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Meridian tops website’s ‘best cities’ list

This is the photo that USA Today used to illustrate Meridian as the best city to live in the United States: an Associated Press photo of Kayla Holdridge getting sprayed with water at Settlers Park.
This is the photo that USA Today used to illustrate Meridian as the best city to live in the United States: an Associated Press photo of Kayla Holdridge getting sprayed with water at Settlers Park. Adam Eschbach, AP

In a 24/7 Wall St. list of the 50 best U.S. cities to live in, Meridian came out on top, USA Today reported Thursday.

Key factors in the financial website's city selections include affordable housing, relatively low unemployment and public safety. Read the full story here:

Here's what the site had to say about its No. 1 pick: "Meridian, located just outside of Idaho’s capital city of Boise, is 24//7 Wall St.’s best city to live in. The city is safe, and jobs have attracted growing numbers of new residents. Only 80 violent crimes were reported per 100,000 in Meridian last year, a fraction of the national violent crime rate of 366 violent crimes per 100,000 Americans.

"The annual unemployment rate in the city is also quite low. At just 4.1%, it is lower than the state’s jobless rate of 4.8% and well below the national jobless rate of 6.2%. Moreover, jobs are being added to the local economy faster than in most of the United States. The 7.4% increase in the number of jobs from 2012 through last year was much greater than the national job growth rate of 1.8% over that period. Prospective employment is frequently the first priority for Americans considering relocation. With the strong job market, Meridian’s population has been growing dramatically in recent years. Over the five years through 2014, the city’s population growth rate of 28.0% was more than four times the nationwide population growth of 6.5%."

Meridian is the only Idaho community to make the 50-city list. In neighboring states, the highest-ranking city is Layton, Utah, at No. 10. Hillsboro and Bend, Ore., came in at 19 and 45, respectively, and Kirkland, Wash. ranked 25th. Henderson, Nev., was slotted at No. 33, followed by St. George and West Jordan, Utah at 34 and 35.

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