Best for Vets: Places to Live 2016

Military Times evaluated 581 places on veteran culture and services, economic indicators and livability factors, including 240 medium-sized cities with populations of at least 75,000 but fewer than 200,000. The top 50 are:

The story | The methodology

Medium Cities

Large cities | Small cities

Best medium cities: 75,000-199,999 people

 
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 Alexandria, Va. 121,867 8,962 1,764 0.4% -10.3% $520,300 $1,502 $51,671 $87,033 3.8% 0.6% 13 (Headquarters, Marine Corps) 26 15 21.6 32 4 C B E F L
2 Arlington, Va. 184,925 12,995 3,047 0.4% 8.9% $604,600 $1,897 $61,640 $84,506 3.2% 4.6% 14 (Fort Myer) 26 15 no data 29.4 7 C B E F L
3 Centennial, Colo. 82,578 7,859 0 2.7% 33.4% $328,800 $1,335 $45,207 $51,034 4.3% 1.5% 1 (Buckley AFB) 9 8 13.4 26 8 C T B E F L
4 Pearland, Texas 75,049 6,595 0 2.2% 28% $182,100 $1,229 $50,080 $64,644 3.1% 6.7% 0 11 2 21.7 no data 8 C E F L
5 Columbia, Md. 77,045 6,220 141 -3.7% -8% $367,700 $1,629 $51,107 $80,721 5% 0.9% 9 (Fort Meade) 25 17 no data 30.9 6 C B E F L
6 Lakewood, Colo. 118,950 10,493 175 -0.2% -6.2% $264,000 $1,018 $32,624 $37,423 4% 2.2% 1 (Buckley AFB) 8 8 no data 26.6 6 C T B E F L
7 Mission Viejo, Calif. 77,654 4,818 0 1.8% -30.8% $624,300 $1,984 $40,225 $53,538 6.1% no data 1 (Camp Pendleton) 25 10 9.6 no data 9 F
8 Olathe, Kan. 93,996 5,922 34 0.9% -10.2% $203,800 $953 $35,442 $60,425 4.5% 2.2% 0 16 1 13.9 21.2 7 C B F
9 Torrance, Calif. 116,013 8,996 181 -0.9% 22.2% $659,800 $1,579 $40,237 $53,004 5.8% 7.6% 2 (Los Angeles AFB) 22 7 18.8 29 8 C T B E F
10 Overland Park, Kan. 142,513 9,531 0 4% -6% $235,000 $1,032 $38,583 $46,810 4.4% no data 0 14 1 18.3 20.5 8 F
11 Arvada, Colo. 89,360 8,261 25 4.4% -3.2% $267,400 $1,082 $33,229 $45,166 4.1% 8.1% 1 (Buckley AFB) 11 3 25.6 27.5 7 C T B E F L
12 Chesapeake, Va. 170,160 26,254 6,261 1.5% 4.2% $253,000 $1,086 $32,084 $53,509 7.2% 7.2% 8 (NSA Northwest Annex) 6 6 no data 25.4 7 C B F L
13 Norman, Okla. 97,618 7,615 276 5.6% -8.2% $162,300 $768 $25,184 $43,866 3.8% no data 1 (Tinker AFB) 5 3 28.6 20.8 7 E F L
14 Gilbert, Ariz. 159,133 10,373 185 1.7% 5.6% $280,100 $1,285 $39,144 $47,770 5.6% 2.8% 0 12 4 15.8 27.3 8 C B F L
15 Irvine, Calif. 188,849 5,496 0 0.9% -18% $718,800 $1,879 $48,730 $78,194 5.9% 1.9% 1 (NAVWEAPSTA Seal Beach) 26 8 13 24 10 F
16 Bellevue, Wash. 108,886 6,505 0 3.7% 15.1% $597,300 $1,618 $46,161 $53,881 5.9% 8.6% 1 (Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton) 11 7 35.1 23.3 7 C E F L
17 Cary, N.C. 117,089 6,361 151 4.5% -9.1% $298,800 $1,051 $40,344 $59,003 4.3% 8.6% 0 11 3 11.2 21 9 F
18 Chula Vista, Calif. 189,816 16,898 2,781 4.3% -0.8% $412,200 $1,395 $27,129 $55,801 9.9% 7.9% 9 (Naval Base San Diego) 12 8 19.8 26.8 7 C B F L
19 Frisco, Texas 97,299 6,571 72 5.9% 17.7% $294,100 $1,222 $60,150 $77,200 4% 1.3% 0 14 0 18.7 30 9 C E F
20 Sandy Springs, Ga. 80,149 4,068 110 3.5% 13.3% $395,400 $1,037 $37,344 $50,205 5.4% no data 0 17 2 28.7 24.2 no data C E F
21 Oceanside, Calif. 133,631 17,404 2,954 0.9% 14.9% $392,800 $1,391 $28,925 $46,026 5.4% 4.8% 1 (Camp Pendleton) 19 8 26.6 27.2 6 C F
22 Newport News, Va. 132,261 22,933 7,830 0.1% 22% $184,900 $928 $26,418 $41,684 8.4% 6.4% 8 (Fort Eustis) 5 6 34.7 22.9 3 C T B F L
23 Brandon, Fla. 83,120 8,647 700 -2.3% -10.4% $157,700 $1,084 $30,535 $37,443 6.2% 1.2% 1 (Macdill AFB) 19 3 no data 25.2 6 C B F L
