America’s Finest City may not be that spectacular after all – at least according to an annual report on the best cities to live in the United States, which placed San Diego pretty close to the bottom this year.
US News & World Report analyzed 150 of the most populous metro areas in the country to find the best places to live and retire. San Diego ranked 105th and 138th, respectively, among cities such as Reno, Nevada; Boise, Idaho; and Jacksonville, Florida.
Roy Toft has taken video and stills of coyotes, California gray foxes, birds of prey, lynxes, opossums, skunks, mules and raccoons on his East County estate.
So why did San Diego rank so low?
The rankings were based on public data and user opinions in 5 categories on a weighted scale: quality of life (32.5%), value (25%), labor market (20%), how desirable it is (1[ads1]7.5%) and migration (5 %).
San Diego did not score particularly well in any category.
Although US News contributor Darcie Brown described San Diego positively for the weather, beaches, outdoor activities, good food and entertainment, desirability and quality of life the score remained moderate with rankings of 7.6 and 7.2, respectively.
The quality of life index is also the most comprehensive, in terms of crime, access to health services, education, well-being, air quality and travel time in the assessment.
Not surprisingly, however, housing costs kept us low on the list. San Diego had close to the lowest score in value category, which compares housing costs with median household income to give San Diego a score of 3.3. The national average for homes in 2021 was $ 365,616, while the San Diego average was 889,225 (which of course we know will be much higher for 2022).
“Living in San Diego is not very affordable,” Brown wrote. “San Diegans are willing to pay these high prices, but often refer to the differences in the cost of living as the ‘sunshine tax,’ or the price of enjoying a temperate climate all year round.”
The job market The category, which assessed the unemployment rate and average salary to make a ranking, gave San Diego a score of 6.2, which is not far below the city ranked as the best place to live – Huntsville, Alabama – with a score of 7.2.
San Diego also ranked quite low net migrationwith a score of 4.6, but it accounted for only 5% of the total score.
Huntsville, Alabama received top marks, largely due to high rankings in the value and labor market indices.
The 10 best cities ranked on the list were:
- Huntsville, Alabama
- Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Green Bay, Wisconsin
- Boulder, Colorado
- San Jose, California
- Raleigh & Durham, North Carolina
- Fayetteville, Arkansas
- Portland, Maine
- Sarasota, Florida
- San Francisco, California
If there is any consolation, however, San Diego, ranked in third place only compared to other metro areas in California, behind San Jose and San Francisco.
US News says the data used in their rankings comes from sources such as the US Census Bureau, the FBI, the US Department of Labor and their internal resources. This data is then categorized into five indices which are then weighted based on a survey of Americans who asked what they value when choosing a place to live. Learn more about the methodology here.