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Atlanta ranked 50th best U.S. city to live in. Cue angst!

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Despite affordability and desirability, Atlanta finds itself in middle of “best places” list

Skyline of Midtown from the south.
“Rankings schmainkings!” says Atlanta.
Michael Kahn, Curbed Atlanta

This week didn’t start off so hot for Atlanta, and the hits keep coming.

On Tuesday, U.S. News & World Report released their annual list of the best places to live in the country, and Atlanta’s ranking was less than flattering.

According to a range of metrics, Atlanta fell dead center, showing up at number 50 out of 100 on the list. Generally we think better of ourselves ‘round these parts.

The slap-in-the-face slotting weighed factors like cost of living, employment, commute, weather, and demographics.

Some of the metrics used in our ranking.
U.S. News & World Report

Adding insult to injury, Atlanta ranked in the bottom half of the 21 largest metros (with more than 2.5 million residents), falling behind places like Denver (#2), Washington, D.C (#4), Seattle (#6), and Boston (#8). Though, let’s be honest, Bostonians have to live near Tom Brady (when he’s not holing up in Malibu or whatnot), so at least we don’t have that.

Overall, our lowest ranking came from the “Quality of Life” group, which happens to be the most heavily weighted of the categories. The metric considers things like crime rates, health care, education, well-being, and average commutes.

The commute thing appeared to hold Atlanta back, with average commute times — more than 30 minutes — exacerbated by lack of public transit options.

Atlanta commutes didn’t help our ranking.
U.S. News & World Report

However, Atlanta did rank above well-connected northern cities like Philadelphia (#77), New York (#80), and Chicago (#83), so clearly the transit factor isn’t the only thing holding us back.

Plus, we can take solace in knowing this all refers to metro Atlanta, and not just the city proper. And there were highlights.

Where Atlanta shined brightest were the categories of overall value and net migration — affirming that overall Atlanta is still one of the most affordable cities in the country and that people are moving here in droves. Alas, all for naught.

Maybe Atlanta should just take the rest of the week off.