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The 25 best places people are moving to in 2018

US News & World Report
Devon Thorsby

These places have the highest net migration over five years.

In calculating the Best Places to Live, US News factors in each metro area's growth due to net migration over a five-year period. For the 2018 ranking, we used net migration data from 2012 to 2016 from the US Census Bureau, the most recent complete data set at the time of our calculations. Places with the most growth might be attracting new residents thanks to a hot job market, affordable housing, a desirable location or some other factor. Read on for the 25 metro areas (out of the 125 most populous in the US) that have grown the most over this period.

Seattle, the largest city in the Pacific Northwest, has spectacular views of the Cascade mountains to the east and the Olympic mountains to the west.
Bill Hinton | Getty Images

25. Seattle

Best places to live in 2018 rank: 10
Metro population: 3,671,095
Median home price: $403,650
Median annual salary: $61,170
Net migration rate, 2012 to 2016: 5.29 percent

Seattle has long had a reputation for its strong job market, with the likes of Microsoft, Starbucks and Amazon headquartered in the area. Also scoring highly for desirability in the Best Places to Live ranking, Seattle isn't just bring people to the area for work, but also because they want it to be their next hometown.

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24. Dallas-Fort Worth

Best places to live in 2018 rank: 18
Metro population: 6,957,123
Median home price: $210,181
Median annual salary: $50,350
Net migration rate, 2012 to 2016: 5.57 percent

The largest metro area on this list, Dallas-Fort Worth grew by 5.57 percent in a five-year period. Despite its size, Dallas-Fort Worth has a median home price of $210,181, less than the national median price of $222,408.

23. Asheville, North Carolina

Best places to live in 2018 rank: 24
Metro population: 441,724
Median home value: $234,576
Median annual salary: $40,330
Net migration rate, 2012 to 2016: 5.72 percent

A smaller metro area that's appearing on the list for the first time as part of the 125 most populous metro areas in the US Asheville earns its spot at No.23 after growing 5.72 percent between 2012 and 2016 due to net migration alone.

(*The median home price for Asheville was not available, so median home value is listed.)

22. Phoenix

Best places to live in 2018 rank: 19
Metro population: 4,486,153
Median home price: $235,333
Median annual salary: $47,540
Net migration rate, 2012 to 2016: 6 percent

Phoenix serves as a particularly hot destination for retirees. But the job market and ample outdoor activities continue to attract new residents of all ages. The area has grown by 6 percent over a five-year period.

21. Jacksonville, Florida

Best places to live in 2018 rank: 44
Metro population: 1,424,097
Median home price: $184,508
Median annual salary: $45,140
Net migration rate, 2012 to 2016: 6.07 percent

Sunny Florida weather, a below-average cost of living and a growing business district continue to attract residents of all ages to Jacksonville, which grew more than 6 percent due to net migration between 2012 and 2016.

Denver, Colorado.
Walter Bibikow | The Image Bank | Getty Images

20. Denver

Best places to live in 2018 rank: 3
Metro population: 2,752,056
Median home price: $362,492
Median annual salary: $55,910
Net migration rate, 2012 to 2016: 6.12 percent

Growing 6.12 percent due to net migration between 2012 and 2016, Denver continues to grow at a rapid pace, thanks to both its flourishing job market and high desirability among US residetns for its countless outdoor opportunities with the Rocky Mountains just a short drive away.

19. Fayetteville, Arkansas

Best places to live in 2018 rank: 5
Metro population: 503,642
Median home price: $182,508
Median annual salary: $44,980
Net migration rate, 2012 to 2016: 6.44 percent

Northwest Arkansas's largest metro area continues to grow rapidly, by 6.44 percent over a five-year period due to net migration. Fayetteville's growth is picking up speed as well – in last year's ranking, Fayetteville saws just 6.09 percent growth due to net migration from 2011 to 2015.

