Grand Rapids named one of the top 20 places to live in America

Published on May 18, 2023


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids is listed among the 2023-2024 Best Places to Live in the nation. The new list by U.S. News & World Report unveiled the ranks the country's 150 most populous metropolitan areas based on value, desirability, job market and quality of life.

U.S. News ranked the Grand Rapids:

  • #20 in Best Places to Live in America
  • #2 in Best Places to Live in Michigan
  • #26 in Best Places to Retire in America
  • #14 in Best Places to Live for Quality of Life in America

Among other data points, the report also points out that “Grand Rapids has a lower than average crime rate” and “the cost of living in Grand Rapids is noticeably lower” than similarly sized metro areas.

In the report, Anna Gustafson commented on what it is like to live in Grand Rapids. She wrote, “Grand Rapids has an affinity for public art, and its craft brewery scene is one of the best in the nation. A scenic spot perched on the Grand River – Michigan's longest waterway – Grand Rapids has evolved from its 19th-century roots as a hub of furniture production to the modern-day metro area that is attracting college students and young families with its healthy job market, affordable housing and outdoor recreational activities.

“From the doctors and nurses working in the region's booming health care industry to the strong LGBTQ community that hosts the much-feted annual Grand Rapids Pride event to the numerous artists and musicians, the region is home to people from all walks of life. Grand Rapids' neighborhood associations are incredibly active, bringing the metro area's population together for community events such as the Eastown Street Fair, which draws people to the artsy neighborhood for food, music and more.

Midwest friendliness is no exaggeration in Grand Rapids, which, despite being the second-largest metro area in Michigan, exudes small-town warmth. Walk down almost any residential street in Grand Rapids, and you'll often be met with a wave and a "hello" from people caring for their lawns or hanging out on porches.”

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said the U.S. News report ranking is yet another sign that Grand Rapids is a world-class city that offers a superior quality of life where people and businesses can flourish. She said that year-round events, a vibrant downtown, quaint neighborhoods and lively business districts make this a special place to live. 

“I’m very proud to serve as mayor of our community and am fortunate to have visited several similar sized cities across the nation,” she said, “and I can attest that Grand Rapids belongs on this list because of those who live and work here. We care about our neighbors and our community. Whether you live here, work here, visit or plan on making this your new hometown, I’m confident you’ll find Grand Rapids truly is an exceptional place to live.” 

The 2023-2024 Best Places to Live were determined based on a methodology that takes into account the area's job market, value, quality of life and desirability. These measures were weighted in part based on a public survey of thousands of individuals throughout the U.S. to find out what qualities they consider important in a place to live. The methodology also includes data from the National Weather Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, Sharecare, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. News rankings of the Best High Schools and Best Hospitals.

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