Big cities aren’t for everyone. But America’s best metropolises have become magnets for people looking to find a great job and start a new, exciting life.
In its recently released ranking of the best places to live in America, U.S. News & World Report gathered data on the 100 most populous US cities. Among the factors they considered: affordable housing, access to well-paying jobs, a low cost of living, good schools, and quality healthcare (you can read U.S. News’ full methodology here).
U.S. News separately ranked the best mega-cities on their list, defined as the major metros with populations above 2.5 million people. Business Insider has included the top-12 big cities from that list.
Scores for “value,” a blend of annual household income and cost of living, and “quality of life,” which accounts for crime, college readiness, commute, and other factors, are included below on a 10-point scale, as well as the city’s population and median annual salary.
Keep reading to discover America’s 12 best big cities to live in right now.