Columbus and Cincinnati were the Ohio cities to rank highest on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Places to Live list.
But Dayton, ranked no. 82 out of the largest 125 metro areas, shattered the Glass City (Toledo ranked 102), rocked harder than Cleveland (ranked 104), and outperformed Youngstown (108th).
Columbus was 36th on the list, and the Cincinnati was 49th. Austin, Texas, took the top spot for the second year in a row.
U.S. News said it ranked the largest metro areas based on quality of life and the job market, as well as on the value of living in the metros and people’s desire to live there. Dayton’s full profile can be found here.
Last year, Outside Magazine declared Dayton to be one of “American’s best towns ever.’ Earlier this year, however, the Gem City ranked as the fifth worst city in Ohio to raise a family, according to WalletHub’s 2018 Best & Worst Places to Raise A Family report.
Dayton earned decent scores for housing costs and the cost of living. Dayton’s average housing costs were estimated to be $113,292, compared to the national average of $222,408.
“Dayton has a very reasonable cost of living,” according to Dayton’s profile. “Dayton residents also spend less on living expenses, such as groceries and health care, than the average American.”
Dayton has a revamped downtown full of unique activities and experiences, and its suburbs offer close-knit communities, the profile states. Dayton has an arts community and plenty of entertainment options.
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But workers in the Dayton area on average earn about $47,280 annually, $2,350 less than the national average.
Dayton has a higher crime rate than similarly sized metro areas, the report states. Dayton’s property crime rate is significantly higher than places like Tucson, Ariz.; Honolulu, Hawaii, and Tulsa, Okla.
U.S. News & World Report also ranked the 100 largest U.S. metros based on how ideal they are for retirees.
Cleveland ranked as 45th, Columbus was 47th, Youngstown was 49th and Cincinnati was 55. Dayton ranked 56th, ahead of Toledo (67). Sarasota, Fla., topped the nation.
The retirement scores used indexes including housing affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, job market and health care quality.
Quick Dayton stats from U.S. News & World Report:
Dayton metro population, 880,950
Average annual salary, $47,280
Average high/low temperatures, 61/42.8 degrees
Median age, 39.5
Median home price, $113,292
Median monthly rent, $756
Average annual rainfall, 41.1 inches
Unemployment rate, 4.6%
Average commute time, 21.2 minutes