According to Financial news and opinion site 24/7 Wall Street, data was reviewed on 550 U.S. cities with populations of 65,000 or more and have ranked the 50 best U.S. cities based on criteria such as employment growth, crime rates, entertainment options and housing affordability. Idaho, one of the nation's least-populated states, produced the winner; the city of Meridian!
Locals have known for a long time that this area is one of the best places to live in these great United States. From the mountains where locals and visitors alike hike, fish, hunt, kayak, raft, ski and snowboard, to the valleys where you can run along the Boise River greenbelt, visit the scene downtown, float the Boise River or raft or jet boat Hells Canyon on the lower Snake River. The Treasure Valley area has fantastic schools and universities, short commutes and great jobs.
A factor 24/7 Wall Street weighed heavily in the rankings was job prospects, often a crucial cause for people to move. Another crucial indicator was median home value. Homes in 41 of the 50 cities ranked are worth more than the U.S. average of $181, 200. Meridian’s median home value as of December 2015 was $239,000.
Meridian is the neighboring city to the west of the state capital of Boise. Meridian has a population of 87,739, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and has far below the national average of violent crimes (80 per 100,000) and unemployment rates (4.1 percent). The city also had a 7.4 percent increase in jobs created from 2012 through 2014, compared to 1.8 percent growth nationally. These factors have already given cause for people to take notice, as the population grew 28 percent over five years through 2014.
If a city with little crime, more prospective jobs and a low unemployment rate sounds like a good place to live, you might want to consider a move to Meridian.
A few of the many things that professional researchers have discovered about the Meridian area are found in the quotes and links below.
2015 "#1 Most Caring City in America" Some cities are better at taking care of their neighbors than others. WalletHub’s analysts compared the 100 most populated cities across 26 key metrics to find which among them have the most caring spirit. Our data set ranges from the percentage of sheltered homeless persons to the percentage of income donated to charity to the number of rehabilitation centers per capita. - WalletHub December 2015
2015 "#2 State for Volunteerism" Idaho has ranked second in the nation for its rate of volunteerism, for the second year in a row, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. Its annual report, "Volunteering and Civic Life in America," showed Idaho ranking only behind Utah; and Boise tanking 8th among 75 mid-sized cities, with a higher volunteerism rate than the state as a whole - 38.1 percent vs 35.8 percent statewide. - Corporation for National & Community Service December 2015
2015 "#Best Corn Maze to Visit for Family Fun" Idaho's original corn maze, the Farmstead MAiZE, gets carved across an 18-acre cornfield into a new design each year. There is an easy Kiddie Corn Maze for the little ones. Along with mazes, there's a pumpkin patch, hayrides and a host of family-friendly games and activities including this year's newly added small zip line and catch-and-release fishing pond. September 25-October 31.- USA Today September 2015
2014 "The 10 Best Cities to Move To" "If you love hiking, biking, and the great outdoors, you're going to love Boise: the Hull's Gulch trail system can be accessed directly from 8th street, and Boise is also home to the extensive Boise River Greenbelt." - Moving Made Simple, March 2014
2013 "No. 1 Best Cities for Men" "Back in the 1860s, a gold rush lured men from all over the country to the Boise Basin. Some struck it rich, but most simply struck out. Today most of the gold is gone, but in its place is something much more valuable: a rich vein of health, happiness, and fitness that the men of Boise, Idaho, are mining every day." - Men's Health Magazine, December 2012
2012 "No. 2 Best City for Raising a Family": "Life is good for many families in the Pacific Northwest’s third largest city, with lower costs and less crime than the region’s two biggest metros, Seattle and Portland. And there’s the local powerhouse football team, the Boise State Broncos."- Forbes, April 2012
2011 " Ten Best Places to Find a Job" The Fiscal Times ranked the 100 largest metro areas in the U.S. by the rate of new job generation over the past 12 months, compared to the number of jobs they had in September 2010. The top ten includes Boise, Idaho - The Fiscal Times, November 2011
2010 "Best Town in the Western U.S." "Boise, to put it mildly, has been on a roll. Government, education, and health care remain core industries, but dozens of high-tech startups have moved to town, joining behemoths like Hewlett-Packard and Micron Technology. And while its population has more than doubled in the past 30 years and jaded locals bemoan the sprawl, Boise has managed its growth impressively well: The city is home to nearly 2,000 acres of parks and a 25-mile greenbelt. The outlying areas feel a bit bland, but the older neighborhoods have that Boulder vibe—cruiser bikes, farmers' markets, and prayer flags—only with reasonably priced homes." - Outside Magazine, August 2010
2009 "No. 8 Best Mid-size Metropolitan Area" "The highest scores went to well-rounded places with healthy economies, light traffic, moderate costs of living, impressive housing stocks and strong educational systems." - MSNBC.com, March 2009
2008 "Best Urban Parks” Boise River Greenbelt: "...this riverfront park was reclaimed in the 1960's and transformed into a haven for outdoor lovers, with 25 miles of pathways geared to walkers, runners, skaters,bikers." - Boston Globe, June 2008
2005 "A TOP CHOICE for Footloose Techies” “Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, the city has long been known for its astonishing scenery and outdoor recreational opportunities. But in recent years Boise has undergone a transformation…creating a ‘new’ new economy in the shadow of the old one.” INC. Magazine- “The Best Places for Doing Business in America" May 2005.
2005 “No. 9 among Top Metros for Scientists and Engineers per Capita” "Exceptionally well placed to attract and nurture high-tech companies and entrepreneurs” Expansion Management Magazine- “Americas Super Cities of the Future” – May 12, 2005
2005 “No. 4 Most Secure Mid Sized City” “What does it take to be one of the nations most secure cities? We looked for lower crime rates, a lower risk of natural disasters, such as tornadoes, earthquakes or floods, and a healthy economy, as represented by future job growth.” Farmers Insurance Friendly Exchange Magazine- “Finding the safest Places”, Summer 2005.