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The Best Large Cities to Live in

Although urban settings account for fewer than 3% of the U.S. landmass, they contain around 80% of the nation’s population. WalletHub’s latest survey studied the best large cities to live in, with Virginia Beach, Virginia, coming out on top. 

Virginia Beach ranked No. 1 in affordability, high homeownership rates, and had the lowest percentage of its population living in poverty. The metro also came in at No. 5 in safety, No. 7 in education and health, No. 30 in economy, and No. 42 in quality of life. 

Following Virginia Beach was Austin, Texas; Seattle, Washington; San Diego, California; and Las Vegas, Nevada. 

WalletHub reported that Seattle had the best economy and education and health ranking among the 62 metros studied. San Diego’s affordability ranking was among the worst in the nation, coming in at No. 51. New York, New York, had the nations’ worst affordability ranking, but the best quality of life. 

Detroit, Michigan, was named the worst large city to live in as both its economy and education and health ranking were the worst among metros studied. 

Witicha, Kansas, and Omaha, Nebraska, had the lowest housing costs, while Los Angeles, California, and Miami, Florida, had the highest housing costs. 

Affordability across the nation has been a growing concern for most of 2019, and according to Unison’s 2019 Home Affordability Report, it takes 14 years for those making a median income to save for a 20% down payment on a median-price homes, meaning many prospective millennial homebuyers won’t achieve homeownership until their 40s.

The report states that the monthly payment needed to support a home purchase with a down payment of 20% grew by 12% between 2017 and 2018, far outpacing the growth of income during that period of 6%.

Unisom found that it takes prospective homebuyers in Los Angeles an average of 43 years to save the necessary 20% for a down payment on a median-priced home. Prospective homebuyers in Detroit, Michigan, have to wait just seven years, the shortest in the nation, to save the necessary 20%.

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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