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 https://bit.ly/29LmMau.)

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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