Best Cities for Relocation

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Best Cities for Relocation

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic opened the door to a whole new set of possibilities for people looking to relocate for work or for a better work/life balance. Employment looks different today, with more flexibility built into the traditional work environment. That can mean a hybrid remote/in-office setup, or it could mean a 100% remote working scenario.

Due in part to this, there has been a recent boom in the U.S. in the number of people who are relocating to other cities. In fact, more than 40% of the U.S. population has either moved or considered moving since the Spring of 2022. With a decision like this comes the need to consider what is most important in a location to settle in—what is a “must have” and what is a “nice to have.”

Priorities differ as much as personalities, but there are a few desirable metrics that most people look for when deciding where they would like to relocate. These include things like affordability, safety, health care access, and local educational opportunities.

When considering a move, there are many questions to consider. Why would you want to live in a particular place? Where can you spend your time? Does the city have the weather, the activities, the amenities that suit you and your family? Researching cities is a good place to start the learning process if you are trying to decide on a location.


Many organizations research and report on the best cities to live in every year. They use metrics that are intended to quantify the pros and cons of locations. While no particular list is more correct than any other, they are all useful for finding a great place to relocate to. Today we’ll take a look at a couple of the most popular organizations: and Each looks at different parameters to come up with their annual lists. While you’ll want to do your own deeper research, these lists can be a good jumping-off point.

US News & World Report

When compiling its list of Best Places to Live in the U.S., this respected publication analyzes many data points, including cities that have grown due to net migration over the past five years prior to the report. The 2022 report used data from the U.S. Census Bureau from 2016-2021. In addition to ranking their top choices, U.S. News includes details about what makes these places desirable to people who are relocating. For example, San Jose, CA, and Raleigh/Durham, NC, are great areas for people in the technology and medical corridors, while Madison, WI, and Huntsville, AL are hubs of engineering and research.

In 2022 Niche released its fifth annual report of Best Places to Live. In this yearly report, Niche ranks locations using data from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau and the FBI, resident reviews, and various educational test reports and surveys. The company also looks at criteria like affordability, neighborhood diversity, and the local housing market.

Niche’s Best Places to Live in America: Top Ten (2022)

  1. The Woodlands, Texas
  2. Cambridge, Massachusetts
  3. Naperville, Illinois
  4. Arlington, Virginia
  5. Overland Park, Kansas
  6. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  7. Columbia, Maryland
  8. Berkeley, California
  9. Plano, Texas
  10. Irvine, California

Niche also reports several other rankings of cities, because “best” isn’t always what people are prioritizing when considering relocation. They also researched and reported on the most affordable cities, the healthiest cities, the best neighborhoods, and the best spots for families.

Niche’s Most Affordable Cities: Top Ten

  1. Fort Wayne, Indiana
  2. Wichita Falls, Texas
  3. Brownsville, Texas
  4. South Bend, Indiana
  5. Dayton, Ohio
  6. Toledo, Ohio
  7. Evansville, Indiana
  8. Buffalo, New York
  9. Beaumont, Texas
  10. Akron, Ohio reports yearly after researching using more than 50 data points including economic stability, infrastructure, amenities, demographics, and health care. In 2022 they asked the question “Why would someone want to live here?” They looked at the accommodations available for remote workers in terms of quality of life and affordability. The top ten Best Places to Live in the US in 2022 according to are:

  1. Madison, Wisconsin
  2. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  3. Rochester, Minnesota
  4. Naperville, Illinois
  5. Overland Park, Kansas
  6. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  7. Fishers, Indiana
  8. Salt Lake City, Utah
  9. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  10. Carmel, Indiana

Expert Advice Tips for Job Seekers Looking to Relocate

There are important things to consider when thinking about relocating. The process can be as important as the location.

Consider moving costs

Are you able to afford to move to a new city? Once there, is that city affordable for the lifestyle you’re used to? Take into account all of the expensed that factor into “cost of living” as a whole, from mortgage rates and utilities to entertainment and health care. Weigh all the pros and cons and consider where you are looking in order to decide if relocating is the right thing for you and your family.

Plan ahead

Give yourself as much time as you can to plan the move and get to your new home in the new city ahead of starting work. A couple of weeks is ideal. This way you will have plenty of time to set things up, get children enrolled in new schools, unpack, and otherwise settle in.

Consult your company’s management

If you are relocating but staying with the same employer, be sure to find out what the particulars are for moving to a new location. What is covered? What can you expect in terms of support and advice? Many companies work with relocation companies and utilize software tools like Point C to make the transition as smooth as possible.