24 Chandler, Ariz. 186,266 13,276 0 2.6% -0.8% $249,000 $1,130 $35,322 $43,539 5.1% 7% 0 12 4 24.2 22.9 8 C B F L
25 Clearwater, Fla. 90,756 9,456 162 2% 15.5% $148,300 $977 $25,986 $27,354 5.3% no data 1 (Macdill AFB) 17 3 44.7 23.3 5 C B F L
26 Carrollton, Texas 96,612 4,669 51 1% -16.9% $181,800 $1,031 $32,305 $51,211 3.7% no data 0 13 0 0 24.8 6 C B E F
27 Broken Arrow, Okla. 77,631 6,680 24 0.8% 5.6% $157,000 $978 $36,032 $48,087 4.5% 1.3% 0 5 1 17.8 no data 6 F
28 Huntington Beach, Calif. 162,792 10,289 79 3.9% -1% $652,200 $1,638 $40,414 $43,792 4.7% 2.4% 1 (NAVWEAPSTA Seal Beach) 22 6 23.2 29.3 9 F
29 Scottsdale, Ariz. 194,113 15,753 0 4.5% -9.5% $413,100 $1,165 $39,960 $44,121 4.4% 2.9% 0 11 4 no data 21.2 8 C B F L
30 McKinney, Texas 109,605 8,165 108 9.1% 21.3% $221,700 $1,076 $40,702 $56,823 5.3% 1.7% 0 13 0 20.1 28.9 8 C F
31 Richardson, Texas 84,888 5,971 108 4.5% 19.8% $206,300 $1,190 $39,284 $35,990 4.4% no data 0 13 0 24.4 24.5 7 C E F
32 Carlsbad, Calif. 85,582 5,837 657 1.7% -18.8% $680,100 $1,839 $50,244 $71,399 6.4% 7.8% 2 (Camp Pendleton) 16 8 17.2 28 9 C F
33 Westminster, Colo. 88,317 8,107 0 5.4% 25.6% $231,500 $1,134 $33,746 $40,989 6% 4.7% 1 (Buckley AFB) 11 3 31.4 27.2 5 C T B E F L
34 Renton, Wash. 76,313 5,342 0 2.9% 5.6% $310,200 $1,231 $32,210 $43,206 6.4% 2.3% 2 (Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton) 11 7 55.6 29.9 7 C E F
35 Hampton, Va. 102,372 17,411 4,777 -0.5% -4.7% $188,900 $1,032 $26,309 $37,772 9.7% 8% 9 (Langley AFB) 5 6 35.1 22.3 4 C T B F L
36 Clarksville, Tenn. 96,816 19,723 9,987 5.1% 0.2% $133,200 $869 $22,734 $36,791 7.6% 3.4% 1 (Fort Campbell) 11 1 36.3 22.2 8 C F
37 Fayetteville, N.C. 136,147 28,564 19,543 4.3% 1.5% $124,800 $865 $24,345 $42,522 9.9% 8.4% 2 (Fort Bragg) 8 3 56.3 18.8 5 C T F
38 Round Rock, Texas 79,409 6,525 17 5.1% 12.3% $193,700 $1,030 $34,396 $41,032 5.1% 1.4% 0 6 0 19.7 25.7 7 F
39 Norfolk, Va. 174,696 28,635 20,836 1.5% 6.6% $190,000 $950 $23,188 $36,193 8.9% 5.8% 10 (Naval Base Norfolk) 6 6 44.4 22.3 4 C T B F L
40 Temecula, Calif. 79,087 9,242 822 6.2% 34.5% $369,000 $1,533 $32,116 $50,837 9.7% 6.7% 1 (Camp Pendleton) 19 8 24.3 33.2 8 F
41 Cambridge, Mass. 94,751 1,865 139 0.4% 28.9% $616,700 $1,684 $37,184 $50,677 3.9% no data 2 (Hanscom AFB) 24 4 26.9 25 6 C E F
42 Charleston, S.C. 107,179 8,640 532 1.6% -7.9% $259,800 $1,053 $30,763 $35,732 6.1% 3.1% 2 (Charleston AFB) 6 1 24.9 23.2 7 F
43 Murrieta, Calif. 75,398 7,768 1,033 1.5% 4.4% $350,300 $1,502 $31,083 $47,846 11.6% 15.4% 2 (Camp Pendleton) 17 9 14.1 no data 8 F
44 Boise, Idaho 164,731 15,619 672 -0.2% -4.9% $189,000 $816 $26,270 $35,043 5.2% 7.9% 0 4 2 23.8 18.3 6 F
45 Tacoma, Wash. 158,923 18,810 1,859 0.1% -6.8% $207,300 $924 $27,097 $40,908 7.8% 13.2% 4 (McChord AFB) 11 7 no data 27.1 4 C F
46 Boulder, Colo. 91,156 3,170 0 3.1% -15% $530,000 $1,218 $26,135 $48,750 7.1% no data 0 11 3 29 18.2 8 C B E F L
47 Peoria, Ariz. 127,425 13,510 131 5.9% 1.9% $217,500 $1,138 $34,022 $37,386 6.1% 4.5% 1 (Luke AFB) 10 4 21.5 27.5 7 F
48 Huntsville, Ala. 147,811 17,061 253 0.4% 0.9% $162,100 $719 $26,909 $49,105 8.1% 9.4% 1 (Redstone Arsenal) 3 1 56.1 18.1 7 E F
49 San Mateo, Calif. 81,734 3,874 0 -0.4% -2.7% $822,100 $1,826 $45,994 $53,264 5.2% no data 0 21 2 21.3 25.9 8 C B E F
50 Glendale, Ariz. 171,671 14,057 1,041 0.6% -11% $168,100 $881 $26,076 $37,417 7% 5.8% 1 (Luke AFB) 10 4 57 28 5 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