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Naples is awesome but did U.S. News rank it No. 1 for ‘Best Places to Live’ in America?

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Neapolitans believe Naples is an awesome place to live, and U.S. News & World Report agrees.

Naples ranks No. 1 in its annual Best Places to Live in the U.S., the only Florida city to make the top 10. The Southwest Florida city often rank high on various “best” lists by the national magazine and others, usually noted for its weather and quality of life.

“I love seeing sunshine almost every day,” said Mark Danni, founder and artistic director of TheatreZone, who’s lived in Naples for 22 years. “I love that Naples has a wide variety of live performing arts groups where Neapolitans can see so many different performing arts productions throughout the year.”

Naples in the past decade also has become more familiar as the Pickleball Capital of the World. The region in April again hosted the another U.S. Open Pickleball Championships. The very first championships were played in Naples in 2016.

What other Florida cities made the list

Sarasota came in at No. 11, followed by Pensacola (No. 31); Fort Myers (37); Melbourne (No. 49); Jacksonville (56); Orlando (68); Tallahassee (75); Ocala (78); Lakeland (80); Port St. Lucie (83); Daytona Beach (96); and Miami (123) rounded out the top 150.

“Naples, Florida, takes the top spot due to its strong desirability and job market scores, andmoderately high quality-of-life score,” U.S. News said in its report.

Factors U.S. News used in ranking cities

U.S. News & World Report says its “Best Places to Live’ rankings “are designed to help readers make the most informed decision when choosing where to settle down.”

“To craft the methodology, U.S. News asked thousands of people to tell us what factors are important to them when choosing a place to live,” the company said in a news released.

U.S. News said it categorized data into four indexes: Quality of Life Index (32%), Value Index (27%), Job Market Index (22%) and Desirability Index (19 %). Data is sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau, FBI, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sharecare, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and U.S. News’ internal resources.

How Naples has ranked in recent years

Naples in 2023 ranked No. 6 on the 2023-24 list of the 150 “Best Places to Live in the U.S.” from U.S. News & World Report.

And in 2022, Naples also ranked sixth ― down from No. 2 in 2021 ― in the U.S. News and World Report’s list of The 10 Best Places to Retire in the U.S. The magazine unveiled the rankings Tuesday.

Was Naples among fastest growing cities in the U.S.?

Based on booming development, some would think Naples made the top of that list but it did not make the top 5.

Star power: Judge Judy, Bob Seger, Newt Gingrich: Celebrities who call Naples, Marco Island home

However, another Southwest Florida city did. U.S. News ranked Fort Myers No. 1 for “Fastest Growing Places,” with three other Florida cities making the top 5: Port St. Lucie (No. 3), Daytona Beach (4) and Tallahassee (5).

Dave Osborn is the regional features editor of the Naples Daily News and News-Press. Follow him on Instagram and Threads @lacrossewriter and on X (formerly Twitter) @NDN_dosborn.

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