That’s according to a study conducted by Livability.com, a national website that ranks America’s small and mid-sized cities.
It’s a combination of factors that Livability.com editors considered.
For the city of Eugene education, civic engagement and climate were what really drove home the high ranking making it a great place to live.
Eugene scored high in education, an area Livability.com Editor Matt Carmichael says wasn’t solely determined by test scores.
“A lot of the cities that did very well had some sort of major research university or major hospital system located within them. And those provide both economic stability and they provide a big influx of new talent,” Carmichael said.
Carmichael says the number of people in Eugene with a four-year degree is high, and that translates to an actively involved community.
“People who live in Eugene clearly love it. They clearly like being engaged. They like being out in their community. They like going to town meetings. They like going to the festivals and all the different things that Eugene has to offer,” Carmichael said.
“We think it’s one of our strengths that we have so many people who care about our community. As a city we make a real effort to bring a high level of community engagement into all of our decisions, so I’m not at all surprised about that,” said Kitty Piercy, Eugene Mayor.
And the community agrees with Mayor Kitty Piercy.
“It’s a very intellectual community and a meeting of minds. Diversity is very much embraced here,” said Eugene resident Sara Jane Webb.
Eugenians say even when people are opinionated, they’re willing to have an open dialogue.
“Most everybody here is willing to engage even if they have completely different opinions. That’s one of the good things. Instead of getting in an argument with someone, it’s more of a discussion,” said Eugene resident Josh Stephenson.
But people aren’t just politically active, they’re physically active too. Carmichael says the Pacific Northwest climate plays a huge role in Eugene’s high score.
“It’s not awful by any means. It’s definitely livable,” said Eugene resident Christopher Bourland.
“I do like that we have such beautiful growth. All the trees and the beauty, all the diversity of plant life here,” Webb said.
A number of Pacific Northwest cities made the top 100 best places to live list. Carmichael says a chunk of cities fell in the top 100 are on the West Coast.