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Where would I live in the 50 largest metro areas?

Posted 05-30-2021 at 06:55 PM by General I80
Updated 06-19-2021 at 10:34 AM by General I80 (Choosing better street view image for Walnut)

I recently did Where would I live in each state, so now, I'll do the largest metro areas. The metro area and a street view will be provided. These are ranked least favorite to favorite. I am going by this list.

#50, Memphis, TN-MS-AR MSA: East Side Memphis - Memphis has never had a good reputation, but East Central Memphis is mostly fine. Commutes aren't bad, and crime isn't as high as the rest of Memphis. However, it's still Shelby County schools, which has issues.

#49, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA MSA: Loma Linda - I don't like California, and I especially don't like the Inland Empire right now, seeing how low it ranked, despite being rather big. But credit is due to Loma Linda, a city known for having a very high life expectancy. Also worth mentioning is that this area is experiencing a surprising amount of population growth, like Fresno and other less expensive parts of California.

#48, Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN MSA: From my previous post, Where would I live in each state
Oldham County - While Kentucky has a bad reputation, Oldham County has some of the best schools and highest incomes in both Kentucky and the nation.
#47, Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA: Southern York County/Poquoson - Virginia is good, but most of it is contained in the DC area. The Hampton Roads area is rather under the radar right now, but there are some great pockets, such as York County and Poquoson. Furthermore, this are has a lot of military bases, which can grow the population and local economy.

#46, Providence-Warwick, RI-MA MSA: This isn't that big of a metro area compared to others on this list, but I have talked about Bristol County on my Where would I live in each state post. I'll quote the other post:
Bristol County - It has easy access to both Providence and Fall River, but it's not Providence or Fall River. Bristol and Barrington are considered the safest and richest places in Rhode Island.
#45, New Orleans-Metairie, LA MSA: From my previous post,
New Orleans - New Orleans is one of the fastest gentrifying cities in the United States. Of course you should get in on it, or another gentrifying area. Also of note is that most, if not all public schools in New Orleans are charter schools, which are almost always better than traditional public schools.
#44, Jacksonville, FL MSA: St. Johns County - As a county in Florida with a long shoreline, that shoreline wealth affects the whole county's statistics. Generally, in Florida, the coastal beach areas are the best, but all of this county is good, particularly the public schools. However, the commute to Downtown is very long.

#43, Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY MSA: Grand Island - Islands are cool. And this particular island is one of the wealthiest parts of Erie County.

#42, San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA MSA: Eastern Palo Alto - This area has the lower costs of nearby Mountain View, but is still zoned to Palo Alto's school district. Here, six figure household incomes are the norm, and most adults have a masters degree.

#41, Oklahoma City, OK MSA: From my previous post,
Edmond - Often considered the best of Oklahoma, Edmond has all the good of an upper class city, without the ability to break my bank.
#40, Richmond, VA MSA: Northwest suburbs - Virginia's greatest places are near Washington, DC, but the Richmond area also has good places to live. Suburbs like Glen Allen and Short Pump are very rich, and they're not too far from downtown.

#39, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA MSA
For the second largest largest metro area, I was expecting this to be higher, given all the opportunities for great places to live. I am putting two places on, and of those two, I think the second would have made the top 50 on its own.
Los Angeles #2: Walnut Valley Unified School District - This is one of the more affordable suburban areas in Los Angeles that's wealthy. I like this, and its schools and crime rates. Furthermore, this is serviced by the Riverside Line on the Metrolink, despite being rather far from downtown. Also, if you're wondering why I'm defining this by a school district, Pomona USD occupies some of Diamond Bar.
Los Angeles #1: Irvine - This is one of the premier suburbs of Los Angeles, with very low crime. Public schools are also well liked throughout the US.

#38, Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN MSA: Northeastern Hamilton County - The Cincinnati area isn't that great, but there are plenty of good areas in the northeast. Being Cincinnati, it's not that expensive, and the violent crime rates are regularly in the double digits.

#37, Cleveland-Elyria, OH MSA: Solon - Cuyahoga County is a mixed bag, but mixed the wrong way. The richest cities with the lowest crime are all far from the city center. Solon, for instance, is 21 miles from Downtown Cleveland, with no public transportation. 21 miles may seem acceptable, until you factor in the snow, which makes it harder to drive.

