One of those "Best Places to Live" lists came out this week.
This one, which was making the rounds on Tuesday, comes to us from Livability, an online publication apparently well-versed in livability.
Boise, Idaho, the home of a growing tech scene and blue turf, landed at the top. Raleigh, N.C., Madison, Wis., and Iowa City, Iowa, and Rochester, Minn., rounded out the top five.
The rankings were compiled by Livability staff and "data scientists," using the usual array of analytics, including "economics" and "amenities" and "infrastructure."
All of those factors were then distilled into a "LivScore," with one caveat: Because of an emphasis on affordability, no city on the list was allowed to have a median home value above $250,000.
What's that? Your thriving big city didn't crack the top 10? Your suburb of choice didn't make the list? Your quaint small town got overlooked?
No worries. Don't panic. As the old adage goes, if you don't like the latest online ranking of the best places to live in America...then just wait a while.
Soon enough, another publication will compress such factors as economy and housing and affordability into another methodology, for another list.
Take Boise, for example. Idaho's capital city only landed at No. 46 on Money Magazine's list of Best Places to Live in September.
The leader of Money's rankings? Frisco, our booming suburb to the north of Dallas in Collin County. Frisco got credit for its "relatively low cost of living compared with its higher incomes and booming job growth."
That low cost of living, however, wasn't low enough for Livability. Money reported Frisco's median home value to be $349,000, much too high for Livability's cap of $250,000.
On the flip side, Madison, Wis. – No. 3 on Livability's rankings – didn't make Money's rankings (Raleigh, N.C., was No. 2 on Livability and Cary, a Raleigh suburb, was No. 5 on Money)
There's plenty of variation from year to year, too.
In 2017, Frisco didn't even make Money's rankings. Allen did, coming in at No. 2, but then dropped out of the 2018 rankings altogether.
Niche, another online researcher of colleges, cities and companies, also has a "Best Places to Live" list, factoring in cost of living, education, housing, diversity, crime and safety and other quality-of-life type measures.
Living up to its name, Niche went as far as ranking specific neighborhoods. Bluemont, a neighborhood in Arlington, Va., checked in at No. 1.
Preston Highlands in Far North Dallas was the first Texas location on the list, coming in at No. 26. Greatwood outside of Houston and Triangle State in Austin were the only other Texas communities in the top 100, at No. 99 and No. 100, respectively.
Other rankings favor the small towns.
24/7 Wall Street's latest list included Dumas and Perryton – two small towns in the Texas Panhandle – in the top five, and West Texas' Snyder was at No. 48. North Texas suburbs Trophy Club (No. 17) and Highland Park (No. 34) also made the cut.
Nowhere to be found on the list were Boise and Frisco.
What about U.S. News & World Report?
The publication is well-known for its college rankings, but it also culls together a "Best Places to Live" list from an extensive set of factors, including employment rates, household income and quality of life.
And it also focuses more on metro areas – Frisco, for example, didn't make the list, but Dallas-Fort Worth did, earning credit for "desirability" and a strong job market.
The leader of the pack?
Which didn't make the cut on Livability, 24/7 Wall Street, or Money.