18. Las Vegas, Nevada

Best Places to Live 2018 Rank: 80
Metro Population: 2,070,153
Median Home Price: $232,533
Median Annual Salary: $43,480
Net Migration Rate, 2012 to 2016: 6.46 percent

One of the recession's hardest-hit cities, particularly in the housing market, Las Vegas continues its upward trend with a growing job market and plenty of entertainment options to attract new residents.

Sunset view of downtown Boise, Idaho, and nearby foothills.
Credit: Boise Convention & Visitors Bureau

17. Boise, Idaho

Best Places to Live 2018 Rank: 23
Metro Population: 663,680
Median Home Price: $221,475
Median Annual Salary: $43,040
Net Migration Rate, 2012 to 2016: 6.47 percent

Offering a different landscape than Las Vegas, Boise comes in at No. 17. Idaho's capital grew by 6.47 percent between 2012 and 2016 due to net migration alone.

16. San Antonio, Texas

Best Places to Live 2018 Rank: 14
Metro Population: 2,332,345
Median Home Price: $200,667
Median Annual Salary: $45,210
Net Migration Rate, 2012 to 2016: 6.53 percent

The second of four Texas metro areas on the list, San Antonio has experienced significant growth due to net migration: 6.53 percent between 2012 and 2016.

15. Houston

Best Places to Live 2018 Rank: 26
Metro Population: 6,482,592
Median Home Price: $216,575
Median Annual Salary: $52,870
Net Migration Rate, 2012 to 2016: 6.58 percent

Staying in Texas, Houston takes the No. 15 spot on the list, having grown by 6.58 percent from 2012 to 2016 due to net migration. But with population growth comes a higher cost of living – the median home price is $216,575, nearly 9.6 percent increase compared to last year's $197,628.

14. Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina

Best Places to Live 2018 Rank: 13
Metro Population: 1,786,119
Median Home Price: $227,814
Median Annual Salary: $52,669
Net Migration Rate, 2012 to 2016: 6.63 percent

Home to major universities – the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, Duke University and North Carolina State University – the Raleigh and Durham area has plenty of former students who are choosing to lay down permanent roots, while others are flocking to the metro region for the job opportunities the schools and other locally based corporations offer.

13. Charlotte, North Carolina

Best Places to Live 2018 Rank: 22
Metro Population: 2,381,152
Median Home Price: $200,942
Median Annual Salary: $49,600
Net Migration Rate, 2012 to 2016: 6.64 percent

Growing by more than 6.5 percent between 2012 and 2016 from people relocating to the area, Charlotte brings many newcomers due to its role in the banking industry, as it's home to Bank of America and major offices for Wells Fargo.

12. Tampa, Florida

Best Places to Live 2018 Rank: 75
Metro Population: 2,927,714
Median Home Price: $183,592
Median Annual Salary: $45,510
Net Migration Rate, 2012 to 2016: 6.67 percent

The second of nine Florida metro areas on the list, this Gulf Coast metro area grew by 6.67 percent between 2012 and 2016 due to net migration.

Nashville, Tennessee
Sean Pavone Photo | Getty Images

11. Nashville, Tennessee

Best Places to Live 2018 Rank: 11
Metro Population: 1,794,570
Median Home Price: $236,267
Median Annual Salary: $45,780
Net Migration Rate, 2012 to 2016: 6.7 percent

With growth numbers like this, aspiring country singers certainly aren't the only people moving to Nashville. The largest metro area in Tennessee comes in at No. 11, having grown by 6.7 percent due to net migration between 2012 and 2016.

10. Melbourne, Florida

Best Places to Live 2018 Rank: 29
Metro Population: 560,683
Median Home Price: $163,042
Median Annual Salary: $46,520
Net Migration Rate, 2012 to 2016: 7.19 percent

Growing 7.19 percent due to net migration between 2012 and 2016, Melbourne sees particular interest from seniors. The metro area's median age is 47 years old, compared to the national median age of 37.9, according to the U.S Census Bureau.

