Exploring the streets of Grafton Hill and Five Oaks. VIVIENNE MACHI / STAFF

Dayton among U.S. News and World Report's 2016 "Best Places To Live"

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Methodology: For the inaugural Best Places to Live rankings, the U.S. News & World Report took into account the following factors: the value of living; the quality of life; the health of the job market; whether or not people want to live there; whether or not people are actually moving there.

About 2,000 Internet users from across the country were polled on these factors. Data was also collected from sources including the United States Census, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Report, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The report also utilized the U.S. News & World Report's Best High Schools and Best Hospitals rankings, using their own data for the first time, as well as their own calculated Quality of Life Index and Desirability Index to inform their rankings. The rankings will be refreshed once a year.

The U.S. News & World Report is now telling the nation what we already knew here: It’s a good time to live in the Dayton Metro Area.

The nationally recognized leader in ranking everything from colleges to hospitals to mutual funds released its inaugural "Best Places to Live" rankings this morning, and the Gem City is present at number 69.

The U.S. News and World Report polled about 2,000 Internet users and studied data from governmental and non-governmental sources to come up with the top 100 metro areas in the country based on the value of living, quality of life, job market health, desirability, and net migration, according to a press release by the outlet. 

Dayton is one of six Ohio areas that made the top 100: Cincinnati placed highest at #37, followed by Columbus (50), Dayton, Toledo (75), Youngstown (77), and Cleveland (87). The top 5 areas were, in order, Denver, Colo., Austin, Tex., Fayetteville, Ark., Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and Colorado Springs, Colo.

Specifics on the Dayton ranking were not included, but these 5 accolades the city received in 2015 alone help reflect this positive ranking:

Bike trailsThe Creekside Trail in Beavercreek that runs from Eastwood MetroPark to Xenia is approximately 18 miles. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

The Oregon District's Fifth Street was named one of the top 5 "Great Streets" in the country, with the American Planning Association noting amenities including the Link Dayton Bike Share stations and bus service, and the successful business revitalization while preserving the historic significance of the corridor.

Forbes named Dayton one of the country's most affordable cities, based upon data studied on housing affordability, cost of living, and Consumer Price Index. Real estate search company Trulia also named Dayton the second-most affordable city in the U.S., after Akron.

The Gem City was selected to host the 2017 International Trails Symposium. The California-based American Trails lauded Dayton's partnerships and effort to develop and support southwest Ohio's trail system in their selection. 

Downtown Dayton's champions proved to stakeholders and investors what a comeback the area was having. The Downtown Dayton Partnership Co-Chair Mike Ervin cited nearly $1 billion in investment since the launch of the Greater Downtown Dayton plan.

- Dayton's art scene was named number 4 most artistic mid-size American city by Gogobot.com. Well, with resources like the Dayton Art Institute, the Dayton Visual Arts Center and K12 Gallery & TEJAS (to name only a few), that came as no surprise.

Dayton Masonic TempleThe Dayton Masonic Temple in the Grafton Hill Neighborhood. VIVIENNE MACHI / STAFF

> > > Explore Dayton's neighborhoods through photos, residents' quotes, and fun facts < < <

From the beautiful MetroParks system to the amazing Daytonians who work constantly to make our city great, to the Best of Dayton businesses, and all the businesses that make Dayton a thriving and exciting place to frequent, there are so many great reasons to live here that weren't even considered. If you're in the mood to celebrate, you can raise a glass at the Century Bar, named one of the country's top Bourbon bars two years in a row by "The Bourbon Review."

The "Best Places to Live" rankings list is part of the expanding Real Estate channel at U.S. News, which includes the Best Real Estate Agents and advice content to help individuals make important real estate decisions. Find the full list of ranked cities here.

“The Best Places to Live ranking accounts for the most important concerns people have about where to live, such as cost of living, employment opportunities and access to good schools,” said Miriam Weiner, product manager for Real Estate at U.S. News. “Top-ranked areas not only have steady job markets, but they also have attributes that contribute to a high quality of life – affordability, low crime rates, shorter commute times and quality health care.”

The top 10 list includes number-one Denver for its healthy job market, cost of living, and positive perception; Austin takes the second spot due to its net migration, low unemployment rate and high desirability score.

Overall, smaller cities like number 11 Des Moines, Iowa, ranked for their affordability, the report states. Americans valued quality of life the most, and on average ranked health care as their least important factor in a move. Big concerns included living costs, rather than employment opportunities, the report states.

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