Best states to live in the US

Top 7 Best states to live in the US with the Best quality of life – 2024

United States

The United States has some of the best states to live in the world in terms of quality of life. However, in recent years, crime rates and real estate costs have been on the rise nationwide. Many families are now looking for a place that is safe, with low crime rates, and an affordable housing market.

With that in mind, we compiled this list of the top 7 best states to live in the US. The list includes states that provide not only favorable cost of living, but also deliver higher education opportunities, recreational activities, transportation, and many other benefits, ideal to raise a family, to study, or to retire.

Read on to find out the Best states to live in the US with the Best quality of life.

Best states to live in the US 2024

Methodology

Due to “Best” being a subjective word, below is our methodology to compile the best states to live in the US with the best quality of life.

Using our existing ranking of the safest and cheapest places to live in the USA, we based our ranking on three criteria: safety, affordability, and quality of life.

Safety is measured based on the 3 following criteria: the violent-crime rate, the property crime rate, and the total crime rate (the sum of both property and violent-crime rates). Statistics come from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program of the official website of the state. To ensure accuracy, we calculated the average number of various crimes per 100,000 people

Affordability takes into account the prices of housing and renting. Statistics come from Rockethomes’s median pricing and Zillow’s 1-bedroom median cost.

The “Best quality of life” aspect is measured based on feedback from real people who have moved to this area in our database or real people from trusted online forums. More specifically, we look for positive feedback on job opportunities, quality of education, quality of healthcare, feeling of safety, public transportation, the environment (cleanliness), as well as the availability of recreational facilities and parks.

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1. Maine

Safest states to live in America with the Best quality of life - 2024
  • Crime rate: 201.49 crimes per 100,000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $2,000
  • Median property buying cost: $299,988

The state of Maine is renowned for its natural beauty and rocky coastline. Residents enjoy outdoor activities, from hiking on the trails of Baxter State Park or Acadia National Park to swimming at Sand Beach. Living in Maine is great for fresh food and tasty treats like real maple syrup and seafood. But, you’ll need to drive to get anywhere, and the winters are freezing.

With a population of 1,385,340, mostly ranging from their mid-50s to mid-70s, the pace of life in Maine is quiet and safe, featuring a low crime rate of 201.49 crimes per 100,000 people. The housing options in Maine consist mainly of single-detached homes and are affordable, with an average rent of $2,000 for a 1-bedroom apartment and an average property price of $299,988 as of December 2023.

Maine.gov (Dec 2023), Local Logic (Dec 2023), Zillow (Dec 2023) & Rocket Homes (Dec 2023)

Maine

2. New Hampshire

Apartment in New Hampshire
  • Crime rate: 239.18 crimes per 100,000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $1,800
  • Median property buying cost: $398,886

New Hampshire, the “Granite State”, is renowned for its natural beauty, offering opportunities for winter sports and hiking in places like the White Mountain National Forest and Mount Washington. Residents also enjoy water activities in Lake Winnipesaukee and along the sandy beaches in the Atlantic Ocean coast.

With no state sales tax or income tax on wages, many residents find New Hampshire an attractive place to live. Moreover, it is home to prestigious institutions like Dartmouth College (an Ivy League school) and has a strong public school system.

New Hampshire has an average property price of $398,886 as of December 2023, with a 1-bed apartment renting for around $1,800. It also shows a crime rate of 239.18 per 100,000 people, in a population of 1,395,231, providing residents with a strong sense of security.

New Hampshire State Parks (Dec 2023), Zillow (Dec 2023) & Rocket Homes (Dec 2023)

New Hampshire

3. Connecticut

Apartment in Connecticut
  • Crime rate: 291.05 crimes per 100,000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $1,811
  • Median property buying cost: $339,838

Connecticut offers a blend of city and nature living for its residents. Located between NYC and Boston, it provides an excellent quality of life at a lower cost compared to those cities. With the second highest Human Development Index in the U.S., residents enjoy quality education, healthcare, and a high standard of living. As of December 2023, the average home price is about $1,203,300, and renting a 1-bed apartment costs around $2,785.

It is considered ideal for living and raising a family, reporting a low crime rate of 291.05 crimes per 100,000 people. Moreover, it offers 101 state parks and lakes, perfect for fishing and hiking. Getting around is simple thanks to the strong network of highways, trains, and public transport supported by the CTDOT.

