When searching for the best places to live in the United States, many people overlook the state of Utah. It’s a beautiful area with great weather, varied outdoor recreation, excellent shopping, and some of the best graduation rates and universities.
The northern Utah area has also been widely recognized for its high-profile tech companies. It’s been nicknamed the Silicon Slopes and compared to California’s Silicon Valley.
“The Interstate 15 corridor that connects Provo to Salt Lake to Ogden is chock-full of tech companies and startups,” says Amy Feldman of Forbes. “In Lehi, where I stayed for a few days in February, an ecosystem of entrepreneurial activity has sprung up against the backdrop of the Wasatch Mountains. An area that used to be farmland now boasts tech campuses that would look at home off Silicon Valley’s famed Route 101.”
Those in search of promising job opportunities in the tech sector might find their pot of gold in Utah. There are many other benefits to living in Utah as well. In 2017, four cities in Utah made Money’s list of top 100 best places to live. If you’re considering a move to the Beehive state, look at these cities first.
Orem was number 14 on Money’s list of best places to live. It ranks very low on the crime risk scale, has decent ethnic diversity, and relatively higher income. You have the luxuries of big-city living within an hour’s drive in any direction.
Orem is located near the Wasatch Mountains and Utah Lake. With clear skies for two-thirds of the year, you’ll have ample time to enjoy them. The economic development is also huge with a 12.5 percent job growth outlook.
Sandy ranked number 52 on Money’s list, but it offers many of the same perks as Orem, including low crime rates, short commutes, an 8 percent job growth rate, and beautiful scenery. It’s also one of the best cities in Utah for secondary education. Sandy boasts an 86 percent high school graduation rate.
A little further south lies the peaceful city of Lehi, whose high school graduation rate is 92 percent. It landed the number 74 spot on Money’s list. Cost of living is a little higher, but the median household income can absorb that. The weather is great, commute times are short, and people are generally content.
4. North Salt Lake
While some parts of Salt Lake City proper should be avoided, North Salt Lake is a beautiful, economically sound area. The population is small at 20,000 people, but there’s plenty of opportunity for growth, particularly in Bella Vida.
“Within this wonderful city is an alluring community, Bella Vida, perfectly situated along the eastern ridge above North Salt Lake,” explains an article from the area home builder Candlelight Homes. “It is placed at a comfortable proximity to city life — close enough to frequent downtown events but far enough to enjoy the exclusive perks of elevated suburban living.
There’s a whopping 94 percent graduation rate for high school students, and the variety of colleges and universities within Salt Lake City, and the surrounding areas, means that North Salt Lake residents enjoy a higher level of education than many parts of the country. The projected job growth is 9.4 percent. There’s every kind of shopping, entertainment, and recreation you can imagine within a 30-minute drive.
Voted one of the best places in Utah to raise a family by Niche.com, Centerville is a great little town located north of Salt Lake City. Public schools are above average, although they’re not as good as some in the state.
Crime rates are low, economic growth is positive, and overall the residents boast general contentment. It’s a great place to settle down and raise kids.
Kaysville is one of the best for public schools, family comfort, and housing. It’s a suburb of Salt Lake City, so it’s close enough to enjoy the fruits of such a large and diverse area while living in a small city.
“We’re uniquely situated and conveniently located ‘in the middle of everything,’” says the Kaysville city website. “Kaysville isn’t just a great place to live, it’s a great place to do business. Great accessibility and low taxes are just some of the benefits our businesses enjoy.”
Kaysville also has great housing and rent prices, but the median income is comparable to surrounding areas. The only complaint here is an overall lack of diversity.
This quaint bedroom town of Salt Lake City is located at the base of the Wasatch Mountains. You can see the idyllic-looking city from the interstate, but there isn’t direct access from the freeway. The geography, climate, and suburban feel couple nicely with great public schools and an excellent family atmosphere.
Crime rates are extremely low at about 40 percent less than the rest of the state. A lower cost of living, low income taxes, low unemployment, and great economic outlook also bring people into Bountiful’s city limits.
8. St. George
If you’re not interested in the large clump of cities that make up the Salt Lake Area, but you still want a beautiful town with incredible weather and great economic outlook, St. George is ideal. The population is small enough to be homey at 77,000, and the city’s ethnic diversity is great.
St. George is located in the southwest corner of Utah, near the border of Nevada. The weather is great all year-round, although it can get hot during summer. It’s a great place to live if you want a different landscape and a great quality of living!