What are the factors that determine how good a city is to live in here in the US? There are of course many, and in terms of their priority, it will be different from one individual to another. Many people desire to be near a sports team or vibrant music scene. Others may prefer an affordable location with great schools. If you are considering moving, we’ve compiled a list of the top cities to move to in 2017.

The Importance of a City’s Business Infrastructure

A characteristic that surfaces time and time again regarding great cities to live in is the quality of the business infrastructure, and it’s easy to see why. Business provides the basis of our income, and it is the size and sustainability of that income that is the main driver behind affording the lifestyles that we each aspire to.

According to the last US census records, American citizens are mobile, with approximately one in every six, moving home from one state to another. So, when coming up with our top current US cities to live in right now, and using business characteristics to anchor our rankings, the answers are as follows.

Raleigh in North Carolina

According to Bloomberg, Raleigh in North Carolina is the best city to live in. It is the biggest city of the Research Triangle Park, which comprises of Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh itself. Unemployment is well under the national average, but there is still an abundance of positions open for the well qualified. The average income per worker is $53,370 per annum.

From an education point of view, Raleigh offers three top-notch universities: Duke, North Carolina State University, and North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Weather-wise this city goes through the four seasons, managing to avoid any extremes of climate. It’s a comfortable, much sought after place to live.

Austin in Texas

Austin in Texas (often referred to as “the live music capital on the planet”) has an unemployment rate that is well below the national average of 8.3%, clocking in at just 6.3%. It has a good standing in the education stakes with a total of eight colleges and universities.

With a population density of 3,127 people per square mile 83.4% of which have a high school diploma or better, it’s a smart place to live. The average house price in Austin is $196,000, and with 228 days worth of sunshine every year, the skies look bright for those thinking of moving here.

Huntsville in Alabama

Huntsville is perhaps the surprise of the bunch; after all not many people would rate Alabama highly in terms of employment. However, they’d be wrong. The first reports don’t come out too well with Alabama ranking amongst the ten bottom US state in terms of education and average income.

Despite this poor start, Huntsville is actually a great place for hiring high-tech workers. Back in May 2014, 16.7% of employees in the city held posts in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). This makes Huntsville the third best technical workforce in the US after San Joseph in California, and Framingham, Massachusetts.

Not a million miles away from Silicon Valley, Huntsville is shedding factory jobs and instead, is re-labeling itself as one of the US’s top tech centers. It’s a Bloomberg hot tip as one of the unlikeliest cities to power the US economy in the near future.