U.S. News & World Report Ranks “Best Places to Live”

Nearly half of San Francisco residents are ready to leave, but you’d never know it based on this list of Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2022-2023.

San Francisco came in at No. 10 in U.S. News & World Report’s rankings. Another Northern California locale, San Jose, came in even higher at No. 5.


U.S. News & World Report limited its analysis to the 150 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. It then scored them based on the five indexes below. A number of sources were tapped for the score, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. News' own internal resources.

Index 1: Job Market Index - 20%

  • Unemployment Rate 
  • Average Salary 

Index 2: Value Index - 25%

  • Blended Median Annual Household Income
  • Blended Annual Housing Cost

Index 3: Quality of Life Index - 32.5%

  • Crime Rates
  • Quality and Availability of Health Care
  • Quality of Education
  • Well-being
  • Commuting
  • Air quality 

Index 4: Desirability Index (survey) - 17.5%

Index 5: Net Migration - 5%


Huntsville, Alabama took the top place nationally, followed by Colorado Springs, Colorado and Green Bay, Wisconsin.

These are the 10 best places to live in California, according to the report:

  1. San Jose (No. 5 nationally)
  2. San Francisco (No. 10 nationally)
  3. San Diego (No. 107 nationally)
  4. Sacramento (No. 122 nationally)
  5. Santa Barbara (No. 126 nationally)
  6. Los Angeles (No. 128 nationally)
  7. Santa Rosa (No. 132 nationally)
  8. Fresno (No. 141 nationally)
  9. Vallejo & Fairfield (No. 142 nationally)
  10. Salinas (No. 144 nationally)

Lists and data were compiled by U.S. News & World Report and do not reflext statistics on all cities.