We get a unique view of the Charlotte area every day… a front row to the neighborhoods, the development, the people who make up our beloved city. So we didn’t find it surprising that the Queen City’s quality of life ranked among the best in the world according to a new list for 2020.

Numbeo, is a database of user-contributed information about cities and countries. Think Wikipedia for all kinds of data, everything from the cost of produce to the cost of rent.

The list looked at 200 cities and considered 8 factors including cost of living , purchasing power, health care, climate, pollution, commute times and safety.

Actually North Carolina’s two largest metros made the top 10, with Raleigh edging out Charlotte just slightly. Charlotte comes in at No. 8. Raleigh came in at No. 3.

We pulled out some numbers and found an interesting comparison in the two cities.

  • Charlotte folks also sit in traffic longer than their counterparts in Raleigh. 
  • Residents here make a slightly higher after tax monthly salary compared to Raleigh residents. 
  • Charlotte residents pay $150 more for private childcare. 
  • Basic utilities are lower in Raleigh by about 20 bucks a month.
  • Coffee costs less in Raleigh too.

But we don’t need a list to know that Charlotte is a great place to live.

Charlotteans have healthy and robust participation and discourse around the things that matter.  Our schools, mass transit, upward mobility, and city planning may not be the best in the country, but all of the aspects of a healthy city are top of mind for the citizenry.  


We have a lot of development happening in Charlotte including exciting preservation efforts happening like Optimist Hall and Camp North End. There’s also a lot of development supporting restoration v. tear down of affordable housing. The new development includes more high-density building to meet our growing population demands. Take a look at the style of this new development. There are so many innovative architects, designers, and builders being drawn to Charlotte.  


Charlotte is a world-class city for sports-Go Panthers! Go Hornets! Go Checkers! Go Knights! and more on the way


Let’s be real.  Our cost of living is increasing but Charlotte still ranks about in the middle of the pack Nationwide for the cost of living ranking.  Combine this with the amenities that Charlotte offers, the steady real estate upside for buyers and sellers, and all the aforementioned good stuff — yeah, it’s a good quality of life here. 


Not to mention we have awesome weather, an amazing airport and spectacular parks and greenways, and we are just a friendly and welcoming place.  

Now admittedly, not everything seems 100 percent accurate. For instance, we know there is a major housing affordability crisis here that doesn’t seem to be reflected in the list. Also, according to the survey, Charlotte has the most expensive taxi fares of 42 North American cities. Score a victory for the use of light rail or the ‘take a walk’ argument.

The free crowd-sourced website gets its information from almost a half-million contributors and provides close to six million consumer prices and other information on 9,295 locations. That being said, their statistics aren’t as accurate or reliable as the census numbers. However, Numbeo says they also collect data from supermarket and taxi company websites, government agencies, currency exchange sources, and newspaper articles.

Lists like this come and go… in the end, the best place for anything is if it’s best for you, if it fits your budget and your attitude and your lifestyle it doesn’t really matter what any list says or doesn’t. Still, it’s fun to take a look at them.