Virginia Beach has been named the “Best Big City To Live In.” That’s according to a study by WalletHub.
The study compared the 62 largest U.S. cities based on 56 key indicators of attractiveness. The data set ranges from the quality of public schools and life expectancy, to job opportunities and property taxes.
Here is a list of the top ten best cities to live in, according to the study:
- Virginia Beach, VA
- Austin, TX
- Seattle, WA
- San Diego, CA
- Las Vegas, NV
- San Francisco, CA
- New York, NY
- San Jose, CA
- Honolulu, HI
- Portland, OR
What puts Virginia Beach at the top of the list? There are many reasons, but here are just four of them:
- Family-friendly living
Virginia Beach was made for families. With 38 miles of pristine coastline, Virginia Beach boasts the world’s largest pleasure beach. And while the beachfront attracts millions of tourists each year, there are plenty of “hidden gems” where locals can enjoy the beach without a tourist in sight. Water sports abound in Virginia Beach. Swimming, boating, jet skiing, pier fishing…the list goes on and on.
But there’s more to Virginia Beach than beautiful beaches. The city has over 200 parks with more than 4,000 acres of green space to enjoy. And with Virginia Beach’s long summers and mild winters, you can enjoy them for most of the year.
- The most affordable big city in the country
No matter how wonderful a city’s lifestyle may be, it doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t afford to live there. That’s not an issue in Virginia Beach. The city ranked #1 in Affordability, which was determined by median house prices, median household income, cost of living, property taxes and homeownership rate.
The cost of living isn’t cheap, but it’s well below the cost of living in other beach resort communities. Two other critical measures of affordability — food and healthcare costs — are below the national average in Virginia Beach. In addition, Virginia Beach has the highest homeownership rate (63.85%) and the lowest share of residents living in poverty (8%).
- The safest big city in America
When it comes to choosing a community for your family, safety comes first. Virginia Beach was ranked #1 in terms of safety. The study evaluated factors such as violent crime rate, property crime rates, traffic fatalities and law enforcement employees per capita. Of the 62 big cities included in the study, Virginia Beach had the fewest violent crimes (just 1.38 per 1,000 residents).
- A Top Seven city for education
Virginia Beach ranked 7th out of 62 cities in the quality of education. Graduation rates in the city are 8% higher than the national average. An impressive nine out of ten high school students graduate. In fact, Virginia Beach has the second highest percentage of population 25 + with a high school diploma or higher (behind only Seattle). Test scores are 67% higher than the national average. And the student/teacher ratio is 15:1 – 9% lower than the U.S. average.
We haven’t even touched on the nightlife, cuisine and the annual Neptune Festival, frequently named one of the best festivals in the nation. But you get the idea. There’s no beating Virginia Beach for family-friendly living.
*WalletHub, July 2019, ”The Best Big City To Live In” Study