Maine’s largest city again ranks as one of the country’s “best places to live,” according to U.S. News & World Report.

Portland landed the No. 7 spot in the 2023 rankings released Tuesday, up a notch from the city’s position for the past two years. The rankings grade the 150 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S. according to a variety of criteria, including quality of life, value, desirability and job market.

This year, the city ranked just below Naples, Florida, (No. 6) and above Charlotte, North Carolina (No. 8). Green Bay, Wisconsin, ranked No. 1.

U.S. News & World Report, which calls itself “the global authority in rankings,” placed Portland No. 19 on the 2020 list. Previously, Portland ranked No. 26, No. 27 and No. 23 from 2017 to 2019, respectively.

For 2023, Portland is also the only city in New England to nab a spot in the top 10 – with Boston at No. 44 and Manchester, New Hampshire, at No. 51.

To compile its annual ranking, U.S. News examines data from its own surveys, the federal census, the Department of Labor, the FBI and other sources.


Portland also came in fourth this year among the magazine’s safest cities.

Devon Thorsby, a real estate expert with U.S. News & World Report, said that Portland ranked fifth for quality of life, which is based on factors including crime rates, quality of education, the quality and availability of health care, air quality, the city’s risk and resilience to a natural disaster and a well-being index that reflects whether residents are happy with their day-to-day lives.

Portland ranked 29th for desirability. That index was based on surveys about whether people would move to Portland, how many people are actively moving, the weather and the number of restaurants, museums, parks and bars relative to the population – for which the city earned third place.

U.S. News acknowledged that Portland is battling increased development, aging housing stock and a high cost of living that has created a sizable homeless population and “left middle-income earners struggling.”

“Portland is at a crossroads on moving forward,” the magazine wrote.

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