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Green Bay again ranks among Best Places to Live. Did Titletown hold on to the top spot?

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Green Bay remains one of the Best Places to Live in the United States.

It’s just not the best, this year.

Titletown this week passed the “Best Place to Live in the United States” crown to Naples, Florida, but remained among the top 20, according to newly-released rankings from U.S. News & World Report. The digital media firm annually ranks the top 150 major United States cities on key metrics — like value, available jobs and quality of life —that people consider when choosing a place to live.

Green Bay dropped to 12th for the 2024-25 rankings, but remained on the list for its low cost of living and quality of life.

Green Bay remained the highest-ranked among the five Great Lakes region cities and two Wisconsin cities to make the top 25. The other Wisconsin city, Madison, ranked 14th, driven by its job market and quality of life. Milwaukee was the only other Wisconsin city ranked by U.S. News & World Report for this year’s list. The city ranked 112th.

The city remained on the list even as U.S. News & World Report shifted its data focus from metropolitan areas — that’s Brown, Kewaunee and Oconto counties in Green Bay’s case — to more city-based data that introduced more cities in the South and Midwest to the top 25.

“The incorporation of city-based data further localizes the Best Places to Live rankings, empowering those looking for a place to call home to consider factors directly impacting the livability and overall experiences associated with a given place,” said Erika Giovanetti, a loans expert and reporter with U.S. News & World Report, in a media release.

The attention and accolades continue for Green Bay

The Green Bay area continues to rack up accolades, high rankings, community wins, and attention from organizations like U.S. News & World Report, social media and pop culture celebrities.

The Green Bay area also ranked 7th among U.S. News’ Best Places to Live for Quality of Life in 2023-24 and last fall Rent named it the No. 1 city for hybrid workers.

YouTuber Nick Johnson after a winter visit called Green Bay a safe, affordable, “uniquely American city” that has “all the things people want in life” in a video recap of his three-day visit to Titletown for his “Unboxing America” video series.

Green Bay will host the 2025 NFL draft next April and there were more than a few star-studded nights at Lambeau Field last season. Green Bay and the Packers welcomed Simone Biles, Tony Shalhoub, Liv Morgan, Charlie Berens and Taylor Swift. And that was just one game.

How did U.S. News & World Report determine this year’s Best Places to Live rankings?

The organization asked thousands of people what factors are important when they choose a place to live and weighted four areas of focus based on the responses. The foci and weight given are:

  • Quality of Life: 32%
  • Value: 27%
  • Job Market: 22%
  • Desirability: 19%

U.S. News placed more weight on value and job market this year, but still gave quality of life factors the most weight.

U.S. News then drew upon data from a variety of sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, FEMA and U.S. News’ internal resources to assess the top 150 cities in the nation based on criteria in those four areas of focus.

Best Places list shows how Green Bay rates on value, schools, jobs, crime

The rankings give cities an overall score, but they also highlight how a community fares on key topics people think about when they find a place to live like cost of living, wages, jobs, schools and crime. The data cited below all comes from U.S. News & World Report.

Naples, this year’s number one spot, received an overall score of 7.1.

Green Bay, in 12th, received an overall score of 6.7. It scored 7.9 in the value category, third-highest of any city in the top 25, and 6.9 in the quality of life area.

Value is based on an area’s housing costs compared to its median income. U.S. News based cities’ value score on an affordability index that factors in both home owners’ and renters’ average housing costs and compares it to the areas median household income.

On wages and jobs, Green Bay scored a 6.3 and has a healthier job market than similar-sized cities. Its median household income, $63,931 is about 85% of the national average, $75,149 while Green Bay’s unemployment rate is 4.2%, well below the national average of 5.3%.

On schools and education, Green Bay scored a 5, lower than similar-sized cities.

On crime and safety, Green Bay scored 8.5, meaning it has a lower crime rate than similar-sized cities. It had a higher-than-average rate of 430 violent crimes committed per 100,000 people in 2022, but a lower-than-average rate of 1,734 property crimes committed per 100,000 people in 2022.

What are the 10 Best Places to Live in the U.S. according to the U.S. News & World Report?

  1. Naples, Florida
  2. Boise, Idaho
  3. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  4. Greenville, South Carolina
  5. Charlotte, North Carolina
  6. Raleigh, North Carolina
  7. Huntsville, Alabama
  8. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  9. Austin, Texas
  10. Boulder, Colorado

Contact Jeff Bollier at (920) 431-8387 or jbollier@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JeffBollier.

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