Athens is one of the best places to live in the country, according to a new ranking from

Athens ranked number 32 nationally and was the top city ranked in Georgia in the 2020 Top 100 Best Places to Live rankings. The 2020 rankings were determined by an “Opportunity Score,” which measures economy, job opportunities and growth, officials said.

More than 1,000 cities with populations between 20,000 and 1,000,000 were ranked on 40 data points measuring economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and health care. The eight scores were weighted based on an exclusive survey conducted for by Ipsos Public Affairs, a leading global market research firm. Sources included the best public and private data available from organizations like the U.S. Census Bureau, Emsi and Esri.

"Athens is the quintessential Southern college town, chock full of entertainment and innovation," according to Livability.  "Athens has a diverse economy that’s bustling with opportunity," the report continues.

“Creating a list of the best places to live in a year marked by uncertainty and disruption was challenging, but also clarifying,” said Winona Dimeo-Ediger, editor-in-chief. “The pandemic and ensuing economic turbulence made people rethink their commitment to big, expensive cities, and the rise of remote work provided a unique opportunity to live anywhere.

"The dust is still settling, but the chaos of this year made the things that have always mattered — affordability, safety, community and opportunity — matter even more. The small- to mid-sized cities on Livability’s list offer exactly what people are looking for right now.”