Connecticut.gov (Dec 2023), Global Data Lab (Dec 2021), Zillow (Dec 2023) & Rocket Homes (Dec 2023)

Connecticut

4. Rhode Island

Apartment in Rhode Island
  • Crime rate: 330.99 crimes per 100,000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $2,100
  • Median property buying cost: $406,540

Rhode Island, known as the Ocean State, is famous for its sandy beaches and delicious seafood. Residents enjoy summer days at Misquamicut State Beach for water sports and relax by biking and enjoying scenic ocean views from Mohegan Bluffs on Block Island. All within a safe environment, with a reported crime rate of 330.99 crimes per 100,000 people.

Residents value Newport for its sailing and Providence for its culinary scene, in addition to its very friendly community. The cost of living is lower than nearby large cities, and commuting is convenient, just a 3-hour drive to NYC and 1.5 hours to Boston. As of December 2023, the average property price in Rhode Island is approximately $406,540, while renting a 1-bedroom apartment costs around $2,100.

Rhode Island (Dec 2023), Zillow (Dec 2023) & Rocket Homes (Dec 2023)

Rhode Island

5. Vermont

Apartment in Vermont
  • Crime rate: 425.87 crimes per 100,000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $1,954
  • Median property buying cost: $339,970

About 647,064 people call Vermont home and enjoy its beautiful landscapes, mountain biking trails, hiking trails, downhill ski areas, and 100 historic covered bridges. Vermonters consider it a great hub for outdoor activities in any season, whether exploring the fall foliage in autumn or skiing in the winter.

The average commute for a Vermont worker is 23 minutes, and it is just a 2-hour drive to big cities like Montreal and 3 hours to Boston. With a reported crime rate of 425.87 crimes per 100,000 people, it provides a sense of security. As of December 2023, the average property price is $339,970, and a 1-bedroom apartment rental cost around $1,954, making it an attractive choice.

Vermont.gov (Dec 2023), Zillow (Dec 2023) & Rocket Homes (Dec 2023)

Vermont

6. West Virginia

Apartment in West Virginia
  • Crime rate: 418.83 crimes per 100,000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: 1,000
  • Median property buying cost: $214,446

Located within the Appalachian Mountain region, West Virginia is known as the Mountain State. It is ideal for nature enthusiasts who enjoy biking and rock climbing in Morgantown, boating and fishing at Summersville Lake, and exploring the waterfalls in Blackwater Falls State Park. Living here is secure, as the state has reported a low crime rate of 418.83 crimes per 100,000 people.

Residents claim that Charleston is ideal for those who love shopping at places like Charleston Town Central Mall and Capitol Market, while Morgantown offers a quiet lifestyle with outdoor activities, and low cost of living. As of December 2023, the average property price in West Virginia is $214,446, and a 1-bed apartment rents for around $1,000.

West Virginia.gov (Dec 2023), Crime Data Explorer (Dec 2023), Census.gov (Dec 2023) & Rocket Homes (Dec 2023)

West Virginia

7. Ohio

Apartment in Ohio
  • Crime rate: 524.61 crimes per 100,000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $1,250
  • Median property buying cost: $219,903

Ohio is a great state for those looking to settle down and raise a family. Living here is affordable, particularly when it comes to housing and the cost of living. As of December 2023, the average home price is $219,903, and a 1-bedroom apartment rents for around $524.61. The state provides diverse attractions, from vibrant city life with art and culinary excellence to charming historic towns.

It is ideal for families with children, offering some of the best educational facilities, such as Ohio State University and Miami University, and home to many professional and college sports teams. Additionally, residents enjoy the best amusement parks in the country, like Cedar Point and Kings Island. In terms of safety, Ohio is pretty safe with a reported low crime rate of 524.61 crimes per 100,000 people

Ohio.gov (Dec 2023), Crime Data Explorer (Dec 2023), Census.gov (Dec 2023) & Rocket Homes (Dec 2023)

Ohio

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Conclusion

In your quest to find the best state to live in the United States, it is important to acknowledge the varying costs of living across different regions. The states highlighted in this article not only consider aspects such as higher educational opportunities and abundant outdoor recreation, but also aspects like low violent crime rates and reasonable home prices.

By consulting this list, you can make an informed decision tailored to your preferences and that aligns with your lifestyle. If you are moving soon, don’t forget to explore in advance the best long distance movers in the USA to make your move as smooth as possible.

 

Last year’s ranking (2023)

  1. New Hampshire
  2. Utah
  3. Vermont
  4. Connecticut
  5. Virginia
  6. Massachusetts
  7. New Jersey
  8. North Dakota
  9. Alabama
  10. Washington

 

Our rankings are meticulously curated, considering affordability and quality of life. It’s important to highlight that certain places were excluded from last year’s lists due to insufficient rental data. Moreover, entries with higher average housing prices in the previous year were excluded from the current rankings. We encourage readers to weigh these rankings in light of their individual needs and preferences for a more informed decision-making process.

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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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