Wondering where the best places to live in the United States are?
The United States and its lifestyle have been desirable to expats for many years. Known as the land of opportunity, America offers a diverse range of jobs and a high-quality lifestyle to accompany it.
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However, each US state is unique in terms of culture, climate, and people. As a result, many excellent cities are well worth considering if you’re planning a move.
To help you narrow down your choice, here are the six best places to live in the United States for expats.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco has everything, from a thriving economy to gorgeous weather to plenty of things to do and see. Located in “The Golden State,” San Francisco, especially the Bay Area, is one of the trendiest expat hot spots in the country.
This Californian city has a youthful, friendly, and bohemian vibe and offers plenty of exciting work and business opportunities. Thus, it is one of the best cities to live in the United States for young expats looking to climb the career ladder.
In recent years, San Francisco has become a hub for start-ups, especially in the tech industry. As a result, thousands of successful tech companies are now in the city offering well-paid jobs.
Thus, if this is your field, San Francisco is the best place to be.
San Francisco’s diverse, multicultural culture adds to its friendly and welcoming feel. The city is also incredibly charming, with cute sidewalk cafes, beautiful city parks, breathtaking viewpoints, and an iconic tram network.
The biggest downside of San Francisco is that it is one of the most expensive cities in the states. A one-bedroom apartment will set you back between $2,500 and $3,500 a month.
On top of that, you’ll need around $1,500 for other monthly expenses.
New York City
From one expensive city to another, New York is full of opportunities and an exciting, fast-paced lifestyle. However, living in this famous city will be heavy on your wallet as living costs are more or less the same as in San Francisco, as are the wages.
The job market in The Big Apple is enormous, with the broadest range of opportunities in the country. So no matter which field you work in and how skilled or experienced you are, you’ll find the perfect career fit here.
That being said, considering the city’s high living costs, it will be challenging to get by with a low-skilled job.
New York City is known as the city that doesn’t sleep, so if you’re up all night and love to party, you’ll be in your element here.
It’s practically impossible to get bored as there is so much for all tastes, from world-class shopping to renowned theater shows to iconic restaurants and nightclubs.
If you’re earning $60,000 plus a year and love the hustle and bustle of big cities, New York is easily one of the best places to live in the USA. However, if you prefer a peaceful environment or want to save rather than spend, consider the other best American cities.
Chicago tops the list if you’re looking for a cheaper US city. In 2022, Chicago was voted the best big city in the United States by Conde Nast Traveler for the sixth year in a row.
There are so many reasons why Chicago is highly rated, from its impressive architecture to its world-class cuisine to its famous brewing scene.
Another reason foreigners adore this Illinois city so much is because of how diverse, welcoming, and accepting it is to people of different backgrounds and nationalities.
Chicago’s nightlife almost rivals New York’s, along with its food scene. It’s also rich in nature and culture, full of music, art, sports, and green spaces.
In addition, there are plenty of jobs and business opportunities in various fields, such as Finance, IT, Engineering, and Manufacturing.
Renting in Chicago is much more affordable than in San Francisco and New York. You can get a one-bedroom apartment for $1,500 to $2,000 monthly.
Wages are about 25% lower in Chicago, which, if you do the math, still works out to be a lower cost of living in Chicago.
Portland is Oregon’s largest city known for its vibrant culture and breathtaking nature spots. The city’s northern location sees warm, dry summers and cold, rainy winters.
Unlike some of the other best American cities, Portland is not huge, so it doesn’t feel crowded, hectic, or overwhelming.
Portland’s neighborhoods all have a unique charm. For example, Hawthorne has a bohemian vibe with quirky boutiques, live music, and vegan eateries.
On the other hand, Southwest Hills is the most lavish and expensive. Goose Hollow is popular among young professionals as it offers an easy commute to downtown.
Rent and living costs are similar to Chicago, but on average, 10% lower. In addition, Portland has many thriving industries, including outdoor sports, bioscience, climate tech, and healthcare.
Portland has an excellent transport system, and most of the city is walkable, so it’s easy to live here without owning a car.
Still, one downside to Portland is that it is harder to make friends than in places like New York.
Houston is one of the best cities in the United States for expats as it has affordable living costs and many notable growing industries that hire foreigners.
In addition, as the fourth-largest city in the USA, there are plenty of exciting things to do day and night.
Another advantage of choosing Houston as your new home is warm-weather all year round.
In addition, beyond the metropolis of the downtown district, Houston has many large green spaces and lovely nature spots, including a much-loved arboretum and nature center.
Of course, the most famous industry in Houston is Aerospace, as the city is home to the renowned NASA Space Center. However, many other sectors, such as energy, health care, and biomedical research, are thriving here.
Rent and consumer prices in Houston are very affordable, especially for transport, utilities, and groceries. You can rent a one-bedroom apartment for around $1,500 or a 3-bedroom house for less than $3,000.
As the average monthly salary is $5,000, Houston is easily one of the best US cities for quality of life.
Living in Florida is a dream for many Americans and Non-Americans. The Sunshine State is adored by sun-worshippers looking for a relaxed lifestyle close to the beach.
Miami is the most popular city in Florida among expats living and working in the USA due to its vast job opportunities and happening nightlife. There are also tons of exciting things to do and see and stunning beaches.
Like the entire state, Miami boasts an excellent outdoor lifestyle; thus, residents often rate their well-being as high. There is also a very diverse population, including Greeks, Spaniards, Cubans, and Native Americans; therefore, settling in to live in Miami is typically easy.
Tourism is easily the most significant industry in Miami and the rest of Florida, so if you ever dreamed of working at Disney World, you could make this a reality.
Other thriving industries include aviation/aerospace, life sciences, and finance, but you’ll likely find openings in most sectors.
Some downsides to Miami are the higher-than-average crime rates and hurricane risks. It is also one of the more expensive cities in the US, though cheaper than New York and San Francisco.
You can typically rent a one-bedroom apartment in Miami for $2,000 to $2,500.
Final Thoughts On Best Places To Live In The United States
These six cities are just a few of the best places to live in the United States. As the fourth largest country in the world in area, there are endless choices for expats considering a move to the states.
Lifestyle, climate, nature, and culture vary throughout, so choosing between the best US cities will depend on what you seek from American life.
Not sure if the United States is the right place for you? Read one of the following guides: