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Sam L
Aug 18th, 2003, 04:35 AM
America's Best Places to Live 2003

Challenging times bring about difficult decisions and often cause us to hold on tighter to those things that are most important to us. How does where you live affect those people and activities you treasure most? As world events give our lives new perspective, it's important to live in safe, comfortable places that reward our hard work and encourage our dreams.

We rated 331 metropolitan areas in categories that are especially relevant to Americans today, including cost of living, crime rate, education, home prices and weather. After all the results were calculated, a few remarkable cities emerged as America's Best Places to Live in 2003.

1. Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC
Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill has the warmth and charm of a small southern town, while still being large enough to provide all the amenities of big-city living. Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill's scores are above average in nearly every category. The city has the second-best health score in the nation, thanks to great air quality and affordable health care. The citizens of Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill are a smart bunch—91% of its 312,000 residents have graduated from high school, and nearly 19% have a four-year college degree. A healthy economy and a low cost of living cement Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill's ranking as America's Best Place to Live.

2. Denver, CO
Denver is a great place for those concerned about the economy. The city has a low unemployment rate and affordable housing. Denver is winning the battle against the air pollution problem that threatened in the 1990s, and its 554,636 residents now breathe some of the cleanest air in the country. The ninth-safest big city in the country, Denver has a low violent crime rate. The climate is comfortable, with little rain and no noticeable humidity. There's also great recreation indoors and out, including world-class theater, opera, dance and of course, skiing.

3. San Diego, CA
If you're looking for the perfect climate, San Diego may be for you. Just 20 miles north of Mexico, San Diego gets little precipitation, very few extremely hot or cold days, and lots of sunshine. San Diego's economy is excellent, too, with a low unemployment rate and continuing job growth. It's a good place to own a home, thanks to rapid home appreciation, low property tax, and a low property crime rate. With the Pacific Ocean in their backyard, San Diegans also enjoy good air quality, lots of options for outdoor recreation, and a vibrant fine arts scene.

4. Punta Gorda, FL
Located on Florida's Gulf Coast, Punta Gorda has the best economy score in the nation. Current and future job growths are both excellent, the unemployment rate is very low, and the cost of living is affordable. Florida's tax structure can be very favorable—there's no personal income tax. House prices are low and appreciate quickly, and utilities are inexpensive. Punta Gorda's 14,000 residents also enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a very low property crime rate, an extremely low personal crime rate, and low health care costs. Punta Gorda's climate is comfortable and commute times are short. A very poor transit score and a significant lack of recreation options only partially offset the great quality of life Punta Gorda offers.

5. Tucson, AZ
The Sunbelt is the fastest growing region of the United States, and for good reason. Few places can compare to Tucson's natural beauty. Set in the Sonoran Desert, the city's air is amazingly pure, there's little snow and rain, and it rarely gets too cold. To top it off, Tucson gets 287 days of sunshine a year! It's no surprise that this warm, sunny city has many spas, resorts and golf courses. The economy is also excellent in Tucson, with very low health care costs and a low unemployment rate. For those looking to start a family, houses can be quite affordable in Tucson.

6. Nassau-Suffolk, NY
The Long Island counties of Nassau and Suffolk are perfect for young families. Just 15 minutes from New York City, the area is extremely safe, and the educational climate is one of the best in the country. Nassau-Suffolk has extremely low property and violent crime rates. The school district spends over $11,000 annually on each student, the most of any district in the nation. This commitment to schooling is reflected in the high graduation rate and the low pupil-to-teacher ratio. Nassau-Suffolk is also a good place to buy a home. Reasonably priced homes can still be found, and appreciation has lately been better than average. The economy is good in Nassau-Suffolk, though it's closely tied to that of the New York City metro area. Nassau-Suffolk's 2.78 million residents enjoy extremely clean air as well as the recreational and cultural options of the Big Apple.

7. Madison, WI
There's a lot to get excited about living in Madison. Home to the University of Wisconsin, Madison has one of the highest education scores in the country. The percentage of high school graduates is very high, and there is a very low pupil-to-teacher ratio. Madison's economy is in great shape too, with an extremely low unemployment rate and a low cost of living. If you're thinking about home ownership, houses in this city of 200,000 people are inexpensive and appreciate quickly. Madison is also an attractive choice for those who are concerned with health and safety. Health costs are low, and there are very low personal and property crime rates. The air is very clean and it never gets too hot in Madison, but you will have to endure some very cold winters.

