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Old 10-07-2018, 03:30 PM
29,940 posts, read 27,375,616 times
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Originally Posted by edujop View Post
I don't know why you have to make it so difficult. Jeez. Best in what sense? Best in every sense. If there isn't a state that seems to be overall better run, better quality of life, better infrastructure, better reputation, then so be it. Please feel free not to comment if this question bugs you.
I'm not making anything difficult; I'm merely asking for some criteria. As it was stated, "best" can be subjective and there is no one state that's topping the charts in every category. Also, the criteria you just listed above should be applied locally. There can be smaller cities in some of the "best" states that have lower quality of life, not run as well, etc. as cities in some of the states that aren't topping the "best" list. One good example is Charleston, SC which is nearly universally adored and ranks very highly in these categories you mention although SC isn't thought of as the "best" state.

At the end of the day, you should simply do your research and move to a city that best suits your needs instead of basing your choice on the flavor of the day.
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Old 10-07-2018, 05:37 PM
Location: Erie, PA
2,865 posts, read 1,258,732 times
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Originally Posted by scottcolby View Post
Which cities/towns are you comparing Roanoke to when you say "Roanoke would probably be the more expensive to live in." Roanoke is a very affordable city. You mentioned Asheville and Roanoke's COL is certainly more affordable than Asheville.
I was thinking about places like Bowling Green, KY or cities in West Virginia. Roanoke is an affordable city I would think by most definitions of the word and I don't think that it would break the bank
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Old 10-07-2018, 06:56 PM
170 posts, read 158,995 times
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Originally Posted by edujop View Post

"Best" is relative. What's "best" for one person won't be "best" for another person. I think that's what's creating some issue. For instance, my very favorite state in the US is Virginia - and yet i doubt i will ever move there, I'll probably just visit, due to the very high cost of living, state income tax, and the fact that NOVA alone pushes so much of both the economy and the political vibe, when there's so much more to the state.

That's just one example. Different things are more important to different people.

Yes I know best state in the south is influenced by personal bias and skewed perceptions and various other factors, or as you state "best" is relative. I will take this into account. I was just interested if some states were considered "oh hell no" by a majority of people, and another state might have the "yep they got their **** together, and I love living here" vibe going. Not being from the South, I am just looking for overall impressions of others.

Last edited by edujop; 10-07-2018 at 07:05 PM..
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Old 10-07-2018, 06:58 PM
170 posts, read 158,995 times
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Originally Posted by SJY1980 View Post
Texas isn't "The South" so no worries....

I also don't consider Texas the south. But some might argue that if Arkansas gets to be in the South than so does Texas. IDK.
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:06 PM
170 posts, read 158,995 times
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Nice! thank you. I will enjoy scrolling through this, and thanks for your subjective answer at the bottom.

Originally Posted by EckyX View Post
How about some stats?

Violent crime (lower is better):
Virginia - #7
Kentucky - #12
North Carolina - #31
Georgia - #38
Alabama - #43
South Carolina - #44
Tennessee - #46

(#1, 2 and 3 are Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire)

Unemployment (can be indicative of other things):
Virginia - 3% (low)
South Carolina - 3.4% (low)
Tennessee - 3.6% (moderate)
Georgia - 3.8% (moderate)
North Carolina - 3.9% (moderate)
Alabama - 4.1% (high)
Kentucky - 4.4% (high)

(#1, 2 and 3 are Hawaii, Iowa and North Dakota)

Cost of living (lower is better):
Alabama - #5
Tennessee - #7
Georgia - #9
Kentucky - #14
North Carolina - #20
South Carolina - #26
Virginia - #32

(#1, 2 and 3 are Mississippi, Oklahoma and Michigan)

Tolerance (religious, ethnic, orientation):
Virginia - #11
North Carolina - #13
Georgia - #32
Tennessee - #34
South Carolina - #36
Alabama - #40
Kentucky - #41

(#1, 2 and 3 are Wisconsin, Maryland, Illinois)

Quality of healthcare:
Virginia - #29
North Carolina - #37
South Carolina - #41
Georgia - #42
Tennessee - #43
Kentucky - #45
Alabama - #46

(#1, 2 and 3 are Hawaii, Washington and Iowa)

Subjectively, from me? I find the entire Blue Ridge mountain area to be beautiful. Northern Georgia and western NC and Virginia in particular. Plus, living up in the mountains, especially at higher elevations, cuts back on humidity and makes the summers much more pleasant. I think in terms of moderate and pleasant weather year-round, you can't do much better than living pretty far south at high elevation. Asheville NC for example is known for its good weather, which it has largely because of its elevation and latitude.
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:08 PM
170 posts, read 158,995 times
Reputation: 176
Originally Posted by Reactionary View Post
OP wants a place that is "accepting of outsiders" yet calls people "hillbillies" (I know rocket scientists who make moonshine), in addition to stating that Georgia, WV, and NC are the "most desirable" Southern States. As far as I can tell, this is not based on actually having experienced any of the Southern States, but based on Internet "research" with who knows what criteria.

