Augusta has been rated the top metro area in Georgia for people to live and to retire.
The Garden City outperformed both Atlanta and Savannah in the annual rankings released Tuesday by U.S. News and World Report.
The Augusta area landed at 76th nationally in top places to live and 79th in places to retire. By comparison, Atlanta, which rated second statewide, ranked 95th and 90th, respectively, and Savannah, third place in Georgia, ranked 102nd and 95th nationally.
Huntsville, Alabama, took the No. 1 spot in the ratings.
Subscribers: What does Augusta want in a new mayor?
U.S. News pointed out Augusta's best-known features
U.S. News pointed out Augusta's best-known features, as home to the Masters Tournament and childhood home of soul legend James Brown. But the magazine also cited the Augusta area as “home to a thriving culinary scene” and “a deep appreciation for the arts and the outdoors” shown by its residents.
“Augusta is also becoming a destination for retirees who want warm weather and a low cost of living,” the magazine wrote in summarizing Augusta’s placement. “Plus, suburbs in nearby towns Evans, Martinez and Grovetown are go-to places for families to settle and commute into the downtown area.”
The magazine acquired its data from federal government sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as "U.S. News' own internal resources," the publication said.
The magazine compiled five indexes that comprise the best-to-live rankings in 150 metro areas: job market strength; housing affordability; quality of life; net migration; and a “desirability index” based on a national survey conducted in March.
After standardizing city data to provide a better apples-to-apples comparison, the magazine assigned an overall rating from zero to 10 that determined final placement on the list.
To rank the best places to retire, U.S. News compiled six indexes: housing affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, job market and health care quality.
This article originally appeared on Augusta Chronicle: Augusta ranked No. 1 metro area in Georgia in which to live, retire