Honolulu has been named on Wallethub’s list of top big cities to live in, coming in at number 9. While the cost of living is high, the quality of life, education, health, and economic opportunities provided to residents, according to Wallethub’s analysis, brought Honolulu into the top 10.
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In addition to being known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant tourism industry, Honolulu is home to some of the highest gas, grocery and housing prices in the United States. Despite this, a new study by Wallethub, a personal finance website, ranks Honolulu as one of the best big cities in which to live in the country.
The study ranked the 62 largest American cities on criteria such as affordability, economy, education and health, and quality of life. Honolulu squeezed into the top 10 ranking, coming in at No. 9.
On the plus side, Wallethub's data found that Honolulu residents were among the cities with the lowest percentage of the population living in poverty, and the highest population percentage of insured residents. On the negative side, Honolulu ranked really low on the affordability scale — 53 out of 62 — and was listed among the five cities with the highest housing costs.
Santa Ana, New York City, Miami and Los Angeles were the other cities with high housing costs.
The study also compared each city on several areas of "attractiveness" like a city's number of coffee shops, restaurants, crime rate, and walkability. These and other criteria contributed to a city's overall quality of life, Honolulu ranked relatively high in this area, coming in at No. 12.
"Quality of life supersedes all financial factors," said Theodore C. Landsmark, professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University, in a statement. "You live in a place every day, and it has to feel comfortable."
Honolulu also ranked No. 6 in the education and health category, which included the quality of public schools and hospital systems, and No. 5 in the economic category, which factored in unemployment rates, job opportunities, and income growth.
"Too many emerging professionals choose salaries over life styles, and find themselves burned out and frustrated as they’ve wasted irreplaceable time with meaningless pursuits of personal income," Landsmark said. "Life is short – one’s time and personal satisfaction needs to be balanced with careerist aspirations."
Virginia Beach, Virginia was ranked the best big city to live in the country for its high affordability ranking, No. 1, and high education and health ranking, No. 7. Detroit, Michigan was named the worst big city to live in due to its being in the absolute bottom ranking for the economy and education and health categories.