Downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. (Getty Images)

U.S. News & World Report has released their new Best Places to Live rankings for 2024-2025, and the Tar Heel state got some major love! In a list of 150 major cities, two North Carolina cities were ranked among the top 10 best places to live in the US.

How Cities Were Ranked

According to U.S. News & World Report, the ranking was compiled using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, the U.S. Department of Labor, and some of the publication’s own internal resources. The data was then sorted into four different categories by which each major city would be scored.

The categories were assigned different weights depending on how strongly Americans felt each factor mattered when choosing a place to live. The four categories in order of weight are as follows:

  1. Quality of Life (crime rates, quality of education, health care availability, etc.)
  2. Value (housing affordability, price parity, etc.)
  3. Desirability (net migration, weather temperateness, establishments-to-population ratio, etc.)
  4. Job Market (unemployment rate, average salary, etc.)

Which North Carolina Cities Are The Best Places To Live?

According to the official rankings, Charlotte and Raleigh are the two best places to live in North Carolina. The two cities made it to #5 and #6 respectively.

Charlotte scored extremely well overall, with the Queen City’s quality of life and economic value placing it among the top places in the country to live. Charlotte was also commended for its sprawling metro area and bustling downtown scene, while still maintaining its southern charm.

Raleigh ranked almost neck-and-neck with Charlotte, with North Carolina’s capital scoring highly in the Quality of Life category. The publication highlights Raleigh’s bustling art and music scenes, as well as its beautiful green spaces and activity space. The city of Raleigh also received high marks for its strong sense of community among the residents.

Additional Ranking Information

The full rankings (seen here) reveals some interesting information about other major cities in the US, including other cities in North Carolina. Here are some of the key takeaways.

  • The Top 4 Best Places To Live In The US

  • 1. Naples, Florida

    Ranked #1 overall, Naples, Florida was determined to be the best city to live in the US. The city scored highly for its overall quality of life, especially among retirees who desire a pristine beachfront view in their twilight years.

  • 2. Boise, Idaho


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    It’s certainly a surprising #2, but Boise, Idaho has much to offer for outdoorsy types. Boise offers a plethora of different terrains for adventurers, including mountain ranges, canyons, deserts and lakes.

  • 3. Colorado Springs, Colorado


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    Colorado Springs, Colorado was ranked as the #3 best place to live for its blend of natural beauty and rustic modernism. Despite its endless array of events and activities, Colorado Springs maintains a small town charm that residents find intoxicating.

  • 4. Greenville, South Carolina

    North Carolina’s sister state did just a hair better in the ranking, with the South Carolina city of Greenville landing at #4 in the overall ranking. Greenville’s downtown area is a central hub for local businesses, bars, restaurants and boutiques. The city is also quite lively during the summer season.

  • 5. Charlotte, NC

  • 6. Raleigh, NC

  • Other North Carolina Cities Ranked

    – Asheville (#17)

    -Greensboro (#23) 

    -Hickory (#26)

    -Winston-Salem (#60)

    -Fayetteville (#113)

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