Asheville Ranked 19th on Livability.com’s List of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in America

Downtown Asheville lit up at dusk.
Michael Tracey/Flickr Public Domain

Asheville, NC, has been named a Top 100 Best Place to Live in America by Livability.com, outpacing more than 2,000 cities with populations between 20,000 and 500,000 in this data-driven ranking.

The new rankings, sponsored by eXp Realty, are the culmination of months of extensive research into relocation trends, economic variables and factors that influence the quality of life. Thirty-six states are represented from coast to coast.

The 2022 ranking categories were influenced by an exclusive study conducted by Livability.com in partnership with Ipsos. More than 1,000 adults, aged 18 and up from across the country, were surveyed to determine the characteristics of livability they would value in a prospective home community with an emphasis on how rising costs are affecting their relocation decisions. Respondents were asked which factors would be most heavily considered when choosing to relocate and how their housing needs and priorities have changed due to record-breaking inflation. The research shows that 7 in 10 adults consider affordability to be a top three factor influencing a decision to relocate.

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The 2022 Top 100 Best Places to Live list broadly reflects the findings that affordability and local amenities are top priorities for people looking to relocate.

“As remote work trends continue and affordability becomes more elusive amidst high inflation, people are thinking about where their money goes the farthest,” says Amanda Ellis, Livability.com Editor in Chief. “Our Top 100 Best Places to Live list celebrates the amazing small and mid-sized communities across the U.S. – the ones who really  shine when it comes to offering affordability alongside amenities and opportunity.”

This year, Livability partnered with eXp Realty, the fastest-growing real estate brokerage in the world, on the annual community ranking. The company, which has been fully remote since its founding in 2009 and operates in a cloud-based virtual platform, understands that today many people are choosing lifestyle over their work location when deciding where to live.

“The popularity and flexibility that remote work offers has changed the dynamics of how people decide where to live,” said Dawn Conciatori, VP, Referral Generation, eXp Realty. “A recent study by Upwork shows over 19 million Americans plan to relocate due to remote work and flexible work options. Relocating to a new city is an exciting time, but also a big decision. Our partnership with Livability can help people find the kind of livable community they’re looking for, whether they’re looking to make a move now or in the near future.”

This year, the list was centered around mid-sized cities (generally defined as a population of 500,000 people or smaller) that are attracting big waves of young people. More than 2,000 cities were ranked on 50 data points measuring economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and health care. Sources included the best public and private data available from organizations like the U.S. Census Bureau, Lightcast and Esri.

This year’s top 10 cities 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

The complete list of the 2022 Top 100 Best Places to Live is featured on Livability.com, along with each city’s LivScore and some of the specific attractions, activities and amenities that make it a great place to live.