Florida doesn't top a new list of the best places to live in the United States, but it has plenty of appealing options.
That's according to the magazine U.S. News and World Report, which ranked the country's 100 largest metro areas on a variety of measures, including cost of living, job prospects and quality of life.
In the magazine's analysis, Tampa Bay ranks No. 42, one of six Florida metro areas to crack the top half. No state had more places in the top 50.
The U.S. News ranking considered a slew of measures that factor into day-to-day life — everything from crime and commuting to salaries and schools. It also polled Americans on what cities they considered desirable and looked at what areas people are moving to.
Tampa Bay got high marks for the number of people who have moved to the area or said they'd like to, Miriam Weiner, U.S. News' real estate product manager, said in a statement.
So where are the best places to live in Florida? Ahead of Tampa Bay were Sarasota (No. 14), Jacksonville (No. 34), Fort Myers (No. 38) and Palm Bay-Melbourne (No. 40). Orlando placed at No. 44.
Less appealing were Lakeland, Daytona Beach and Miami, which landed in the bottom 30. Miami was ranked No. 93, putting it in the company of Chicago and New York; those cities were pushed down by income disparities and expensive housing.
And while Lakeland's scores for affordability and population growth were similar to Tampa Bay's, the magazine found the city's labor market wasn't as robust, which weighed on its ranking.
Contact Thad Moore at [email protected] or (813) 226-3434. Follow @thadmoore.