St. Louis Offers the 6th 'Most Balanced Lifestyle' of Any U.S. City

Soulard living balances good times (bars, golf carts) with proximity to downtown. - FLICKR/PAUL SABLEMAN
Soulard living balances good times (bars, golf carts) with proximity to downtown.

Finally, proof of what we've been saying for years now: St. Louis is an easy place to live.

A new study that examines U.S. cities for the ease of achieving a "balanced lifestyle" ranks St. Louis No. 6 nationally. Our sister to the west, Kansas City, did even better, coming in at No. 2.

Per the study, "As Americans, we’re often focused on status markers, such as the amount of money we make. But research indicates that the time we spend with people we care about, good health and income equality are some of biggest factors that lead to happiness. Feeling fulfilled is about so much more than how much we earn. It comes down to what we have to do to earn it, what we get in exchange for it and whether we have the time and health to enjoy our friends and family."

The secret to our success here in STL? Short commutes, affordable housing, low prices for consumer goods and services and even work-life balance — how many hours a week we work versus what we earn.

The findings, by the site Magnify Money, echo a largely ignored fact tucked into our cover story last week: "When you adjust incomes for local cost of living, St. Louis places twentieth out of the nation's 381 metropolitan areas, and seventh of the nation's 53 largest metro regions." Yes, the salaries are a whole lot bigger in LA and New York, but since your dollar goes a lot further here, you're actually pocketing more money.

Here are the top eleven cities in the nation for a balanced lifestyle, followed by the least balanced. Eat your heart out, Miami!

Most Balanced
1. Minneapolis
2. Kansas City, Mo.
3. Salt Lake City
4. Cincinnati
5. Raleigh, N.C.
6. St. Louis
7. Portland, Ore.
8. Denver
9. Hartford, Conn.
10. Virginia Beach, Va. (tied)
10. Columbus, Ohio (tied)

Least Balanced
50. Miami
49. New York
48. Riverside, Calif.
47. Los Angeles
46. Tampa, Fla.
45. New Orleans
44. Houston
43. Philadelphia
42. Memphis, Tenn.
41. San Francisco

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About The Author

Sarah Fenske

Sarah Fenske is the executive editor of Euclid Media Group, overseeing publications in eight cities. She is the former host of St. Louis on the Air and was previously editor-in-chief of the RFT and the LA Weekly. She lives in St. Louis.
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