8. Danbury, CT
Living just 70 miles north of Manhattan, Danbury's 75,000 residents enjoy one of the lowest personal crime rates in the country, as well as an extremely low rate of property crime. The economy is booming in the city, which has very good job growth and a very low unemployment rate. The cost of living is very low, and home prices are currently low and appreciating rapidly. Danburians can count on lower than average health costs and cleaner than average air. Danbury makes school spending a priority, and their schools boast a low pupil-to-teacher ratio. Finally, Danbury has a buzzing nightlife, featuring fine dining and a thriving theater and opera community.

9. Columbia, MO
The city of Columbia has an amazing economy, boasting the lowest unemployment rate in the country and an extremely low cost of living. Columbia draws much of its economic stability from the University of Missouri, which enrolls or employs nearly half of Columbia's 85,000 residents. The university's positive influence is also seen in Columbia's impressive high school graduation rate and high percentage of graduate degree holders. The city also has good news for prospective homeowners: house prices and utility costs are low. Additionally, Columbia's climate is mild and comfortable, commute times are short, and there's little crime.

10. Providence, RI
Providence wins this year's award for Most Improved City. For years, downtown Providence had fallen into disuse as more and more citizens chose to make their home in the suburbs and commute to the city for work. Recently though, the downtown waterfront area has been revitalized and Providence has become a model of urban renewal. This is reflected in the low unemployment rate and very high rate of recent job growth. Making Providence even more appealing is low housing costs, good home appreciation, and a low cost of living. The city's 174,000 residents are also safe—there is a very low rate of personal crime and a low rate of property crime. The air is nice and clean and it never gets too hot, though summertime humidity is always a consideration on the Eastern Seaboard. The fine arts scene is also notable, featuring outstanding symphony, theater, and opera events. Providence schools also have one of the lowest pupil to teacher ratios in the nation.

Source: http://houseandhome.msn.com/Move/BestPlacestoLive2003.aspx

I want to move to Florida one day. :cool:

DutchieGirl
Aug 18th, 2003, 04:44 AM
Interesting, although I'd never move to the States!

Iroda_Fan
Aug 18th, 2003, 05:16 AM
Pretty nice!!!!Yes!!! my hometown gets #3 wooooohooooo!!!!!

decemberlove
Aug 18th, 2003, 05:23 AM
the fuck would wanna live in WISCONSIN?

~ The Leopard ~
Aug 18th, 2003, 08:31 AM
Raleigh! lol

I spent a bit of time there once. Well, it was quite a livable place, I guess. All the same, it wouldn't have been an obvious pick for me.

Josh
Aug 18th, 2003, 12:34 PM
San Diego sounds like a nice city. Too bad it's so damn hot over there.

What about Boston btw?

andylover_16
Aug 18th, 2003, 02:12 PM
none of those seem that great.....why is raliegh #1........i've been their tons of times and theirs nothing special about it.....just another boring place to be!......scratch......although im saying this probably because i want to make sure i live OUTSIDE of the us......and NOT canada either!!!......although it would be nice in new york...and clevland is quite a nice city as well!!!......england or australia would be more of a place for me:clap2:!

Mase
Aug 18th, 2003, 02:26 PM
Raleigh! lol

I spent a bit of time there once. Well, it was quite a livable place, I guess. All the same, it wouldn't have been an obvious pick for me.

Really? Ive actually been down there 3 times and love visting that area, I thnk its really cute.. Andless expensive then where I live now so thats a bonus too of course, hahahaha.

andylover_16
Aug 18th, 2003, 02:37 PM
just dont understand why it would be #1.....:scratch:

Rocketta
Aug 18th, 2003, 03:10 PM
Because that is da bomb area to live that is why its number 1. :)

I mean you have two of the best public universities in the country within 30 miles of each other (UNC and NCSU) and in the middle you have one of the best private schools (Duke University). You have the Research Triangle Park which is a hot bed for new business and technology. Has anyone heard of Sass? It is always rated as one of the best places to work in the world. They provide their staff with almost every thing you can think of including all you can eat M&M's, plus a spa, a full gym, a daycare facility on site, a hair salan. A friend I know works there and its great I hear.

Then factor in the fact that if you drive 10 miles south or north of these cities you get all the comfort of small town southern living. Yeah I understand how they are the tops. The real question is why don't I still live there? :scratch:

doloresc
Aug 18th, 2003, 04:39 PM
danbury? of all the cities to choose from in western connecticut. it's nice enough but nothing to write home about. i can think of better cities that are equally prosperous in the nutmeg state.

