Which city ranks as the best place to live in the US?

Two women return from a mountain hike, in Boulder, Colorado, early Tuesday July 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

(NEXSTAR) — When it comes to the best place to live in the United States, Colorado is not backing down.

Boulder, Colorado, took the No. 1 spot for the second year in a row in U.S. News and World Report’s annual Best Places to Live rankings.

In a profile, local expert Katy Marquardt described Boulder as a “blissed-out enclave” that attracts “young professionals, families, academics, scientists, transplants from both coasts, old guards who insist it was way cooler in the 1970s and, above all, lovers of outdoor recreation.”

She added, “Trail runners, hikers, climbers, cyclists and more move here to live in this perpetual playground, where the answer to ‘What do you do?’ is often one’s activity of choice, not occupation.”

Though Colorado didn’t snag as many top 10 spots as it did last year — two this year compared to last year’s four — it remained in favor based on its college readiness among high school students, reported well-being among residents and stable job market.

Based on a survey of more than 3,600 people, Boulder topped the list followed by Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina; Huntsville, Alabama; Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Austin, Texas. Rounding out the top 10 were Colorado Springs, Colorado; Naples, Florida; Portland, Maine; Sarasota, Florida, and Portland, Oregon.

U.S News said the overall rankings show how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted many U.S. metro areas, causing soaring unemployment rates and a rising cost of living in many parts of the country, a major consideration when people are considering a move to a new metro area. A changing view on ideal places to live was also a factor.

As a result, more stable metro areas rose in the rankings compared to last year.

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