#36, San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA MSA: From my previous post,
Northwest San Diego County - San Diego is one of the cities in California that people still like and are moving to. The best parts are north of the city, with trains into Downtown.
#35, Hartford, CT MSA: West Hartford - Hartford is hated a lot, particularly for crime. I don't know exactly how accurate those claims are, but the suburbs are nice. West Hartford isn't too far away from downtown, but still has great stats. Even the cost of living seems fair.

#34, Columbus, OH MSA: From my previous post,
Northern Columbus suburbs - Columbus was spared from a lot of urban decay, but it still has a lot of great suburbs. It's the usual, with low crime and high incomes.
#33, Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI MSA: Northeastern Milwaukee County - This part of Milwaukee County is near all the amenities and jobs, without any of the high crime associated with Milwaukee.

#32, St. Louis, MO-IL MSA MSA:
St. Louis County - St. Louis is popularly hated, but the western suburbs aren't. Most aren't too expensive.
#31, Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue MSA, WA: Kirkland - Seattle and King County in general are very expensive, and have a ton of traffic. However, they have many rich places, including Kirkland, which is not as expensive as other Seattle suburbs.

#30, Baltimore-Columbia-Towson MSA, MD: Ellicott City/Columbia - Baltimore is not all of Maryland. Some western suburbs, like Ellicott City, are rich, and that gives Maryland the highest median household income.

#29, San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA MSA:
Walnut Creek / San Ramon - The California exodus is overstated, but not the San Francisco exodus. Many people are moving from the city to the suburbs.
#28, Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN MSA:
Brentwood - Brentwood is zoned to the amazing Williamson County Schools, and it's not too far from Downtown, unlike Franklin.
#27, Sacramento-Roseville-Folsom, CA MSA: From my previous post,
Eastern Sacramento suburbs - Sacramento, like San Diego, is also not too hated, especially compared to California. Roseville, Rocklin, and Folsom are all commutable, and have above average schools. Furthermore, it's not that expensive yet, at least by California standards.
#26, Las Vegas - Henderson, NV MSA: Western Henderson - I changed my mind on this from the last post, when I said I like Enterprise. It's fine to be in a further suburb here because the downtown of Las Vegas doesn't have as many businesses as you might think. The Las Vegas Strip has all the casinos, which are mostly in Paradise, not Las Vegas.

#25, Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA MSA: Camas/Washougal - It's that part of the Portland Area where you can live in Washington to cut income taxes, then shop in Oregon to cut sales taxes.

#24, Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH MSA: Arlington - I changed my mind from the previous post because Newton is expensive, far more than Arlington. Arlington is very similar, with the good school ratings and public transportation availability.

#23, Pittsburgh, PA MSA: Mt. Lebanon - This is a great suburb that's only 8 miles from the city center? No way. And Pittsburgh has a tech scene, with Niche and Duolingo.

#22, Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI MSA:
Southwesteren Minneapolis suburbs - Most of the southwest Minneapolis suburbs, like Eden Prairie, are way better than Minneapolis proper. It's not too far from downtown, but with amazing schools and low crime.
#21, San Antonio - New Braunfels, TX MSA: Alamo Heights/Terrell Hills - Not too far from Downtown San Antonio, but still being safe and wealthy, we have the enclaves of Alamo Heights and Terrell Hills. While housing is expensive, you'll still save on gas.

#20, Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI MSA:
Wheaton - Illinois is losing people, but Wheaton is still solid. It's not too expensive, and there is public transit readily available. And don't get me started on the crime.
#19, Denver-Aurora, CO MSA:
Centennial/Highlands Ranch - Denver is also bringing in many jobs, and Highlands Ranch is a suburb that is growing a lot, without being that expensive.
#18, New York City-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA MSA. There will be three picks from this metro area because of its size.
New York City 3: Bergen County - This is a suburban part in New Jersey, and it has all that a good suburb needs. Public transportation is good, as well as the low crime.