9. Lakeland, Florida

Best Places to Live 2018 Rank: 71
Metro Population: 637,691
Median Home Price: $160,583
Median Annual Salary: $40,180
Net Migration Rate, 2012 to 2016: 7.73 percent

Located in the center of Florida's peninsula, Lakeland is showing strong growth that mirrors the state's other coastal metro areas featured on the list. Lakeland grew by 7.73 percent from 2012 to 2016 due to net migration alone.

8. Charleston, South Carolina

Best Places to Live 2018 Rank: 38
Metro Population: 728,271
Median Home Price: $232,983
Median Annual Salary: $44,500
Net Migration Rate, 2012 to 2016: 8.27 percent

People love visiting Charleston, which is helping the South Carolina city's tourism industry boom. The Charleston metro area grew by 8.27 percent due to net migration over five years.

7. Daytona Beach, Florida

Best Places to Live 2018 Rank: 94
Metro Population: 613,723
Median Home Price: $164,069
Median Annual Salary: $38,010
Net Migration Rate, 2012 to 2016: 8.95 percent

Daytona Beach's growth from net migration between 2012 and 2016 nearly hit 9 percent. The coastal metro area attracts plenty of tourists to NASCAR races and local beaches, but plenty of these visitors also appear happy enough to make the place their next home.

6. Port St. Lucie, Florida

Best Places to Live 2018 Rank: 79
Metro Population: 446,728
Median Home Price: $179,058
Median Annual Salary: $41,120
Net Migration Rate, 2012 to 2016: 9.1 percent

Located along the Treasure Coast, Port St. Lucie attracts people looking for a place with plenty of waterways to explore and, of course, the warm Florida weather. The Port St. Lucie area grew by just over 9 percent during a five-year period.

5. Orlando, Florida

Best Places to Live 2018 Rank: 78
Metro Population: 2,328,508
Median Home Price: $213, 717
Median Annual Salary: $43,060
Net Migration Rate, 2012 to 2016: 9.14 percent

The home of Disney World and Universal Studios doesn't just attract tourists hoping to see their favorite fictional characters up close, it also brings people who are planning to make this warm-weather destination their home.

"Greetings from Austin" street art mural.
Magalie L'AbbT | Getty Images

4. Austin, Texas

Best Places to Live 2018 Rank: 1
Metro Population: 1,942,615
Median Home Price: $278,608
Median Annual Salary: $50,830
Net Migration Rate, 2012 to 2016: 10.25 percent

Tech companies have been opening offices in this Texas metro area with particular focus following the Great Recession. Its affordability relative to the likes of San Jose and San Francisco is driving many people to Austin for work. It's a hot enough destination that the metro area grew 10.25 percent over five years due to net migration.

3. Sarasota, Florida

Best Places to Live 2018 Rank: 34
Metro Population: 751, 422
Median Home Price: $224,613
Median Annual Salary: $41,870
Net Migration Rate, 2012 to 2016: 12.42 percent

2. Fort Myers, Florida

Best Places to Live 2018 Rank: 41
Metro Population: 680,970
Median Home Price: $210,133
Median Annual Salary: $40,420
Net Migration Rate, 2012 to 2016: 14.16 percent

After reigning as the fastest-growing metro area on the Best Places to Live list for the last two years, Fort Myers falls back to the No.2 spot in 2018, beaten out by a newcomers to the list. Fort Myers grew by 14.16 percent over a five-year period due to net migration.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Getty Images

1. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Best Places to Live 2018 Rank: 74
Metro Population: 419,585
Median Home Price: $137,428*
Median Annual Salary: $35,650
Net Migration Rate, 2012 to 2016: 15.62 percent

Myrtle Beach may be small, but it's proving popular among people looking for a new place to live. Like many of the Florida metro areas on the list, this coastal South Carolina spot attracts plenty of retirees looking for warm weather year-round, lending to the metro's median age of 45.8 years.

(*The median home price for Myrtle Beach was not available, so median home value is listed.)