Another ranking for best cities in the United States is out, giving Reno one more opportunity to go toe-to-toe with other metro areas in the country.
US News & World Report just released its list of Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2023-24, ranking 150 metro areas.
The report was released on the same day as the Milken Institute’s 2023 Best-Performing Cities list, where Reno ranked pretty high at 16th.
More:Reno rises in list of 2023 Milken best-performing cities but housing still a problem
So how did Reno do in the US News & World Report rankings?
Well, in the words of today’s youth, Reno did “aight.”
Reno ranked 79th overall in the list with a score of 6.3 out of 10, which is about middle of the pack. To put that in perspective, the No. 1 overall city — Green Bay, Wisconsin — scored 6.9 out of 10. In short, while Reno’s ranking isn’t exactly great, it isn’t too bad, either.
If it’s any consolation, Reno did much better than its cross-state rival. Las Vegas ranked 136th out of 150 with an overall score of 5.7. Whatever US News & World Report’s equivalent of the Fremont Cannon is, it’s apparently staying in Northern Nevada for now.
So how does US News & World Report come up with its city rankings?
US News & World Report ranks cities based on several criteria such as quality of life, value, desirability and job market.
Here is what goes into each of the aforementioned criteria.
- Quality of life: This includes metrics such as crime rates, commute times, healthcare availability and air quality. Reno actually ranked high in quality of life last year at No. 9 but dropped out of the top 25 entirely this year. The metric remains Reno’s highest score, however, at 6.8 out of 10.
- Value: This is based on housing affordability as well as the cost of goods, housing and utility. Reno has been hit especially hard by a housing affordability crisis in recent years thanks to house prices and rents rising at a much faster clip than area incomes. So while Reno remains cheaper compared to the Bay Area, it still suffers from affordability woes based on area salaries.
- Desirability: This index measures how much people want to live in an area. This metric uses a desirability poll via SurveyMonkey as well as weather, net migration and number of establishments such as restaurants compared to total population. This is Reno’s lowest-scoring index at 5.6 out of 10.
- Job market: This index factors in metrics such as the unemployment rate and average salaries. Reno’s unemployment rate has run higher than the U.S. average since the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit Nevada especially hard due to the impact on its leisure and hospitality sector.
Where did Reno do well and not so well in the best cities ranking?
Growth continues to be a strength for Reno.
Economic growth pushed Reno to 16th place in the Milken Institute rankings, which were heavily weighted toward growth. Reno also did well in this metric in the US News & World Report list, ranking 22nd overall.
Reno, however, ranked low among best places to retire at just 113th. While Nevada boasts tax advantages with the lack of income tax, the state typically ranks low in healthcare quality. Reno’s housing affordability issues do not help either.