The Four Questions to Ask When Choosing a Best Place to Live

March 6, 2014 at 5:55 am CST

What do you really need to know to figure out where you should want to live? Turns out, you need only ask yourself (and the best places to live data ) four questions if you’re considering relocating.  This list is based on research partner from our academic partner, Kevin Stolarick at the Martin Prosperity Institute . Dr. Stolarick ran a series of correlations on the data collected by leading global market research firm Ipsos Public Affairs as part of our exclusive livability study. Part of that research can be found in our first two posts about how to create a best place to live for the residents of your city.

But this final installment of analysis is most interesting. In the survey, we were able to look at how preferences correlate. In other words, people who highly valued one aspect of livability – cost of living, for example – were also likely to value safety, a moderate climate, affordable housing and access to health care. Those who wanted their home town to have great cultural attractions likely also wanted diversity, public transportation and walkability. So what are the four questions that can help you choose your best place to live? They’re simple. And you already know the answers:

How much to do you care about overall quality of life?

To what degree would you like to live in a city or suburb?

How old are you and what is your family status?

Are you a stay at home parent?

Using our Top 100 Best Places to Live as a starting point, we can put our fingers on the scales for your answers to those questions. For instance, if you find overall quality of life important, you would see Bellevue, Wash.; Pasadena, Calif.; Stamford, Conn.; and Newton Mass. join our overall top cities like Palo Alto and Miami Beach as great places to live. If you’re looking for a great suburb, we’d recommend Rockville, Md., and White Plains, N.Y. Empty nesters should certainly consider Miami Beach, but also give South San Francisco a look. Stay-at-home parents might want to look at Irvine, Calif., and Ann Arbor, Mich. Regardless of your answers, our overall list still looks pretty good. Those are great places to live no matter what you’re looking for and will likely float to the top of most lists. But the difference is – the cities that make these individual top 10s are worth paying special attention to if you’re considering a move.

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