Sarasota ranked best place to live in Florida

City lands at No. 21 on U.S. News & World Report list for the U.S.

File photo

Sarasota has landed at No. 21 on the list of U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 Best Places to Live in the United States, and it beat out every other Florida city in the top 25.

Tampa came in at No. 35, Orlando was No. 40 and Jacksonville was No. 45. Melbourne just squeaked into the top 50, ending up at No. 49, but it was a notch above Atlanta, at No. 50, the list shows.

Calling itself “the global authority in rankings and consumer advice,” U.S. News & World Report ranked the country’s 100 largest metropolitan areas based on affordability, job prospects and quality of life, according to a news release.

The U.S. News & World Report listings included this chart for Sarasota. Image from the publication

Sarasota earned an overall score of 6.9 out of 10, the list says, with a 7.4 for quality of life and a 5.1 for value of living in the city. The note accompanying the listing says, “Warm temperatures year-round, award-winning beaches and a thriving arts and cultural scene have made Sarasota a go-to place for retirees and families, not to mention a handful of celebrities (including Stephen King and Rosie O’Donnell).” “This southwest Florida region, which is about an hour from Tampa and two hours from Orlando, continues to attract new residents with great restaurants and plenty of shopping options,” the note continues.

However, it adds, “As the population grows, the area struggles to keep up with infrastructure needs. Traffic congestion is becoming more common. Those who live, work or visit downtown Sarasota will see their share of construction cranes as the region copes with an influx of residents and a record-breaking number of tourists.”

Sarasota was just behind Houston, with San Diego following it in the No. 22 position, the list shows.

Austin, Texas, took the No. 1 spot, bumping Denver to No. 2, U.S. News pointed out. San Jose, Calif., climbed from No. 10 to No. 3, while Washington, D.C., moved up four spots to No. 4. Fayetteville, Ark., rounded out the top five.

These statistics were provided with the Sarasota listing. Image from U.S. News & World Report

“When considering a move people are concerned about finding a job in their field, earning enough to afford a home, sending their kids to good schools and feeling like a part of their community,” said Kim Castro, executive editor at U.S. News, in the announcement. “The Best Places to Live ranking takes all of that into account — the metro areas that do well are the ones with strong job markets and high quality of life,” Castro added in the release.

“The 2017 Best Places to Live were determined in part by a public survey of thousands of individuals across the U.S. to find out what qualities they consider important in a home town,” the news release explains. “The methodology also factors in data from the United States Census Bureau, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as U.S. News rankings of the Best High Schools and Best Hospitals,” the release points out.

To see the full city rankings, from 1 to 100, visit