area. There are around 10 nature parks and 57 marinas per 100,000 area residents, each some of the highest concentrations of such amenities nationwide."

 

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