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    Top 10 Best U.S. Cities for Veterans

    If you're a veteran or a military member planning to separate from the military in the near future, Veterans United has curated a list of the 50 best places to live and buy a home across the country! Whether you're looking to invest in your forever home or simply settle down for a few years, there are so many options across the U.S. that are not only military and veteran friendly, but affordable, too. 

    The list from Veterans United weighs such factors as:

    • Veteran population
    • Cost of living
    • Ratio of VA hospitals to veterans
    • Housing affordability
    • Violent crime rate
    • Quality of life for veterans
    • And, new to the latest listing, the number of area COVID-19 cases

    We're highlighting the top 10 cities on the list, so come along with us for a quick tour!

    Top 10 Best Cities for Veterans

    1) Chesapeake, Virginia

    FB_ Chesapeake Bay

    Located in the Tidewater region of Southern Virginia, Chesapeake, Virginia, landed at the top of the list as the best city for veterans. For those looking to settle here, you'll find new construction along with older homes. Enjoy the area's numerous walking and running trails, which often edge the serene wetlands nearby. With good schools and amenities, not to mention access to beautiful area beaches, you’ll understand why so many families choose to call Chesapeake home.

    2) Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Many veterans choose to settle in Colorado Springs.

    Make your forever home in the shadow of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado's second largest city, where nearly 13% of the population call themselves veterans. Those living in the "Springs" often give glowing reviews of the city’s amenities and neighborhoods. With several military installations scattered across the city, veterans find it convenient to access healthcare and on-base benefits. 

    3) Fort Wayne, Indiana

    fort wayne indiana

    Fort Wayne, Indiana, image via Fort Wayne Facebook page

    With a lower than average cost of living and median home price compared to the rest of the U.S., this Hoosier state city has a veteran population of over 14,000.

    4) Raleigh, North Carolina

    Raleigh, North Carolina, USA downtown city skyline.

    The capital city of North Carolina could be a great place to plant roots after your military service, with its gorgeous neighborhoods and plentiful historic attractions and parks, not to mention the low cost of living compared to the national average. 

    5) Lincoln, Nebraska

    Lincoln NebraskaImage via I'interdit Flickr

    With a civilian unemployment rate the second lowest out of all 50 cities surveyed and its top-rated VA health facilities, Lincoln, Nebraska may become your heartland home after military retirement.

    6) Durham, North Carolina


    Greystone Mansion in Durham, NC. Image via Warren LeMay. 

    Affordable housing and great veteran support? You'll find it here! Durham, NC, is also home to Duke University and part of the Research Triangle Region. 

    7) El Paso, Texas

    El Paso, Texas

    El Paso, Texas, is home to Fort Bliss, one of the Army's largest posts in both population and size. If you're interested in volunteering in your life after the military, you'll be pleased to learn that the local population has a strong reputation for working with the base command on projects that serve both civilian and military communities.

    8) Boise, Idaho

    Boise Idaho Does access to skiing check one of your retirement boxes? Then take a look at this western city. You can hit the slopes in less than a 20-minute drive! Boise, Idaho, also boasts a high job growth rate with a correlating veteran income growth of 6.7% since 2012.

    9) Kansas City, Missouri

    kansas city fountain

    On the western edge of Missouri, Kansas City is renowned for good barbecue, jazz music, and...fountains! Kansas City has a median home price of about $146k and a low cost of living compared to the national average. The area also has 13 VA health centers.

    10) Virginia Beach, Virginia 


    15th Street Pier in Virginia Beach

    Rounding out the top ten is Virginia Beach, VA, in the metropolitan area known as Hampton Roads, about 200 miles south of Washington, D.C. Even though Virginia Beach is a popular tourist destination and beach community, the cost of living in Virginia Beach is only 2% higher than the rest of the state.

    Check out home listings in other veteran-friendly cities:

    Columbus, Ohio

    Columbus, Ohio

    Thanks to Veterans United for this helpful information! View the complete list of 50 best cities for veteran homebuyers, and then click the image below to connect with Veterans United and get more information about a zero down VA Home Loan.

    Learn More About Your VA Home Loan Benefit

    Top 10 Best Cities for Veterans


    Jen McDonald


    Jen McDonald

    Jen McDonald is the Content Editor for MilitaryByOwner Advertising. She's a longtime writer, the author of the books You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse and Milspouse Matters: Sharing Strength Through Our Stories. Jen is also the host of the Milspouse Matters podcast, and has written hundreds of articles and essays which have been published in other books and numerous publications. She was a military spouse for 30 years and is the mom of four, including one son in the military. One of her happiest roles now is being a grandmother. She and her veteran Air Force husband have been stationed all around the world from Europe to the Pacific and won’t count how many houses they’ve lived in because that would be too depressing. Her passion is encouraging young military spouses and regularly sharing about topics like military life, parenting, homeschooling...and now grandparenting! See more from Jen at her site, Jen McDonald and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram , and Pinterest.

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