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US News: Huntsville No. 2 place to live in the country

Huntsville has attained yet another accolade as it continues to grow and develop.

U.S. News & World Report has named Huntsville the second best place to live in the entire country.

In the annual rankings released today, Birmingham came in at No. 80, Montgomery was ranked 94th, and Mobile was No. 115.

Last year, Huntsville topped the list at No. 1, but was unseated this year by Green Bay, Wis. The list ranks the United States 150 most populated cities. The categories the cities were ranked by included value, desirability, job market and quality of life.

Huntsville’s thriving job market, low cost of living and high quality of life were cited as primary reasons for its ranking.

“We have always known that Huntsville is a great place to live, work, and play,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “It is an honor to receive this recognition and to share our city’s story with the rest of the country.

“Huntsville is proud to once again join this impressive listing of dynamic cities. Whether we’re No. 2, No. 1 or No. 15, we’ll continue our focus on sustainable growth and maintaining the exceptional quality of life that our residents deserve.”

Wendy Payne, a travel agent based in the Huntsville area, said that growth is happening throughout the Rocket City.

“In the last year or so they have really boomed with apartment and condo complexes, making it accessible and affordable in the downtown area and close to jobs – or even for people who are working from home,” Payne said.

U.S. News discussed this years rankings.

“This year’s rankings are a reflection of the current economic, social and natural factors that impact a place’s livability for its residents,” said real estate editor Devon Thorsby.

“People are considering more than housing when they look at an area’s affordability – they want to know how much goods cost in that area. The ever-present risk for severe weather and a community’s ability to recover – coupled with the area’s opportunities for social activities – are also taken into account when evaluating a best place to live.”

Data for the categories came from the National Weather Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, Sharecare, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. News rankings of the Best High Schools and Best Hospitals.

Austen Shipley is staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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