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    Best 25 Places to Live in East Coast

    A move to the East Coast may bring you closer to family, give you access to the right job or simply fit the vibe you’re looking for. The East Coast is diverse, so you’ll have plenty of choices among seaside locales, bustling urban centers, places that provide Southern charm and towns known for their fall colors. To help you determine the place in this part of the country that’s the best fit for you, we looked at the metro areas within 100 miles of the Atlantic coast that rank highest among the Best Places to Live, which considers factors including affordability, job market, desirability and morning commute, among others.

    The 25 Best Places to Live on the East Coast are:

    1. Baltimore.
    2. Springfield, Massachusetts.
    3. New York City.
    4. New Haven, Connecticut.
    5. Reading, Pennsylvania.
    6. Providence, Rhode Island.
    7. Salisbury, Maryland.
    8. York, Pennsylvania.
    9. Worcester, Massachusetts.
    10. Trenton, New Jersey.
    11. Port St. Lucie, Florida.
    12. Hartford, Connecticut.
    13. Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
    14. Charleston, South Carolina.
    15. Manchester, New Hampshire.
    16. Daytona Beach, Florida.
    17. Boston.
    18. Richmond, Virginia.
    19. Washington, D.C.
    20. Savannah, Georgia.
    21. Virginia Beach, Virginia.
    22. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
    23. Jacksonville, Florida.
    24. Melbourne, Florida.
    25. Portland, Maine.

    25. Baltimore

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 116
    Metro Population: 2,837,237
    Median Home Price: $352,379
    Average Annual Salary: $64,500

    The sunset reflects off the windows of the Baltimore city skyline at dusk, Maryland. This view was taken from Federal Hill Park overlooking the Inner Harbor. (The sunset reflects off the windows of the Baltimore city skyline at dusk, Maryland. This vi

    Baltimore offers a job market that may be a reason to consider this mid-Atlantic locale: Its average annual salary, at $64,500, is well above the national average of $58,260. However, more people are moving out of the Baltimore metro area than are moving in. Between 2020 and 2021, the population shrank by 0.13% due to net migration, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    24. Springfield, Massachusetts

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 108
    Metro Population: 699,160
    Median Home Price: $333,741
    Average Annual Salary: $58,230

    Springfield, Massachusetts, USA downtown skyline on the river at dusk.

    Located in western Massachusetts, Springfield is roughly 60 miles from the coast via Connecticut. Springfield residents benefit from plenty of high-quality health care options within driving distance. A bonus: The average morning commute for Springfield residents is just 23.3 minutes, allowing locals to spend more time at home. The national average commute is 26.8 minutes.

    23. New York City

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 98
    Metro Population: 20,968,258
    Median Home Price: $668,376
    Average Annual Salary: $74,108

    Image of the Manhattan skyline at sunset from an elevated angle.

    The most populous metro area in the U.S. offers plenty of entertainment, a wide variety of job opportunities and just about every type of neighborhood you could imagine. Still, living in the City That Never Sleeps comes at a high cost – both housing and the cost of goods and services compared with other metro areas require a big paycheck. Overall, New York City is the 10th most expensive place to live out of the 150 metro areas on the list.

    22. New Haven, Connecticut

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 95
    Metro Population: 864,751
    Median Home Price: $376,708
    Average Annual Salary: $62,030

    Autumn in New Haven Connecticut

    A classic New England town, New Haven is home to Yale University and sits on New Haven Harbor, where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. New Haven receives its best score for its quality of life, which factors in quality of education for high school students, access to quality health care, overall well-being, average commute time, risk of and resilience to extreme weather, crime and air quality. New Haven ranks No. 22 out of the 150 most populous metro areas in the U.S. for quality of life.

    21. Reading, Pennsylvania

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 88
    Metro Population: 426,967
    Median Home Price: $210,816
    Average Annual Salary: $51,680

    Reading, Pennsylvania - November 28, 2020: The red lights of the Reading Pagoda at night overlooking the city of Reading.

    Reading is another inland metro area within 100 miles of ocean access – in Reading’s case, the Delaware Bay and upper Chesapeake Bay are within this radius. Reading takes the No. 24 spot for proximity to quality health care, and the No. 21 spot for its low rates of property crime, violent crime and murder, based on data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    20. Providence, Rhode Island

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 86
    Metro Population: 1,668,019
    Median Home Price: $456,217
    Average Annual Salary: $60,530

    Providence, RI

    Providence area residents benefit from an annual salary of $60,530, above the national average of $58,260. Providence is home to major employers like Brown University, Citizens Financial Group and the Roger Williams Medical Center. Providence residents spend 25.37% of the area’s median annual household income on housing, above the median cost of living for all 150 metro areas on the Best Places to Live list, which is 24%.

    19. Salisbury, Maryland

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 82
    Metro Population: 414,424
    Median Home Price: $354,158
    Average Annual Salary: $47,510

    Riverbank in southern Maryland.

    On Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Salisbury sits in the center of the peninsula, with short drives that take you to either the Chesapeake Bay to the west or the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Salisbury’s highest score on the overall Best Places to Live ranking is for its relatively low risk of and high resilience to extreme weather and natural disasters, based on data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where it ranks fifth out of the 150 most populous metro areas in the U.S.

