Durham, N.C.

America’s Best Places Rank: 37th
Population: 217,254
Mayor: William V. Bell

Why it’s ranked: The Bull City has great parks, many restaurants, and good air quality. Home to Duke University and its medical center, the city has become a hub for the health-care industry, with the nickname of “City of Medicine.” The area has done well in this economic environment, with a below-average unemployment rate and one of the lowest rates of foreclosures among cities on our list.

How it ranked:
Percent with bachelor's degrees: 45.6
Percent under poverty level: 16.3
Median household income: $47,384
Violent crime rate: 699.4
Property crime rate: 5,170.7
School score: 68.41
Pro sports teams: 0
Foreclosure rate: .0026
Percent Unemployment: 7
Park acres per 1,000 residents: 10.6
Bars: 29
Restaurants: 526
Museums: 16
Colleges: 6
Libraries: 13
Air Quality Index: 98
 
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