Iroda_Fan
Aug 18th, 2003, 05:43 PM
San Diego is a trully a great place to live. Eventhough everything is very expensive here. And yeah it is hot, but that's what's cool about san diego you can chose to live in the beach cities or like me i prefer to live by the mountains with the city views. As for schools san diego has awesome school for ex. San Diego State, UCSD, University of San Diego, Cal State San Marcos. :worship: :worship: :worship:

Barrie_Dude
Aug 18th, 2003, 05:47 PM
I'd Like to add Columbia, South Carolina, Charleston, South Caroloina and Savanah Georgia to that list!

ex hopman
Aug 18th, 2003, 06:06 PM
Manhattan Beach, Cali!!!

or
Hermosa Beach, Cali.
Redondo Beach, Cali!! (Riviera Village, where I live)
Newport Beach, Cali.
Laguna Beach, Cali. (it's a bit far to everything tho)
Huntington Beach, Cali.
Belmont Shore (Napoli), Cali.
or
Savannah, GA
St. Petersburg (by the beach), FL
Kahala, HI
Those islands by Seattle sounds good in summer!

:wavey:

GBFH
Aug 18th, 2003, 06:24 PM
Surprised that the great state of Texas didn't make the cut. The Dallas/Ft.Worth area has experienced exponential population growth the past ten years...however, as I shield my eyes from the sun's glare, turn my AC up another ten degrees, and hook up my iron lung to protect me from the daily red level ozone alerts, I can slightly understand the omission ;)

Harju.
Aug 18th, 2003, 06:28 PM
:worship: Providence is inside the list :eek: hey, look at who's staying there :angel: :p

M2k
Aug 18th, 2003, 07:17 PM
San Diego is a trully a great place to live. Eventhough everything is very expensive here. And yeah it is hot, but that's what's cool about san diego you can chose to live in the beach cities or like me i prefer to live by the mountains with the city views. As for schools san diego has awesome school for ex. San Diego State, UCSD, University of San Diego, Cal State San Marcos. :worship: :worship: :worship:


...couldn't agree more Iroda_Fan :D

Chris_Martin's_woman
Aug 18th, 2003, 08:05 PM
Raleigh..........ive been there alot......well i do live in NC!! Its an ok place i guess........i dont think #1 though........I really do love Cleveland......its such a nice city!!!:worship:

Bacardi
Aug 18th, 2003, 08:32 PM
Really? Ive actually been down there 3 times and love visting that area, I thnk its really cute.. Andless expensive then where I live now so thats a bonus too of course, hahahaha.

piiiiiiffffffff Mase, don't you know EVERYWHERE is cheaper than Virginia. After all we are one of the only states that can't have dark tint, have to display a front license plate, and can't have those neat light up things on our car anywhere. State inspection stickers, car tax (which was supposed to go away that hasn't yet... it just became personal property tax). VA the most boring state in the US. :p It's why my ass is moving shortly: NYC Here I come!!!!!!!!!! :bounce:

decemberlove
Aug 18th, 2003, 09:01 PM
piiiiiiffffffff Mase, don't you know EVERYWHERE is cheaper than Virginia. After all we are one of the only states that can't have dark tint, have to display a front license plate, and can't have those neat light up things on our car anywhere. State inspection stickers, car tax (which was supposed to go away that hasn't yet... it just became personal property tax). VA the most boring state in the US. :p It's why my ass is moving shortly: NYC Here I come!!!!!!!!!! :bounce:


honey, nyc is expensive!

its worth living in the area thou.

Bacardi
Aug 18th, 2003, 09:12 PM
honey, nyc is expensive!

its worth living in the area thou.

That's true december, my friends have been warning me. However there I won't need a car, so that's less expensive for me. Also, money means nothing when love is concerned.

Besides, if you had waiting on you, what was waiting on me... You'd walk to get there if you had to! :drool: 6'0, Blonde, hazel eyes, model :drool: No I'm not spoiled yet, but I will be. :devil: Bacardi is really in love. :hearts:

Dava
Aug 18th, 2003, 09:39 PM
I have a friend who comes from Providence.

ys
Aug 18th, 2003, 10:10 PM
I'd like to live in New England.
I would not mind to live in North California or Northwest.
I might enjoy it in Colorado or Utah ( as long as I have a decent wine supply ).
Living in other area of Mountain Zone could be possible. Alyaska, well, why not.
But other than that - no, thanks..

ys
Aug 18th, 2003, 10:14 PM
piiiiiiffffffff Mase, don't you know EVERYWHERE is cheaper than Virginia. After all we are one of the only states that can't have dark tint, have to display a front license plate, and can't have those neat light up things on our car anywhere. State inspection stickers, car tax (which was supposed to go away that hasn't yet... it just became personal property tax).

