Tempe ranks No. 2 on Money’s list of 50 best places to live in US
PHOENIX – A winning combination that included diversity, affordability and job opportunities landed Tempe in the No. 2 spot for best places to live in the country, according to Money.
The East Valley city finished behind Atlanta on Money’s annual top 50 list and was the only Arizona city picked.
“Home to Arizona State University, Tempe made our list for its active arts and culture scene, relative affordability and myriad employment opportunities in education, finance, health care and tech,” the personal finance website said last week when the list was released.
Compilers filtered for places that had a population of at least 20,000; was at least 85% as racially diverse as the state and had a median household income of at least 85% of the state median.
From there, nine factors were rated: cost of living, diversity, economic opportunity, education, fun and amenities, health and safety, housing, income and personal finance and quality of life.
About 125 places made that round before the final contenders were selected.
“In our annual ranking of the top places to live, we look at the things that matter most to people … and where the best futures lie,” Money said in introducing the list.
Tempe scored with its transportation options – such as Valley Metro light rail, the free neighborhood circulator Orbit and the 3-mile streetcar, in operation since spring.
“Once you’re downtown, the Tempe Streetcar will carry you everywhere from gorgeous Tempe Town Lake to the city’s many live music venues, restaurants, and craft breweries. Finish the day with a sunset hike up ‘A’ Mountain, which offers panoramic views of ASU’s campus and the surrounding desert beauty,” the website said.
Data compiled by Money put the city’s population at 181,714 with a median household income of nearly $67,00, a media home price of about $472,000 and an unemployment rate of 3.3%.