RALEIGH – Raleigh ranks highly as a best place to live in the United States, a new analysis found.  And another North Carolina town ranks in the top 20: Asheville.

Both Cary and Durham ranked in the top 50, with Cary ranked 44th and Durham ranked 45th, according to this year’s rankings report from Livability.com, the “Best Places to Live in the US.”

But Raleigh ranked 14th with a livability score of 647 (top-ranked Madison, Wisconsin, scored 725, for comparison) due to strength in the local economy, the city’s education, and its demographics, according to the report.

Livability.com notes in the report that Raleigh is “remote-ready,” with ample opportunities to gain access to high-speed, high-quality fiber internet access and also places to work, including in public spaces and places, and in coworking communities.  Raleigh and Durham each appeared near the top of a list of the best cities to move to in order to conduct remote work in late 2021.

Ashville scored 640 overall, with strong performance in the region’s amenities, education, and health, according to the report.  And, like Raleigh, the report notes that the mountain city is attractive to those who may wish to work remotely while accessing the outdoor recreation activities in the region during non-working hours.

While Madison remained in the top spot from last year’s report, Raleigh fell two spots in the ranking, from 12th to 14th.  And Asheville remained ranked 19th, as it did in 2021’s report.

Study: Raleigh ranks 12th, Durham 25th, among 1,000+ cities as a best place to live

Cary & Durham land in top 50

With livability scores of 622 and 621, Cary ranked 44th and Durham ranked 45th in the report.

While both cities rank highly for the local economies, Cary ranks much higher than Durham for two categories, civics and infrastructure.

But Durham ranks higher than Cary in the categories that measure demographics and amenities, according to the report.

And Durham fell quite a bit from where the city ranked last year, when it was 25th.

Report: Triangle ranks 6th as best place to live in US despite rising housing costs

Best place to live omissions, rankings changes

Charlotte does not appear ranked in the top 100 best places to live, out of the more than 2,300 cities that the report notes were analyzed across the eight categories measured.

But that’s an omission perhaps made by choice, as the report notes that it focused on mid-sized cities for this year’s report, noting that they looked only to rank the cities with populations of 500,000 or smaller.

And this year’s report updated the methodology used to rank cities for the list, the report outlines.

Earlier this year, the Triangle ranked as the 6th best place to live in the United States, though the same report in 2021 ranked the region 2nd overall.

Raleigh, Durham, among top 15 cities to move to for remote work roles