Money Magazine awarded the city of 461,000 the “best big city” ranking
Mesa was named the “Best Big City in the Southwest” by Money Magazine which crunched the numbers on urban centers with more than 300,000 residents—63 in all.
As with our Best Places list, our city rankings put a premium on a robust job market, affordable housing, and factors such as accessibility to health care, culture, and open space. We also gave extra points to places with low crime and strong public schools and selected the top city in the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and West.
In addition to Mesa, the best of the Northeast, Southeast, West, and Midwest were Pittsburgh, Tampa, Denver, and Omaha, respectively.
The prime reason for Mesa’s “best ranking”? Education. Of the 51 schools that earned the Arizona Educational Foundation’s A+ ranking this year, nine were in Mesa – those most of any other district in the state.
Mesa Mayor John Giles said:
I agree, Mesa is the best big city in the Southwest and we are only getting better. Mesa is a great place to live and raise a family. Mesa Arts Center and our Parks and Recreation Department are national leaders while Apple, Inc. and the new light rail extension make our city attractive to the millennial workforce.