Atlanta made the top 60 best places to live in the U.S. News ranking of metro areas for 2019. (Image via Shutterstock)

ATLANTA, GA — If you look beyond the heat, humidity and terrible traffic, Atlanta is a city bustling with history, standout cuisine, top sports teams and great jobs that make it a great city to live in. Atlanta is the 57th best place to live among America’s 125 largest metro areas, according to a new report published Tuesday by U.S. News & World Report.

The only other Georgia city that made the list was No. 72 Augusta. The news and information publisher determined the rankings based on factors such as quality of life, job market, value of living there and desire to live there.

Here’s what US News says of Atlanta:

"Among the nation’s fastest-growing metro areas, the Georgia capital is attracting newcomers from around the country, and people are looking to this part of the country for culture and commerce like never before. … Atlanta features award-winning restaurants and chefs, iconic locales that rival any across the country – including the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre, the CNN Center and the Western hemisphere’s largest indoor aquarium. …
The Chattahoochee River that traverses the metro area, and Stone Mountain, the world’s largest chunk of exposed granite, located just northeast of the city proper, also offer a quick escape from any urban anxiety. And there’s still a sense of that Southern charm that pervades the dynamic metropolis."

And here’s some of what the magazine wrote about Augusta, the second-largest metro in the state, and home of the Masters golf tournament:

"Founded in the early 1700s along the Savannah River, Augusta played a crucial role in the Revolutionary and Civil wars. Augusta even spent a decade as the state capital in the late 18th century. … Today, Augusta is home to a thriving culinary scene, and residents show a deep appreciation for the arts and the outdoors.
Augusta is also becoming a destination for retirees who want warm weather and a low cost of living. Plus, suburbs in nearby towns Evans, Martinez and Grovetown are go-to places for families to settle and commute into the downtown area."

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The report only ranks the 125 most populous metro areas. Most of the top 25 are located in the middle of the country, though the tech boom has benefited the Pacific Northwest, too.

Austin ranked as the best place to live for the third year in a row, followed by two Colorado cities. Interestingly, the Northeast was notably lacking at the top of the list.

"Our Northeastern cities, which are epicenters of higher education and economic development, are not growing nearly as much as places in Florida, California and Texas," Devon Thorsby, real estate editor at U.S. News, said in a release. "Plus, they are expensive to live in. Top-ranked places have the characteristics people are looking for, including steady job growth, affordability and a high quality of life."

Here are the top 10 places to live in 2019:

Austin, TXDenver, COColorado Springs, COFayetteville, ARDes Moines, IAMinneapolis-St. Paul, MNSan Francisco, CAPortland, ORSeattle, WARaleigh and Durham, NC

San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico that was devastated by Hurricane Maria in September 2017, ranked last. Five California metro areas also fell in the bottom 10. They were: Bakersfield, Stockton, Modesto, Fresno and Salinas.

Other major metros at the bottom of the list include Memphis, New Orleans, Miami, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

Quality of life and value received the most weight in the rankings. The authors created indexes for both using metrics such as crime rates, quality of health care and education, median household income, proportion of homeowners with a mortgage, and yearly housing costs. Click here to read the full methodology.

Patch national staffer Dan Hampton contributed to this report.

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