While recent news about Michigan cities like Detroit and Flint has been pretty depressing, there is still a lot to love about the Great Lakes State. It’s hard not to be drawn to its beaches and woods, terrific universities, and a high concentration of excellent breweries. Also, the wild Upper Peninsula, with its old growth forests and old mining town ruins, is like another world, altogether. Check out our list of Michigan’s best cities to live in for advice on where to settle in the state. Spoiler alert: all of the top five are located in Oakland County.  

1. Troy

Troy, a large Detroit suburb of over 83,000, is Michigan’s best city to live in. Troy’s population is affluent and well-educated, with a large part of the workforce employed in the city’s large automotive sector. Troy is also a college town, home to campuses of over half a dozen universities.

2. Royal Oak

The regally named Royal Oak ranks #2 on the list. A bit smaller than Troy, Royal Oak is also more affordable, boasting cheaper real estate prices and a lower cost of living, yet is nevertheless safe with a lower than average crime rate. Of note is the Detroit Zoo, which is located in the city.

3. Bloomfield Hills

Bloomfield Hills is a small city with an extremely wealthy populace boasting a median household income of over $170,000. Undoubtedly, it’s a great place to settle if you work in the area and can afford it. The city is the home of the Cranbrook Educational Community National Historic Landmark.

4. Rochester

Coming in at #4 is Rochester, a small, picturesque little midwestern city near many nature preserves with trails that can be used for cycling or hiking.

5. Farmington

Closing out the list is Farmington, a small, wealthy city noted for its great, award-winning public school system and historic downtown area, which has recently seen extensive development.

Best Cities to Live in Michigan, 2019

RankCity
1Troy
2Royal Oak
3Bloomfield Hills
4Rochester
5Farmington
6Lake Orion
7Traverse City
8Novi
9Portage
10Hudsonville
11Northville
12Grand Haven
13Zeeland
14Jenison
15Rockford
16Marquette
17Midland
18West Bloomfield
19Grandville
20East Lansing
21Clarkston
22Grand Rapids
23Holland
24Oak Park
25Southfield
26Ypsilanti
27Plymouth
28Grosse Pointe
29Brighton
30Madison Heights
31Waterford
32Livonia
33Ann Arbor
34South Lyon
35Allen Park
36Canton
37Grand Blanc
38Oxford
39Wyoming
40White Lake
41Fenton
42Mount Pleasant
43Flushing
44Kalamazoo
45Saint Clair Shores
46Lansing
47Adrian
48Trenton
49Howell
50Wyandotte
51Battle Creek
52Southgate
53Utica
54Davison
55Dearborn
56Jackson
57Redford
58Macomb
59Sterling Heights
60Niles
61Pontiac
62Port Huron
63Owosso
64Lapeer
65Garden City
66Dearborn Heights
67New Baltimore
68Westland
69Clinton Township
70Belleville
71Roseville
72Eastpointe
73Bay City
74Monroe
75Romulus
76Taylor
77Warren
78Lincoln Park
79Benton Harbor
80Burton
81Muskegon
82Saginaw
83Detroit
84Flint
85Hamtramck

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Methodology

We ranked a total of 2,509 qualified cities (those with populations above 25,000 and enough data for analysis) by five factors: employment (number of establishments, median earnings); housing (owner-occupied housing with a mortgage, monthly housing costs); quality of life (work commute, poverty levels); education (percentage with a bachelor’s degree or higher); and health (obesity ratios).