Rainbow Row

A couple from Canada admires Rainbow Row this summer.

File/Wade Spees/Staff

Charleston is one of "America's Best Cities To Live," based in part on its diverse economy and high population growth, according to a Northeastern financial news website.

Charleston was No. 33 on the ranking released this week by 24/7 Wall St.

It was the only South Carolina representative on the list. Last year, Mount Pleasant was the only Palmetto State city to make the cut.

The website said it analyzed data for 550 U.S. cities with populations of 65,000 or more. The comparisons included crime rates, employment growth, access to restaurants and attractions, educational attainment and housing affordability.

"Americans who prefer inexpensive housing and warm climates often relocate to the Southeast," the website said. "Charleston’s population has increased by 13.1 percent over the past five years, more than three times the national five-year growth rate.

"Many new residents are likely attracted by the low cost of real estate in the city," it continued. "Housing in Charleston is 20 percent cheaper than the national average. Charleston also has a warm, temperate climate, and the air quality is close to the best of any major city."

The website also said that while the city "is tourist friendly, with some of the most restaurants, museums, and hotels per capita in the country," it also boasts a strong talent pool and manufacturing sector.

The report specifically cited the region's nearly $14 billion a year "booming aviation sector" that includes the Boeing Co., which employs about 8,000 workers in the area, and the Air Force base. Both of those facilities are in the city of North Charleston. 

The website went on to note that more than half of Charleston adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, well ahead of the U.S. average of 31 percent.

The top city on the 24/7 Wall Street list was Broomfield, Colo.

Reach Dave Munday at 843-937-5553.

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