Your attitude will not lead to acceptance in any Southern State.

My bad, I should have said methbillies. Also, I didn't stay West Virginia, I said Virginia. I am fairly confident that West Virginia is on nobody's list of best states in the South based my Internet "research".
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:18 PM
170 posts, read 158,995 times
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Originally Posted by jjbradleynyc View Post
That's not an accurate portrayal at all. You'll find those same aspects in all southeastern states. Meth is a nationwide issue.

I live in TN now, and what you describe you are looking for, you'll find in abundance in Tennessee. What sets TN apart in my experiences, is the friendliness and small town charm of the state. Not to mention the absolute stunning geographical beauty in this state. If you want growing medium-sized cities, Knoxville and Chattanooga fit that and have universities, great dining/bars and good nightlife. Nashville is the booming capital and is growing like wildfire in a good way. Memphis is a bit more rough around the edges, but is gentrifying and offers super low cost of living and a great nightlife scene as well.

Try the Cumberland Plateau area, the Smoky Mountain foothills area or northeastern tri-cities area. I feel like the tri-cities might be a solid choice for you. Johnson City is low-cost, has great smaller city amenities (67,000 people), has a mid sized university in East Tennessee, and the downtown is growing and currently experiencing a booming beer brewing influx, as well as a number of great restaurants opening up.

As for other states in the southeast, North Carolina ranks high, as well as South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia, along with Tennessee. Can't go wrong with any of those states, really, based on what you need.

I travel often for work, and all over the southeast. With higher-populated states with 1 or 2 major cities, there are more tax dollars for community infrastructure, state infrastructure, and roadways, utilities, etc., so this allows for major investment to pour into the state in the form of residential, commercial, and industrial.
As-a-result, these states typically have more modernized small and mid-sized towns and cities, with more "latest and greatest everything"--from big chain restaurants, to better known stores, to better bars/entertainment, jobs, and an influx of different types of folks--both residents and tourists.

Based off of this, in my experience, I'd rank the states this way, from best to worst, based on above criteria:
(2017 estimated populations)
1) Georgia (population 10.4 million)
2) Florida (population 21 million--although I just don't particularly like FL to live as an option at all, myself. Too flat and muggy)
2) North Carolina (population 10.2 million)
3) Virginia (population 8.1 million)
4) Tennessee (population 6.8 million)
5) South Carolina (population 5.2 million)

6) Alabama (population 4.9 million)
7) Louisiana (population 4.6 million)
8) Kentucky (population 4.5 million)
9) Arkansas (population 3 million)
10) Mississippi (population 3 million)
11) West Virginia (population 1.8 million)

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I will be going through it again more thoroughly. i just did a quick once-through, and it has much good information. Where I got the meth idea about Tennessee, namely, Eastern TN, is something I heard or a read about venturing outside of Knoxville. It was like an NPR program or something, and apparently once you get outside of Knoxville it the people get sketchy. Now I will probably get angry replies from people who live in the Knoxville area, and no doubt "sketchy" will be put in quotation marks.
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:23 PM
170 posts, read 158,995 times
Reputation: 176
Originally Posted by NW Crow View Post
City is more defining than state. Within each state there is quite a range in city quality. If you haven't yet, look at a Money magazine or U.S. News & Report city ranking.

But at state level, many would put GA, NC and VA in top 5 in state. After that it varies more. TN and / or KY. Some like AR. Why? Jobs, growth. Colleges. Somewhat milder / more four season. Mountains. Perhaps less deep south history / legacy. Or maybe just less obvious.

US News ranked states recently and in south they had Florida "best" followed by VA, NC, TN, GA. A 10 category ranking. On "quality of life", none of these southern states ranked above average. Tended to do better on "opportunity", infrastructure and "fiscal stability".

Roanoke is a good choice. Boone NC. Cookeville TN. Bowling Green KY.

That's awesome information. The top five ranking also coincides with my preconceived notions of the top five states in the South, with AR, AL, MS, LA, and KY occupying the 2nd tier. I could never get a handle on SC and TN, though.
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:32 PM
Location: Vermont
498 posts, read 147,331 times
Reputation: 916
Having been raised in the southeast, my "oh hell naw" states are West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana (with the exception perhaps of New Orleans). Which is not to say the others don't have their rough areas. Other than cost of living, the region overall doesn't rank super highly in most metrics.
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Old 10-07-2018, 08:09 PM
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,145 posts, read 14,123,720 times
Reputation: 7075

Warm weather most of the year, and even the winters can be cold. It's a big, diverse state with great cities, big and small. I love the panhandle the most. It has beautiful hills, quiet, uncrowded coastline and numerous charming small towns like Carabelle, Apalachicola, and Port St. Joe.
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