2 Alabama cities make’s 2020 Top 100 Best Places to Live in America

Other southern states like Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas did a bit better
Auburn officials are ready to welcome back football fans.
Auburn officials are ready to welcome back football fans.(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Updated: Oct. 13, 2020 at 6:56 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The 2020 version of’s “Top 100 Best Places to Live in America” has been released -- and it includes two cities right here in Alabama.

While two may seem like a low number, there are nine states that didn’t even place one city on the list. There were many other states that only had one city crack the rankings.

So what are the two Alabama cities, and where do they rank?

Two cities in Alabama made's Top 100 Best Places to Live in America.
Two cities in Alabama made's Top 100 Best Places to Live in America.(WSFA 12 News/

The first to make the list is Auburn, which came in at No. 82. Here’s what says about Auburn’s placement:

Auburn isn’t just one of the best college towns in the South, it’s also an amazing place to live. This Alabama city is full of small-town charm, cozy traditions and, yes, lots of team spirit. Auburn’s location gives residents quick access to major cities in the surrounding area, like Huntsville and Atlanta, is close to Chewacla State Park and is just a few hours away from the beach. If all that wasn’t enough, the Auburn-Opelika area is one of the fastest-growing metros in the country and the second largest in the state.”

The second Alabama city to make the rankings is Huntsville, which barely made it at No. 100.

Here’s what was said about Huntsville’s placement:

“Known as the “Rocket City,” Huntsville is home to the famous rocket at the US Space & Rocket Center and has a thriving aerospace industry. Once a sleepy town, Huntsville grew to notoriety during the 1960s Space Race and is now the fastest growing metro area in Alabama. But it isn’t all out space exploration and rocket science here — Huntsville is a diverse city with a great food scene, repurposed buildings and history on every corner. Several universities call Huntsville home, too, including University of Alabama - Huntsville and Alabama A&M University. Additionally, the cost of living in Huntsville is below the national average.”

To come up with the annual rankings, not only conducts surveys and studies, but looks into multiple variables and datasets such as safety, affordability, accessibility, job numbers, economic resilience, growth, and outdoor recreation.

States with at least two cities in's list of the best places to live in America.
States with at least two cities in's list of the best places to live in America.(WSFA 12 News/

The states with the most cities on the list were scattered across the country, with no true geographical patterns. One thing we did notice is many of the cities that were selected are home to well-known colleges/universities.

Wisconsin led the way with six cities making the list. North Carolina, Texas and Washington followed with five. Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, and Oregon each have four cities in the rankings.

Nearby Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee each have three cities on the list. Mississippi and Louisiana didn’t place a single city in the rankings.

Here’s a look at the top-10 for your convenience:

  1. Fort Collins, Colorado
  2. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  3. Madison, Wisconsin
  4. Portland, Maine
  5. Rochester, Minnesota
  6. Asheville, North Carolina
  7. Overland Park, Kansas
  8. Fargo, North Dakota
  9. Durham, North Carolina
  10. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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