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SmartAsset went hunting for the most livable mid-sized cities in America, which pretty much kept it off the coasts.

To rank the best mid-sized cities in America, we excluded the largest 100 cities in the country, and looked at data for the rest of the cities with populations above 100,000. In total, we examined data on 173 cities. We compared them across eight metrics. Specifically, we looked at the change in median home values, monthly housing costs, income inequality, poverty rate, median household income, unemployment rate, uninsured rate and average commute time. Check out our data and methodology below to see where we got our data and how we put it together to create our final rankings.

Key Findings

  • Denver metro area ranks well – In total, the Denver metro area has three cities in the top 10 most livable mid-sized cities. These cities tended to combine low unemployment with high potential earnings to create great places to live. One downside is the cost of living all over Denver is rising and thus hurting that city’s scores.
  • The most livable places come at a cost – The cities with low unemployment rates, growing home values, low commute times and low poverty rates tend to be pricey. Even accounting for the cost of living, our model ranked cities on the expensive side as more livable.
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