Bethesda returned to Livability.com’s 2016 100 best places to live list this year after not cracking the top 100 on the website’s 2015 list.
However, Bethesda, which came in at No. 100, was once again outpaced by Rockville, which moved up two spots on the 2016 list to No. 17 after coming in at No. 19 on the 2015 list. The two were the only local communities to make the latest version of the ranking. Last year, North Bethesda came in at No. 64 and Silver Spring was No. 72, but those communities didn’t make the list this time.
The website partnered with urbanist Richard Florida and Steven Pedigo from New York University’s Initiative for Creativity and Innovation in Cities to create the ranking of cities and towns with populations of 20,000 to 350,000. The website used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S Department of Housing and Urban Affairs as well as from private sources including Walk Score and Great Schools to create the list.
The towns and cities were ranked based on quality of schools, infrastructure and public safety as well as quality of amenities and affordability.
“The quaint character and excellent schools found in Rockville appeal to the many prospects moving here to join innovative biomed and technology companies that lead the local economy,” the website said about Rockville’s No. 17 ranking.
The website highlighted Bethesda’s wealth, highly educated population and location close to major employers such as the National Institutes of Health and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as reasons for its inclusion on the list.
This year, Rochester, Minnesota, came in at No. 1 after ranking No. 2 in 2015. Bellevue, Washington, was No. 2, while Madison, Wisconsin, last year’s No. 1, ranked No. 3, with Santa Barbara, California, ranked No. 4 and Boulder, Colorado, rounding out the top five.