Step aside New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. When it comes to living the good life, Raleigh has it all: from high-tech jobs to good education and economic stability.
Raleigh does not have the same cultural splendors of New York, the financial clout of Chicago, or the ethnic diversity of Los Angeles. But it does have plenty of attractive qualities of its own.
Such as its high-tech industries which have established Raleigh as an anchor of the famed Research Triangle. Then there are its high-profile universities, led by North Carolina State, which have cemented its reputation as an educational center. Also, its status as a state capital, which has brought political prominence and economic stability.
And now you can add this: Raleigh is the major metropolitan market that offers the best quality of life in the United States, according to a new study by Portfolio.com/bizjournals.
The study compared the performances of the nation's 67 biggest metropolitan areas in 20 categories. The highest scores went to well-rounded markets with healthy economies, moderate costs of living, light traffic, impressive housing stocks, and high-powered educational systems.
Raleigh earned first place, edging out two metros that are substantially larger, No. 2 Washington and No. 3 Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Several factors pushed Raleigh to the top of the list:
- It’s growing at a rapid pace. No major market is expanding as rapidly as Raleigh, whose metropolitan population has increased by 37 percent since 2000.
- It has a vast inventory of new homes. More than half of the places to live in the Raleigh area have been built since 1990. Las Vegas is the only other market above 50 percent for new homes.
- It has an impressive supply of high-level jobs. Forty-four percent of Raleigh’s workers hold management or professional positions, surpassing all but three markets.
- It has a well-educated workforce. Raleigh, at 41 percent, ranks sixth in the share of adults holding bachelor’s degrees.
- Four reasons for Raleigh’s No. 1 rank are listed above. The other reasons include its large percentage of young adults and its historically low unemployment rate.
Portfolio.com/bizjournals analyzed the 67 metropolitan areas that have populations of 750,000 or more.
For more on Raleigh see portfolio.com