Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach tops the ranking of 2019’s “Best Big Cities to Live,” compiled by the personal-finance Website Wallethub.

The nation’s 62 largest cities – each with a population of 300,000 or more – were evaluated on 56 key metrics that broke down to a number of main categories: affordability, public safety, economy, education/health and quality of life.

Rounding out the top 10 were Austin; Seattle; San Diego; Las Vegas; San Francisco; New York City; San Jose, Honolulu and Portland. The next 10 best included Raleigh; Minneapolis; Denver, Colorado Springs; Tampa; the District of Columbia; Pittsburgh; Mesa (Ariz.); Omaha; and Boston.

At the bottom of the ranking was Detroit, followed by Memphis; Cleveland; Baltimore; and St. Louis. (The entire ranking and methodology can be found at

What helped propel Virginia Beach to the top ranking? It had the lowest share of residents living in poverty (8 percent) and the highest home-ownership rate (64 percent), as well as the lowest rate of violent crime.

Among other findings of the study:

• Honolulu had the highest housing cost.

• Wichita had the shortest average commute time, at 18.2 minutes. New York City had the longest, at 40.8 minutes.

• New York City and San Francisco had the best walkability, with Indianapolis and Raleigh worst in that category.

• For bikeability, Minneapolis was tops while Oklahoma City and Kansas City were at the bottom.

• Miami had the lowest home-ownership rate, at 30.2 percent.

• Detroit had the highest percentage of residents living in poverty, at 38 percent.

• St. Louis had the highest amount of violent crime, a rate that was 15 times higher than that of Virginia Beach.

• New York City had the most restaurants per capita.

Data focuses on the cities themselves, rather than the entire metropolitan areas.

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