There are a lot of great cities in the U.S., but when you factor in value, jobs, quality of life and desirability, some are better than others.
U.S. News & World Reportanalyzed the 100 most populous metro areas in the country to find the best places to live, and the rankings might surprise you.
Boston came in at No. 8, with researchers applauding its low unemployment (3.2 percent),high average salary ($62,070), and ample access to colleges, cuisine and the arts.
Boston feels like a "small town with all the perks of city life," the report states."The metro area houses a diverse culinary scene, an appreciation for and access to the arts and proximity to world-class educational institutions, employers and health care."
It lost points for its high home prices($321,436) and low housing cost to salary value.
The studypicked which cities were the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.Austin, Texas, won the top spot this year. View the complete list here.
Philadelphia came in at No. 77, losing points for its unemployment rate (5 percent) and lower average salaries ($52,420).
It scored points for its youthful spirit and artistic setting.
"Philadelphia offers a unique setting for an eclectic mix of modern lifestyles, mingling both the edgy and the sophisticated," according to the report.
New York City, known as a "relentless metropolis" of dream-driven residents,ranked 80th. It's expensive and cut throat, but "the metro area is a place of opportunity, which is why – despite the crowds and costs – people keep coming."
High cost of living compared with relatively low salaries kept New York City low on the list, but the study praised its theaters, restaurants, museums, parks and diversity.