The 2020 list of Best Places To Live and Best Places To Retire was released this week by U.S. News & World Report. See how Washington ranks
SEATTLE — Seattle is among the best cities in the United States to live and retire in 2020, according to new rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. This year’s lists evaluate the 150 most populous metropolitan areas in the United States based on affordability, job prospects and desirability.
Seattle ranked 13 on the list of the best cities to live with an overall score of 7.2. It also ranked 50 among the best cities to retire, receiving an overall score of 6.7.
In both rankings, Seattle performed well for quality of life, but poorly in value and affordability. U.S. News also praised the surrounding environment, perfect for weekend escapes to go hiking, skiing, visit a park or just get out and enjoy nature.
To provide a more broad and accurate reflection of where Americans want to live and retire, U.S. News increased the number of metropolitan areas evaluated for both sets of rankings from 125 to 150.
To determine the best places to live, researchers took into consideration the job market, housing affordability, quality of life, desirability and net migration ratings, among other factors.
Cities on the list were also determined in part by public survey, taken five months after the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands of respondents weighed in on what qualities they consider important when choosing where they’re going to put down roots.
U.S. News also looked at data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as its own rankings of the Best High Schools and Best Hospitals.
Cities were then scored in several areas, which were used to determine the overall score.
Here’s a look at how Seattle scored in those areas:
Job market: 8.2
Quality of life: 6.4
Net migration: 7.4
Boulder, Colorado, debuted on the Best Places to Live ranking at No. 1 this year, while Denver held at No. 2, and Austin, Texas, fell from the top spot to No. 3.
The coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest may have had an impact on how people perceive some cities this year, researchers said. Desirability was the most significant factor in ranking decreases for hard-hit cities like Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York City and Washington, D.C. That said, despite recent mass protests in Seattle, the ranking remains relatively high.
See the full list of Best Places To Live.
To determine the best places in the United States to retire, U.S. News looked at measures including happiness, housing affordability, health care quality, taxes, desirability and job market ratings.
These measures were also weighted by the results of a nationwide public survey of people nearing retirement age (ages 45-59) and those who are retirement age (60 or older) to find out what matters most when deciding where to retire.
U.S. News also used data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of
Labor Statistics, as well as its Best Hospitals rankings.
The best places to retire were also scored in several areas before they were given an overall score.
This year’s list of Best Places to Retire is dominated by Florida metro areas, largely due to affordable homes, low taxes and high ratings for happiness and desirability.
Increases in desirability and job market scores lifted Sarasota to No. 1 this year, overtaking Fort Myers, which fell to No. 2. Port. St. Lucie’s housing affordability score decreased slightly, but increases in desirability, job market and health care scores helped it jump two places to No. 3.