Why Atlanta isn't considered one of the best places to live in the U.S.

Atlanta landed near the middle of U.S. News & World Report's inaugural list of the Best Places to live among the nation's most populous metro areas.

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Atlanta landed near the middle of U.S. News & World Report's inaugural list of the Best Places to live among the nation's most populous metro areas.

Is Atlanta one of the best places to live in the U.S.? Um, not exactly, according to U.S. News & World Report's inaugural ranking of the best places to live among the nation's 100 most populous metro areas.

Atlanta holds down the mediocre No. 61 spot on the list. It competed with other metro cities in five areas: the strength of its job market; its "value" based on the median annual household income compared to the cost of living; a "quality of life" index that measured residents' satisfaction; a national survey that asked individuals which cities were most desirable to live in; and its "net migration," how many people moved out of or into the metro area.

With an average of 6.4 across these measures, Atlanta was dragged down a bit by its quality of life rating of 5.8, while its "value" of 7.1 pulled up the overall score.

Still, the publication had lots of good things to say about Atlanta, particularly noting its revitalizing of neighborhoods, extensive single population, strong neighborhood associations and that Atlanta housing prices average $184,950 compared to $218,867 across the U.S.

"Atlanta offers a better value than similarly sized cities when you compare housing costs to median household income," the survey noted.

In a profile written for U.S. News & World Report by local expert Jaime Weinstein as part of the ranking's publicity, Atlanta was heralded as a place of Southern charm: "Among the nation's fastest-growing cities, the Georgia capital is attracting newcomers from around the country, and people are looking to this part of the country for culture and commerce like never before. If you learn about everything the city has to offer, it's easy to see why. Atlanta features award-winning restaurants and chefs, iconic locales that rival any across the country — including the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre, the CNN Center and the Western Hemisphere's largest indoor aquarium — and the fifth highest rate of job growth in the U.S."

Denver ranked top on the list, with an overall score of 7.8 and a 6.9 for quality of life. The publication praised it for revamping its long-ago Wild West ways to become an "easygoing crowd of ambitious, progressive-minded fitness fanatics and nature lovers who are eager to push the envelope on everything from civil rights to drug laws."

The top 5 on the U.S. News and World Report's Best Places to Live list:

1. Denver, Colo.

2. Austin, Texas

3. Fayetteville, Ark.

4. Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

5. Colorado Springs, Colo.

Read more about the U.S. News & World Report's 100 Best Places to Live 2016 here.