We’ve all seen them. Rankings of the best places to live, retire, start your career, raise your family and more. But, when you’re making one of the biggest decisions of your life, do you really want to rely on lists based on surveys, rough counts, estimates and generalizations based on only a slice of the total picture?

To objectively and comprehensively determine what makes a city financially great for both businesses and consumers, we developed a Financial Health Index that draws from our database on all 144 million households and 27 million businesses in America. The Index evaluates the ‘financial health’ of both consumers and businesses across the basic dimensions of risk, growth and performance. Over 15 different business and consumer factors that enter into the calculation include an area’s median household income, proportion of filers with income above $100,000, and average business income.

As determined by the proprietary analysis underlying the Powerlytics Financial Health Index, Boulder, Colorado is the metro area that is the best place to both live and work. The Midland, Texas and Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, Louisiana metro areas were close behind. Below we’ve included just some of the financial health metrics that make these metro areas the best places to live and work in our nation.

1. Boulder, Colorado
o Percent of population with income over $100,000: 22%
o Average Wages: $53,670
o Average Business Income: $3.3 Million

2. Midland, Texas
o Percent of population with income over $100,000: 15%
o Average Wages: $44,260
o Average Business Income: $4.91 Million

3. Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, Louisiana
o Percent of population with an income over $100,000: 9%
o Average Wages: $39,310
o Average Business Income: $1.64 Million

Check out the Top 10 Best Places to Live and Work in America:


*The ranking is based on an analysis of all 363 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) which are evaluated on a combination of consumer and business financial risk, growth and performance factors.

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