Best for Vets: Places to Live 2016

Military Times evaluated 581 places on veteran culture and services, economic indicators and livability factors, including 76 large cities with populations of 200,000 or more. The top 25 are:

The story | The methodology

Large Cities

Medium cities | Small cities

Best large cities: 200,000 people or more

 
Population
Population Growth
 
Median income
Unemployment rate
 
Rank City Overall Veteran Military Overall Veteran Median home price Median monthly rent Nonveteran Veteran Civilian Veteran Number of installations within 25 miles (nearest) Number of VA health facilities within 50 miles Number of VA benefits facilities within 75 miles 2014 crime reports per 1,000 people Average travel time to work in minutes Great- Schools rating Area health Best for Vets organizations within 25 miles
1 San Diego 1,071,555 95,559 27,297 4.3% 7.1% $489,000 $1,412 $31,662 $46,112 7.3% 5.2% 9 (Naval Medical Center San Diego) 13 8 23.4 23.7 7 C B F L
2 Virginia Beach, Va. 325,443 61,078 22,651 -0.1% 3.1% $261,800 $1,203 $32,731 $51,439 5.3% 5.3% 8 (NAS Oceana) 6 5 23.3 23.8 6 C B F
3 Colorado Springs, Colo. 331,186 52,555 11,348 3.1% -1.9% $217,200 $923 $27,813 $45,086 7.3% 5.1% 4 (Peterson AFB) 4 8 41.2 21.8 6 C F
4 San Antonio 1,061,292 107,681 6,343 1.9% 6.3% $119,000 $873 $23,333 $39,043 7.1% 8.1% 3 (Fort Sam Houston) 15 5 59.6 23.2 5 C E F
5 Urban Honolulu, Hawaii 285,267 22,671 5,230 2.3% -4.4% $591,600 $1,379 $30,942 $45,436 4.1% 3.7% 9 (Fort Shafter) 5 10 no data 23.6 no data C B F
6 Oklahoma City 459,435 40,735 3,695 0.7% -3.2% $139,100 $768 $26,897 $41,745 6.2% 3.8% 1 (Tinker AFB) 4 3 52.1 21.2 5 C E F L
7 Seattle 567,034 33,659 1,466 3% 9.1% $473,300 $1,202 $39,546 $40,413 4.5% 6% 3 (Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton) 11 7 67.5 27.9 9 C E F L
8 Aurora, Colo. 259,698 21,847 991 2.9% -5.1% $196,000 $1,048 $30,264 $44,172 6.5% 6.7% 1 (Buckley AFB) 8 8 32.4 29.7 5 C T B E F L
9 El Paso, Texas 483,220 43,466 11,938 2.5% -3.9% $119,200 $745 $20,318 $40,179 7.8% 5.4% 1 (Fort Bliss) 5 1 no data 21.7 6 C T F
10 Denver 525,185 32,277 230 2.5% 3.4% $283,100 $993 $32,156 $36,722 4.7% 2.9% 1 (Buckley AFB) 9 8 no data 24.9 5 C T B E F L
11 Anchorage, Alaska 216,952 29,955 9,094 0% 15.7% $289,400 $1,251 $36,027 $50,189 5.7% 7.4% 2 (Fort Richardson) 4 8 46.9 18.2 6 F
12 Plano, Texas 211,347 14,128 220 3.1% 17.3% $236,000 $1,152 $43,981 $50,744 5.7% 8.4% 0 14 0 21.5 26.6 8 C E F
13 Corpus Christi, Texas 238,182 23,700 1,189 1.7% -8.2% $118,100 $900 $25,490 $43,370 5.9% 2.9% 1 (NAS Corpus Christi) 4 1 50.8 19.4 5 F
14 St. Petersburg, Fla. 204,966 21,823 473 1.1% 11.6% $151,000 $946 $26,232 $34,381 6.5% 7.1% 1 (Macdill AFB) 18 3 65.1 23.1 4 C F L
15 Raleigh, N.C. 341,838 20,451 299 2.7% 5.3% $215,000 $937 $30,879 $38,390 5.6% 1.6% 0 10 3 no data 23.2 7 F
16 Tampa, Fla. 277,217 21,111 2,697 0.5% -10.2% $162,700 $951 $26,096 $34,727 8.8% 6.2% 1 (Macdill AFB) 19 3 30.1 24.2 6 C B F L
17 Lincoln, Neb. 210,089 14,812 300 1.5% 0.2% $145,900 $754 $25,918 $36,968 4.2% 4.4% 0 5 1 no data 18.5 6 C F
18 Mesa, Ariz. 348,259 30,998 394 1.1% -4.5% $171,400 $888 $27,169 $35,103 6.5% 9.2% 0 12 4 32.6 23.9 6 C B F L
19 Omaha, Neb. 334,504 25,065 283 2.6% -0.9% $134,900 $817 $27,097 $36,634 6% 7.6% 1 (Offutt AFB) 5 1 49.1 18.8 5 C B E F
20 Jacksonville, Fla. 644,639 76,188 10,946 1% -0.2% $131,600 $937 $25,564 $37,465 8.5% 5.7% 2 (Jacksonville NAS) 6 3 46.2 23.9 5 F
21 Arlington, Texas 279,774 20,029 196 1.7% 1.4% $133,500 $883 $27,417 $38,851 6.8% 9.5% 1 (NASJRB Fort Worth) 12 0 40 26.6 5 C B E F
22 Henderson, Nev. 220,438 25,688 138 4.1% 2.9% $243,600 $1,122 $31,367 $37,212 7.9% 5.2% 1 (Nellis AFB) 8 0 21.4 23.1 8 F
23 Fort Worth, Texas 582,814 41,801 1,545 3.3% -0.3% $127,300 $913 $26,665 $40,801 6.4% 7.3% 1 (NASJRB Fort Worth) 13 0 43.5 26.6 4 C B E F
24 Albuquerque, N.M. 426,641 37,164 1,064 0.3% -12.2% $185,000 $804 $26,507 $37,888 8.3% 6.2% 1 (Kirtland AFB) 4 1 no data 21 6 F
25 Phoenix 1,123,268 74,120 868 1.3% 1.2% $178,800 $883 $26,933 $36,600 8.2% 9.7% 1 (Luke AFB) 10 4 no data 24.1 4 C B F L
    Key to Best for Vets categories:
  • C Colleges
  • T Technical and Career Colleges
  • B Business Schools
  • E Employers
  • F Franchises
  • L Law Enforcement