10 of the Best US Cities to Move To in 2024

time exposure of traffic lights on congress avenue in downtown Austin infront of the Paramount and State theaters at night
Credit: RozenskiP / Shutterstock Credit: RozenskiP / Shutterstock

State capitals in the United States aren’t just for politics — these locations also make great places to live. But which capitals are the most popular places people call home? Is living on the West Coast or the East Coast better? A recent WalletHub study published on February 13 compared all 50 U.S. capital cities across 48 key indicators (such as education, affordability, and quality of life) to best understand the factors that make these locations so desirable. 

Austin, Texas, took first place on WalletHub’s list, with a state capital index score of 64 out of 100. The Lone Star city also scored top honors in quality of education, healthcare, and economic well-being. From its bustling live music scene to its nearly 500 public parks, you’ll never have to sacrifice the culture of a big city for easy access to the great outdoors.

Madison City street view in Wisconsin of USA
Credit: Nejdet Duzen / Shutterstock Credit: Nejdet Duzen / Shutterstock

Second place on WalletHub’s list went to Madison, Wisconsin, which ranked second overall in terms of education and healthcare and third in terms of general quality of life, according to WalletHub’s data and metrics. “Mad City,” as it’s nicknamed, was also named the most neighborly city in America in 2023, thanks to a strong food and beer scene, its high voter turnout, and its outdoor recreation opportunities.

Raleigh, North Carolina, came in third place. Known as the “Research Triangle,” thanks to its proximity to a number of major research universities and tech companies, the city is a hub for educational and job growth, and it scored third in quality of life ranking with a score of 13. 

Here’s the rest of the top 10 U.S. capital cities, according to WalletHub.

6. Lincoln, Nebraska

7. Salt Lake City, Utah

8. Columbus, Ohio

9. Denver, Colorado

10. Concord, New Hampshire

You can read the full report and check out where your own capital city ranked here.