What makes a location the best place to live, work or retire? These lists will help you determine just that. Among other criteria, they cover which cities are ranked as the safest to live in, which cities have the best job opportunities, and which cities are most family-friendly.


We've already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.

The Best Places to Live

The 25 Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2019 (U.S. News, Apr. 9, 2019)

These are America’s 20 Best Places to Live in 2019 (Mental Floss, Mar. 13, 2019)

This is the Best Place to Live in Every State (Time/Money, Jan. 26, 2018)

The Best Affordable Places to Live

The 25 Best Affordable Places to Live in the U.S. in 2019 (U.S. News, Apr. 9, 2019)

The Best, Affordable Places to Live In the U.S. In 2019 (MarketWatch, Mar. 11, 2019)

2018 Best Affordable Places to Live (Livability, Feb. 19, 2018)

Safest Places to Live

America's Safest Places to Live ... Where You Can Actually Afford to Buy a Home (realtor.com, Jan. 14, 2019)

2018 Safest Cities (Niche, 2018)

The 33 Safest American Cities to Live In (Business Insider, Mar. 7, 2018)

Best Places to Live for Your Health

The 25 Healthiest Communities in America (U.S. News, Mar. 26, 2019)

2018 Healthiest Places to Live in America (Niche, 2018)

2018's Healthiest & Unhealthiest Cities in America (WalletHub, Feb. 12, 2018)

The Best Places to Live for Millennials

The Best Places to Live in the U.S. for Young Professionals (U.S. News, Jan. 25, 2019)

2018 Best Cities for Millennials in America (Niche, 2018)

Millennial Migration: 5 Small Cities Attracting Big Waves of Young People (Livability, Jan. 18, 2018)

Best Places for Business and Careers

Best Cities for Jobs (WalletHub, Jan. 3, 2019)

The 25 Best Places to Find a Job in the U.S. in 2018 (U.S. News, Jul. 26, 2018)

These Are the 5 Best Cities to Start Your Career (Business Insider, Nov. 18, 2017)

Best Family-Oriented Places to Live

The Best U.S. Cities to Raise a Family (MarketWatch, Apr. 15, 2019)

2018 Best Places to Raise a Family in America (Niche, 2018)

Best Places to Live Worldwide

Ranked: The World's Best Cities to Live In (Newsweek, Mar. 14, 2019)

No U.S. City Cracks the Top 30 on This Well-Regarded List of the World’s Best Places to Live (MarketWatch, Mar. 13, 2019)

Best Places for Retirement

The Best of the Best Places to Retire in the U.S. (TheStreet, Feb. 11, 2019)

These Are the 8 Best Places to Retire in the U.S. Right Now (Money, Oct. 15, 2018)

Best Places for a Second Home

The Best Places to Invest In a Second Home for 2019 (Forbes, Dec. 12, 2018)

Top Places to Purchase a Winter Home (RIS Media Blog, Dec. 7, 2017) — Looking for a second home is no easy undertaking and shouldn't be taken lightly. Chances are you want to find a place that isn't close to where you currently live, which translates to even more research than you likely did when you bought that house in your hometown or your college town.

What to Know Before Buying a Home at Your Favorite Vacation Spot (Money, Sept. 17, 2015) — You need to visit your vacation home often to make the purchase worth it, so ensure you truly love the location and won't grow tired of it.

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Making Home (Kindle, eBook)

Where to Retire (Kindle, eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

This Is Where You Belong, the Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live (New York, NY: Viking, 2016)

The End of the Suburbs (New York, NY: Portolio/Penguin, 2013)

Places Rated Almanac: Your Guide To Finding The Best Places To Live In North America (New York, NY: Time, Inc., 1999)

The Best Places to Live Today (New York, NY: Time, Inc., 1998)

Small Town Bound (Franklin Lakes, NJ: Career Press, 1996)

A Place to Live is the Place to Start: A Statement of Principles for Changing HUD to Meet America's Housing and Community Development Priorities (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 1995)

A Better Place to Live: Reshaping the American Suburb (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts, 1994)

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The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.


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