Where DC ranks on latest list of cities with best quality of life

A new ranking narrowed down the top 25 cities in the country based on quality of life, and D.C. nearly cracked the top 10.

U.S. News & World Report took several factors into consideration when making its annual list. This year, the District ranked 12th.

Devon Thorsby is the real estate editor behind the list. She said the report surveyed people around the country to help rank cities with the best quality of life.

The District’s hospital system and high school ratings made the city a desirable location. She said D.C. high schools ranked 15th out of 150 metro areas for college readiness.

In terms of well-being, D.C. ranked 3rd out of the 150 most populous metro areas.

“There are a couple of spots in the quality of life that Washington doesn’t score particularly well. Everyone knows traffic is notoriously bad in D.C., and the other one is air quality. It ranks in the bottom 50,” she said.

D.C. also ranked 20th for its crime rate, according to FBI data, and came in 38th out of 150 for its low risk of natural disasters.

As for the best place to live for quality of life, Ann Arbor, Michigan, took the top spot.

“When they’re considering different places, we want to make sure we’re providing as much information as possible. This allows people to look at a little bit more than the granular data,” Thorsby said.

U.S. News’ top 25 for best quality of life are:

  1. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  2. Boulder, Colorado
  3. Madison, Wisconsin
  4. San Jose, California
  5. Portland, Maine
  6. Boston
  7. Green Bay Wisconsin
  8. Hartford, Connecticut
  9. Rochester, New York
  10. Trenton, New Jersey
  11. Boise, Idaho
  12. Washington, D.C.
  13. Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina
  14. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  15. Fort Collins, Colorado
  16. Worcester, Massachusetts
  17. Albany, New York
  18. Naples, Florida
  19. Syracuse, New York
  20. Manchester, New Hampshire
  21. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  22. New Haven, Connecticut
  23. Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky
  24. Providence, Rhode Island
  25. New York City

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2023 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

Federal News Network Logo

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up