New York City 2:
Jersey City - Much of Jersey City is also gentrifying, due to its proximity to New York.
New York City 1:
East Meadow / Levittown - This area is solidly upper middle class, which gives you low crime and good schools, without it being as expensive. And while it still does look expensive at first, jobs in New York City pay a lot.
#17, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD MSA: Ardmore - I changed my mind from Villanova to this. Ardmore is cheaper, and it is closer to Downtown, but still carries the same good stats.

#16, Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC MSA: Matthews/Stallings - These are fairly inexpensive suburbs in a growing metro area. Plus, they're upper middle class already.

#15, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL MSA: Southwestern Tampa - Florida is a fast growing state, and this includes Tampa. The best parts are in the southwestern part of the city proper, which is already a pretty good city proper.

#14, Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN MSA:
Carmel - Carmel is very rich, with a median household income over $100,000 a year. But because Indiana is rather business friendly, it doesn't cost too much. Carmel is a good example of the best of both worlds.
#13, Detroit–Warren–Dearborn, MI MSA:
Grosse Pointe cities - Unlike Oakland County, the Grosse Pointes are rather walkable, but with similar statistics otherwise. It's also fairly close to Downtown Detroit, and not even that expensive.
#12, Kansas City, MO-KS MSA:
Johnson County - Most of Kansas is very rural, with few amenities and jobs. So I had to choose a Kansas City suburb, like Johnson County. It's very safe, and has a lot of money. The closer to Downtown Kansas City, the wealthier, but more expensive, so there is good all around the county.
#11, Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ MSA:
Southeastern Phoenix suburbs - Phoenix is booming, and the suburbs like Chandler, Gilbert, and Tempe have fairly good schools, and even better crime.
#10, Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA MSA:
Cobb County - Atlanta is growing a lot, and Cobb County is pretty nice. It's best east of Marietta.
#9, Birmingham-Hoover, AL MSA: Southern Birmingham suburbs - These suburbs are quite close to Downtown Birmingham, which in Jefferson County, usually means bad. But not here, where household incomes are often in the six figures. However, a major knock is that the economic growth in Alabama is mostly in Huntsville.

#8, Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL MSA:
Doral - Coral Gables is expensive, so Doral is a cheaper alternative.
#7, Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL MSA: Seminole County - Orlando is another growing area in Florida. Seminole County in particular has pretty good public transportation access in some areas, but isn't too far from Downtown Orlando. As well as everything else a good suburb needs.

#6, Raleigh-Cary, NC MSA:
Western Raleigh suburbs - Raleigh is also experiencing a lot of growth, and there are safe areas with good schools fairly close to downtown.
#5, Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX MSA:
Fort Bend County - Houston, like Dallas, is a growing metro area. However, Houston has better public transportation than Dallas, which is why it's here.
#4, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX MSA: Coppell - Again, I changed my mind from last post, when I said Fort Bend was better than anywhere in the Dallas Area. But Coppell is very wealthy, and it's located between Downtown Dallas and Westlake, two major business districts.
NOTE: If they expand the public transportation, further suburbs like Allen, Frisco (both Collin and Denton County areas), and McKinney can overtake Coppell.

#3, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV MSA:
Arlington - Like Maryland, jobs in Washington are so good, the cost isn't a huge factor. So I chose Arlington, which is right next to Washington for very short commutes. Along with great schools and high wages, Arlington is great.]
#2, Salt Lake City, UT MSA: East Side of Salt Lake City - This is another area that is very close to its downtown (around 5 miles), but is still better than many suburbs. In 84108, for example, 40% of residents have at least master's degrees.

#1, Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX MSA: I wrote about this in my previous post, but I'll write more about it.
Austin - Austin proper has all the pros of suburban Texas, without tornados, and it has shorter commutes.
Yes, indeed. While Dallas has tornadoes, and Houston has hurricanes, Austin has very few tornadoes, and no hurricanes. And that's just the tip of the ice burg. Texas, particularly Austin is quickly growing, and Austin is considered "Silicon Hills". 78704, where the street view is, is also right next to Downtown, which makes commutes very short. Lastly, this isn't even a poor area ; the median household income is $78,668 per year.

Plus, Austin has this:
Cliffs of Dover - Eric Johnson
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