Dayton among 2016 "Best Places To Live" in U.S.

The U.S. News & World Report is now telling the nation what we already knew: It’s a good time to live in the Dayton Metro Area.

The nationally recognized leader in ranking everything from colleges to hospitals to mutual funds released its inaugural "Best Places to Live" rankings this morning, and yes, the Gem City is present at number 69.

The U.S. News and World Report polled about 2,000 Internet users and studied data from governmental and non-governmental sources to come up with the top 100 metro areas in the country based on  the value of living, quality of life, job market health, desirability, and net migration, according to a press release by the outlet. 

Dayton is one of six Ohio areas that made the top 100: Cincinnati placed highest at #37, followed by Columbus (50), Dayton, Toledo (75), Youngstown (77), and Cleveland (87). The top 5 areas were, in order, Denver, Colo., Austin, Tex., Fayetteville, Ark., Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and Colorado Springs, Colo.

Specifics on the Dayton ranking were not included, but off the top of our head, we can think of five accolades the city has received just in the past year that help reflect this great news:

Bike trails The Creekside Trail in Beavercreek that runs from Eastwood MetroPark to Xenia is approximately 18 miles. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

- The Oregon District's Fifth Street was named one of the top 5 "Great Streets" in the country, with the American Planning Association noting amenities including the Link Dayton Bike Share stations and bus service, and the successful business revitalization while preserving the historic significance of the corridor.

- Forbes named Dayton one of the country's most affordable cities, based upon data studied on housing affordability, cost of living, and Consumer Price Index. Real estate search company Trulia also named Dayton the second-most affordable city in the U.S., after Akron.

- The Gem City was selected to host the 2017 International Trails Symposium. The California-based American Trails lauded Dayton's partnerships and effort to develop and support southwest Ohio's trail system in their selection. 

- Downtown Dayton's champions proved to stakeholders and investors what a comeback the area was having. The Downtown Dayton Partnership Co-Chair Mike Ervin cited nearly $1 billion in investment since the launch of the Greater Downtown Dayton plan.

- Dayton's art scene was named number 4 most artistic mid-size American city by Well, with resources like the Dayton Art Institute, the Dayton Visual Arts Center, and K12 Gallery & TEJAS and the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance and Victoria Theatre Association (to name only a few), that came as no surprise.

We could go on.

Dayton Masonic TempleThe Dayton Masonic Temple in the Grafton Hill Neighborhood. VIVIENNE MACHI / STAFF

And we know first hand than many of Dayton's neighborhoods have their own history, charm, and character that makes them a great place to live, work, and play. We make it easy to explore Dayton's neighborhoods through photos, residents' quotes, and fun facts: check out our neighborhood guides. Looking for a new place to live? Our neighborhood quiz will match you up with the best area for your tastes. 

From the beautiful MetroParks system to the amazing Daytonians who work constantly to make our city great, to all of the businesses who make Dayton a thriving and exciting place to frequent, there are so many great reasons to live here that weren't even considered. 

Sure, we know that life here isn't perfect all the time: We're still waiting to see which way the wind blows for the Dayton Arcade redevelopment. 

And even the Oregon District, as much as we love it, could always afford some improvements:

And though we'd have liked to see Dayton in the top 10, even the placement seems somewhat appropriate, given that Amazon recently ranked Dayton as one of the country's most romantic cities based upon sales of romance novels and relationship books, romance DVDs and music, and sexual wellness products.

So take that, those who ranked Dayton as Ohio's fourth most "Ghetto" city (even if in jest, we did not appreciate). We're going to celebrate with a cocktail from the Century Bar, one of the best Bourbon bars in the U.S., and rep the Gem City wherever we go with our Dayton swag.  Thanks, U.S. News, for reaffirming what we learned long ago: Dayton is more than alright — even if you have been anywhere else.

>> BEST OF DAYTON: What to love about this Gem City <<

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