From tiny towns to sprawling cities, there's an argument to be made for living just about anywhere -- except North Dakota, because god damn. Still, when it comes to job opportunity, entertainment potential, and nightlife options, it's hard to deny that larger cities have a greater wealth of options to choose from. So which of America's biggest burgs is best, from a purely holistic perspective?
The financial gurus over at Wallethub set out to answer this question by narrowing the field to US cities with a population greater than 300,000, then using 31 weighted metrics in the areas of Livability, Education, Health, and Local Economy & Taxes to assign scores to each city. More than half the metrics used came from past studies by Wallethub, including America's Most Diverse Cities, Best Cities to Start a Business, and Fastest Growing Cities.
Hipsters rejoice: Austin, TX won the fight for first place thanks to its equally high rankings for "Education" and "Local Economy & Taxes," while Raleigh, NC took second place, and Colorado Springs, CO rounded out the top three. Iconic big cities like New York (40th), Chicago (48th), and Los Angeles (51st) completely failed to crack the top 25, while Detroit took home the last place prize as the worst big city in the nation -- which seems slightly unfair, yet totally predictable at the same time.
Check out the full top 10 below, as well as an interactive map with the entire ranking:
1. Austin, TX
2. Raleigh, NC
3. Colorado Springs, CO
4. San Jose, CA
5. Seattle, WA
6. San Diego, CA
7. Denver, CO
8. San Francisco, CA
8. Lexington, KY
10. Virginia Beach, VA
Gianni Jaccoma is a staff writer for Thrillist, and he finds absolutely nothing wrong with using lists to create more lists. Follow his list-ception tweets @gjaccoma, and send your news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org