    18. York, Pennsylvania

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 78
    Metro Population: 454,605
    Median Home Price: $210,546
    Average Annual Salary: $51,240

    York, Pennsylvania during the day.

    York is one of the inland metro areas on this list, but it’s still less than 100 miles to the ocean and closest to upper Chesapeake Bay. York offers a historic smaller-town feel, and residents enjoy a lower cost of living, spending just 22.37% of the area median annual household income on housing. York also ranks 17th on the list for access to quality health care, based on data from the U.S. News Best Hospitals ranking.

    17. Worcester, Massachusetts

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 77
    Metro Population: 973,361
    Median Home Price: $419,241
    Average Annual Salary: $62,740

    Worcester, Massachusetts, USA Skyline.

    Worcester’s average annual salary, at $62,740, is above the national average. People working in the Worcester area experience a trade-off of a longer commute for the higher pay, however, as the average morning trip to work takes 29.3 minutes. Worcester ranks eighth out of the 150 most populous metro areas in the U.S. for its low rates of property crime, violent crime and murder, according to FBI data.

    16. Trenton, New Jersey

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 71
    Metro Population: 384,951
    Median Home Price: $331,317
    Average Annual Salary: $71,600

    Waterfront section Trenton, New Jersey - Delaware River and Capital Statehouse

    Trenton is the No. 4 metro area out of the 150 on the list for access to quality health care, based on Best Hospitals data. The average annual salary for Trenton residents, at $71,600, is more than $13,000 over the national average. Despite the higher pay, residents are still spending a large amount of their pay on housing – the cost of living requires 26.37% of the area’s median household income.

    15. Port St. Lucie, Florida

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 63
    Metro Population: 482,922
    Median Home Price: $354,119
    Average Annual Salary: $47,710

    Beautiful nature preserve in Port Saint Lucie Florida.

    If you’re looking for a coastal Florida spot with fewer beaches to attract seasonal visitors, the smaller metro area of Port St. Lucie is a solid option. While it’s made up of fewer than 500,000 people, Port St. Lucie is growing fast. It’s now the fifth-fastest growing metro area in the U.S. after increasing its population by 3.4% between 2020 and 2021 due to net migration.

    14. Hartford, Connecticut

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 56
    Metro Population: 1,213,324
    Median Home Price: $364,625
    Average Annual Salary: $67,140

    Hartford, Connecticut, USA downtown cityscape.

    Ranking No. 56 on the overall Best Places to Live list, Hartford receives its best score for its college readiness among high school students, based on data from the U.S. News Best High Schools rankings. Hartford ranks 10th out of the 150 most populous metro areas in the U.S. in college readiness. Plus, the area’s average annual salary, at $67,140, is nearly $9,000 above the national average of $58,260.

    13. Lancaster, Pennsylvania

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 55
    Metro Population: 550,480
    Median Home Price: $259,812
    Average Annual Salary: $50,000

    Lancaster is a city located in South Central Pennsylvania which serves as the seat of Pennsylvania's Lancaster County and one of the oldest inland towns in the United States

    Surrounded by Amish country, Lancaster allows residents to live close to the East Coast without a hefty cost of living. Lancaster also ranks No. 21 out of the 150 metro areas for quality of life, largely due to its proximity to quality health care, low crime rates and low risk of extreme weather events. Between 2020 and 2021, the Lancaster area saw very little population growth due to net migration – just 0.07%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    12. Charleston, South Carolina

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 53
    Metro Population: 789,932
    Median Home Price: $448,646
    Average Annual Salary: $51,850

    Charleston, South Carolina, USA historic downtown cityscape.

    Charleston is a popular choice for those seeking an East Coast locale with warm weather, beach options, history and culture. The metro area grew by 1.11% between 2020 and 2021 due to net migration alone. Combined with high scores for its desirability as a potential place to live and for its job market, Charleston ranks No. 53 on the overall Best Places to Live list in 2023-2024.

    11. Manchester, New Hampshire

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 51
    Metro Population: 420,504
    Median Home Price: $399,121
    Average Annual Salary: $59,920

    Manchester is the largest city in the state of New Hampshire and the largest city in northern New England. Manchester is known for its industrial heritage, riverside mills, affordability, and arts & cultural destination.

    Manchester’s highest score in the overall Best Places to Live ranking is for its low risk of natural disasters, and high resilience to those that could occur, based on FEMA data. Out of the 150 most populous metro areas in the U.S., Manchester ranks No. 1 in the extreme weather category. Additionally, Manchester ranks 12th for its low rates of property crime, violent crime and murder, according to FBI data.

    10. Daytona Beach, Florida

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 49
    Metro Population: 662,671
    Median Home Price: $339,137
    Average Annual Salary: $44,620

    Daytona Beach in Florida coastline of USA

    If you’re seeking easy access to warm weather and beaches, Daytona Beach is an enticing option. Daytona Beach is a popular retirement destination – the metro area has a median age of 47.5 years – but it’s somewhat pricey. Daytona Beach ranks No. 95 out of 150 for its affordability, factoring in housing costs – which require 25.38% of the median household income – and the cost of goods and services compared with other metro areas.

