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Sarasota, Florida

2 Fla. Cities in Top 10 for ‘Best Places to Live’

U.S. News & World Report for 2023-2024: Sarasota ranked No. 5 and Naples No. 6. Fla. cities landed 7 of the top 50 spots and 12 of the top 100 spots.

WASHINGTON – U.S. News & World Report calls itself “the global authority in rankings and consumer advice.” That may be an overreach, but the magazine’s city rankings carry a lot of weight with consumers.

This week U.S. News & World Report unveiled its 2023-2024 Best Places to Live in the nation – a ranking of the country’s 150 most populous metropolitan areas based on value, desirability, job market and quality of life.

This year, Green Bay, Wisconsin, ascended two positions to capture to top spot as the best place to live in the U.S., knocking Huntsville, Alabama, down to No. 2 – but two Florida metros made the top 10, including Naples at No. 6, which dropped out of the top 10 altogether last year.

The top Florida city, according to the magazine, is Sarasota, which ranked No. 5.

“This year’s rankings are a reflection of the current economic, social and natural factors that impact a place’s livability for its residents,” says Devon Thorsby, real estate editor at U.S. News. “People are considering more than housing when they look at an area’s affordability – they want to know how much goods cost in that area. The ever-present risk for severe weather and a community’s ability to recover – coupled with the area’s opportunities for social activities – are also taken into account when evaluating a best place to live.”

2023-2024 U.S. News Best Places to Live – Top 10

  1. Green Bay, WI
  2. Huntsville, AL
  3. Raleigh & Durham, NC
  4. Boulder, CO
  5. Sarasota, FL
  6. Naples, FL
  7. Portland, ME
  8. Charlotte, NC
  9. Colorado Springs, CO
  10. Fayetteville, AR

2023-2024 U.S. News Best Places to Live – Florida city ranks

     5. Sarasota
     6. Naples
     15. Melbourne
     16. Jacksonville
     24. Tampa
     28. Pensacola
     49. Daytona Beach
     52. Orlando
     60. Tallahassee
     63. Port St. Lucie
     67. Ocala
     91. Fort Myers
     105. Lakeland
     138. Miami

U.S. News tinkered with the way it rates cities this year, saying it “expanded data points to better encapsulate a place’s strengths and weaknesses.”

A Desirability Index now includes weather temperateness, which evaluates the number of days annually that the temperature falls between 33 degrees and 89 degrees Fahrenheit, and establishment-to-population ratio, which assesses the number of restaurants, bars and activities per 1,000 residents. Net migration, which had its own index in previous rankings, has now been added to the Desirability Index.

The Value Index – which previously focused solely on housing affordability – now factors in price parity, a U.S. census data point on the general cost of goods within an area.

The methodology takes into account an area’s job market, value, quality of life and desirability. Once measured, U.S. News & World Report says it weights those based on Americans’ preferences, which it bases on a public survey of thousands of individuals throughout the U.S.

The rankings also consider data from the National Weather Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, Sharecare, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. News rankings of the Best High Schools and Best Hospitals.

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