San Francisco Ranks in Top 10 Best American Cities in 2011

What are the factors that entice residents to a city? There are economic, recreational, social, access, education, and a number of other key factors.

"We looked at a range of positive metrics around quality of life, counted up restaurants, evaluated school scores, and considered the number of colleges and pro sports teams. All these factors and more add up to a city that would seem to offer it all."

Business week spent time processing data based on favorable factors to determine this year's best American cities. Here are the results along with brief excerpts:

  1. Raleigh, NC - Raleigh ranks as the best place to live in the U.S. The city sports a high number of bars, restaurants, and cultural institutions as well as a thriving social scene, great parks, and good schools. Raleigh shows the cultural graces that go along with anchoring the so-called research triangle, home to North Carolina State University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Of course, it’s also much more.
  2. Arlington, VA - The area is highly educated, with more than two-thirds of the population holding a college degree. Arlington has a median income level of $93,806, low levels of foreclosures, and the lowest unemployment among cities we ranked.
  3. Honolulu, HI - Honolulu is a beautiful place to live and play. The area has done well through the recession, with extremely low unemployment and a low level of foreclosures.
  4. Scottsdale, AZ - Scottsdale has the second best schools among cities we ranked, low unemployment, and a high number of park acres per person. More than half of the population has a college degree.
  5. Irvine, CA - The median income is $92,195 and 64.1 percent of the population is educated at the college level. Further, the area has the best schools among the cities on our list.
  6. Washington, D.C. - There are great bars, endless restaurants for hobnobbing, and some of the best museums on the planet.
  7. San Diego, CA - It’s always sunny, flip-flop weather.
  8. Virginia Beach, VA - Endless miles of sandy beaches and a happening three-mile boardwalk, along with thousands of acres of parks, make Virginia Beach a beautiful place to live.
  9. San Francisco, CA - From culture like the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to the leafy trees and conservatory of Golden Gate Park to the hippie history of the Haight, the city by the bay is a thriving, soulful city.
  10. Anchorage, AK - The city has far more park acres per person than any other city we ranked and the best air quality by a long shot.

Explore the 50 best cities as summarized by Businessweek.



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