    9. Boston

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 44
    Metro Population: 4,912,030
    Median Home Price: $713,792
    Average Annual Salary: $76,850

    Boston, MA

    If a major metro area with big-city benefits is ideal for you, Boston may be your best option. The capital of Massachusetts ranks No. 36 for desirability out of all the metro areas on the Best Places to Live ranking. Beantown’s high average annual salary keeps it at the fifth-best job market out of the 150 most populous metro areas in the U.S. Boston also ranks sixth for quality of life.

    8. Richmond, Virginia

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 42
    Metro Population: 1,303,212
    Median Home Price: $395,164
    Average Annual Salary: $56,370

    Richmond, Virginia, USA Drone Skyline Aerial.

    Virginia’s capital city offers modern Southern charm and a varied job market for people looking to work in the financial industry, state government or even tourism. With an average annual salary of $56,370, Richmond is just below the national average salary of $58,260. While it’s lower than some other places on this list, the cost of living in Richmond is rising, as housing costs require 24.21% of the median annual household income.

    7. Washington, D.C.

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 39
    Metro Population: 6,332,069
    Median Home Price: $535,038
    Average Annual Salary: $80,480

    Washington DC, USA at the tidal basin with Washington Monument in spring season.

    Ranking No. 39 on the overall Best Places to Live list for 2023-2024, the District of Columbia has an average annual salary of $80,480, contributing to its job market ranking No. 3 out of the 150 most populous metro areas in the U.S., behind San Jose, California, and San Francisco. Still, the cost of living here continues to rise, and requires 25.43% of the median household income.

    6. Savannah, Georgia

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 37
    Metro Population: 401,541
    Median Home Price: $291,778
    Average Annual Salary: $49,170

    Savannah, Georgia, USA bars and restaurants on River Street at twilight.

    While the city of Savannah is located on the Savannah River, a short drive within the metro area will get you to popular islands with beaches and access to the open ocean. With just over 400,000 residents, Savannah is a relatively small metro area that’s continuing to grow. Between 2020 and 2021, Savannah saw its population increase by 1.02% due to net migration, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    5. Virginia Beach, Virginia

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 30
    Metro Population: 1,791,198
    Median Home Price: $310,810
    Average Annual Salary: $53,920

    Aerial view of the Virginia Beach oceanfront and hotels looking south

    The popular beach destination receives its highest score for desirability, based on a SurveyMonkey survey that asked more than 3,100 U.S. residents where they would prefer to live. Out of the 150 most populous metro areas in the U.S., Virginia Beach ranks No. 21 for desirability. Residents also benefit from a short average morning commute of just 24.7 minutes, more than two minutes shorter than the national average of 26.8 minutes.

    4. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 18
    Metro Population: 478,654
    Median Home Price: $351,681
    Average Annual Salary: $40,470

    A royalty free DSLR action photo of dramatic colors as they emblazon the sky at a resort beach during sunrise/sunset. Cast in silhouette are a ferris wheel, hotel condominiums, beachcombers, and a long seaside dock.

    Myrtle Beach is a popular vacation spot in South Carolina, and it’s gaining new residents at a pace unmatched by any other metro area in the U.S. Myrtle Beach grew by 4.46% between 2020 and 2021 due to net migration. Myrtle Beach is also highly desired by those who aren’t moving to Myrtle Beach, or at least aren’t moving there yet. The metro area ranked No. 1 out of the 150 places on the list for desirability.

    3. Jacksonville, Florida

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 16
    Metro Population: 1,581,680
    Median Home Price: $348,852
    Average Annual Salary: $51,910

    Jacksonville, Florida, USA Skyline.

    Located close to the state’s border with Georgia, Jacksonville ranks No. 16 on the overall Best Places to Live list for 2023-2024. Jacksonville isn’t the fastest-growing place in Florida, but it is seeing plenty of new residents. Jacksonville grew by 1.6% between 2020 and 2021 due to net migration. Jacksonville also ranks No. 16 out of the 150 metro areas on the list for desirability.

    2. Melbourne, Florida

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 15
    Metro Population: 601,573
    Median Home Price: $217,400
    Average Annual Salary: $54,360

    This coastal Florida metro area that includes Cape Canaveral receives its highest score for its high rates of college readiness among high school students. In this category, Melbourne ranks 19th out of the 150 most populous metro areas in the U.S. In addition, Melbourne continues to experience rapid population growth due to net migration, with the area growing by 2.05% between 2020 and 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    1. Portland, Maine

    Best Places 2023-2024 Rank: 7
    Metro Population: 547,792
    Median Home Price: $428,900
    Average Annual Salary: $57,060

    Portland, Maine, USA coastal townscape on Portland Harbor.

    The No. 1 place to live on the East Coast is also the northernmost East Coast option. The largest metro area in Maine receives a high score for its low rates of property crime, violent crime and murder, for which it ranks fourth out of the 150 most populous metro areas in the U.S. It also scores high for resident happiness based on the Sharecare Community Well-Being Index, ranking 28th, and for air quality, for which Portland ranks No. 15.

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