If that'd be the only problems of VA, I could have lived there.

VA the most boring state in the US.

The most boring ? No. As boring as PA or my NJ? Probably, yes.

:p It's why my ass is moving shortly: NYC Here I come!!!!!!!!!! :bounce:

NYC is a nice place to be, but not a nice place to live.

ProjectMayhem
Aug 19th, 2003, 04:05 AM
Neither Pennsylvania nor New Jersey are boring to live in. If you think there is nothing to do in Jersey God forbid you move anywhere else.

Anyway, these 10 best lists are often pointless for myself, because certainly I am no country bumpkin, so the deep south and midwest are out of the picture. Denver is too isolated, anything above New York is too cold, and New York itself has the rudest people ever, anywhere, in the history of the Earth. That leaves me with the northern mid-atlantic states, Florida, and California, cutting off most options in the list.

kournikovafan13
Aug 19th, 2003, 04:11 AM
Wow my home town Tucson at #5 :D I guess for the reasons it lists, it is a great place to live, but otherwise it's not too exciting :p

Lee-Waters' Boy
Aug 19th, 2003, 04:21 AM
I'd Like to add Columbia, South Carolina, Charleston, South Caroloina and Savanah Georgia to that list!
savannah is ok, especially the island off it but south carolina? come on...you might as well list jackson miss or pierre sd

VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Aug 19th, 2003, 01:20 PM
savannah is ok, especially the island off it but south carolina? come on...you might as well list jackson miss or pierre sd
Mr. Daniel are you trying to get on my shit list ;)

Columbia is a great city as it is the only place in South Carolina where liberals outnumber conservatives.

However, once you get in the upstate of South Carolina the conservatism up here is absolutely astounding. It's like 1 democrat to every 10 republicans.

Barrie_Dude
Aug 22nd, 2003, 10:13 PM
savannah is ok, especially the island off it but south carolina? come on...you might as well list jackson miss or pierre sd :fiery: :fiery: I Grew Up There! :fiery: :fiery: :fiery:

Barrie_Dude
Aug 22nd, 2003, 10:14 PM
Mr. Daniel are you trying to get on my shit list ;)

Columbia is a great city as it is the only place in South Carolina where liberals outnumber conservatives.

However, once you get in the upstate of South Carolina the conservatism up here is absolutely astounding. It's like 1 democrat to every 10 republicans.I Lived In Camden!

Barrie_Dude
Aug 22nd, 2003, 10:22 PM
Surprised that the great state of Texas didn't make the cut. The Dallas/Ft.Worth area has experienced exponential population growth the past ten years...however, as I shield my eyes from the sun's glare, turn my AC up another ten degrees, and hook up my iron lung to protect me from the daily red level ozone alerts, I can slightly understand the omission ;)My Sister is in Keller!

VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Aug 23rd, 2003, 12:12 PM
You lived in Camden :eek: that's out in the pee-dee, though.....don't know how it was back then, but now, those are some of the most poor rural areas in the nation.

jbone_0307
Aug 23rd, 2003, 09:44 PM
MSN top 10 is basically bullshit

Barrie_Dude
Aug 23rd, 2003, 10:46 PM
You lived in Camden :eek: that's out in the pee-dee, though.....don't know how it was back then, but now, those are some of the most poor rural areas in the nation.Actually, Camden is not too bad off as most people work in Columbia or at te DuPont plant. The rural area is a bit rough though.

Ted of Teds Tennis
Aug 24th, 2003, 02:08 AM
SamL wrote:
6. Nassau-Suffolk, NY
The Long Island counties of Nassau and Suffolk are perfect for young families. Just 15 minutes from New York City,

:haha: :lol: :haha: :lol: :haha: :lol: :haha: :lol: :haha: :lol: :haha: :lol: :haha: :lol: :haha: :lol:

Ted of Teds Tennis
Aug 24th, 2003, 02:14 AM
Project Mayhem: What do you have against the Midwest? There are perfectly nice medium-sized cities out that way, like Lansing and Milwaukee.

And I don't think big cities are all they're cracked up to be. One of the advantages of living in the Catskills is that I've got several thousand acres of state forest for my backyard, complete with mountain biking trails to hike on.

And I can understand why the Research Triangle would end up #1. My aunt lives down there (she used to live in Cary but moved to a slightly more rural area a few years back because one of her sons raises horses), and when I visited several years back it was really nice.