The 20 Best and Worst Cities in America for Everything
From finding love to avoiding bed bugs, a ranking
You like to think the city you live in is good at something.
For example: New York. We’ve got the best pizza (quiet, Chicago), the best bar scene and … the most infuriating public transport system ever, which is sort of a badge of honor, right?
Odds are, your hometown is great or awful at something. So herein, the 20 best and worst cities in America for everything. For all but a few, we relied on third party surveys conducted over the last 18 months.
Don’t take these results too seriously. Especially you, Chattanooga.
The best city for single people: Atlanta
The personal finance site WalletHub — which conducts a lot of these surveys — looked at cost of living, the range of fun activities and the size of the dating pool (among 34 total indicators) to determine where to go to find love. The worst city? Brownsville, TX.
The best city for drivers: Brownsville, TX
Surprise! Apparently, being lousy in love (see: single people) makes you great for hitting the road. Brownsville was the safest driving city in the U.S. according to Allstate, with the average driver having an accident only once every 13.6 years (the average is 10).
The least romantic city: Indianapolis
The methodology here is a bit suspect (it involves searches for words like chocolate, heart, roses and other “romance terms” close to Valentine’s Day), but Instacart suggests the home of the Colts is not the place to go for love. Making the study even more suspect is that Boston is reported to be the most romantic.
The best place to own a dog: Tucson
Judging by a mix of walkable streets, dog parks and amount of precipitation per year, the financial site SmartAsset found that seven of the top 10 cities for pooches were in western states, often in expensive cities. That said, Tucson won in part by being affordable and having 246 dog-friendly restaurants and being affordable.
The best city for park land: Minneapolis
Via the nonprofit Trust for Public Land, the Twin Cities (St. Paul was second) won out on a combo of park access, acreage, investment and amenities. But, park fans: Avoid Charlotte, NC.
The worst city for bed bugs: Baltimore
While we’re waiting for last year’s list to be finalized, take a gander at the treatment data released by pest control experts Orkin at the beginning of 2018, which had neighboring cities Baltimore and Washington D.C. at 1-2.
The loudest city: Los Angeles
Via the digital hearing app Mimi, which found that an average city dweller has a hearing loss equivalent of someone 10-20 years older than their actual age. Wait … what? Note that L.A. was the loudest U.S. city, but only ranked 18th in the world (keep the noise down, Ganzhou!).
Best place for small business: Fort Worth
As judged via a poll of 7,500 small business owners across all 50 states, and ranked according to eight factors (supportive local government, regulations, ease of hiring, etc.). San Antonio, Columbus, Colorado Springs, Jacksonville and Nashville also received A+ ratings. San Francisco, meanwhile, earned an F.
Most annoying neighbors: Dallas
In a survey of 2,500 people by improvement project planners Craftjack, and after analyzing 36 common annoyances (loud music, parking issues, dog poop, unsightly storage, etc.), it turns out you really don’t want to live in Texas (Dallas was #1, Austin was #3). Fun fact: The preferred method of confrontation for annoyances is “face-to-face.”
The best city for public transportation: Seattle
Not a survey, but urban planner and author Christof Spieler (Trains, Buses, People: An Opinionated Atlas of US Transit) did a deep dive into America’s public transport and ended up loving Seattle’s growing rail and bus systems. He also loves New York’s subway and bus lines, so … well, maybe he needs to live here for a bit. As for bad: Spieler calls out specifically useless transit systems in Nashville, Cleveland and Dallas.
And a few more:
Best for an active lifestyle: Honolulu. The worst: Hialeah, FL. (Via WalletHub)
Best for sleep: Milwaukee. The worst: Las Vegas. (Via Sharecare)
Best “foodie” city: Portland. The worst: Chattanooga, TN (Via WalletHub)
Best city for first-time homebuyers: Grand Rapids. The worst: San Jose (via GoBankingRates)
Best biking city: Fort Collins, CO. The worst: Foxborough, MA (via People for Bikes)
Worst weather: Marquette, MI (Via Bobvila.com)
Worst city for raising children: Farmington, NM (via 24/7 Wall Street)
Worst city to find a job (right now): Ocean City, NJ (Via Zippia)
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