2023’s Best Cities for Veterans

Woman veteran military service member smiling
AJR_photo / Shutterstock.com

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on LawnStarter.

Adjusting to civilian life after serving in the armed forces can be a big challenge.

Which cities set up our vets for comfort and success?

LawnStarter compared the 200 biggest US cities to rank 2023’s Best Cities for Veterans.

We looked for cities with high populations of veterans and access to support resources like VA facilities, nonprofits, and PTSD recovery programs. We also considered housing affordability, as well as employment and educational opportunities, among 37 total metrics.

See where your city landed in our ranking below, followed by information on our methodology.

1. Providence, RI

Providence, Rhode Island
Jon Bilous/Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 46.18
  • Community Rank: 191
  • Support Rank: 3
  • Medical Health Care Rank: 1
  • Mental Health Care Rank: 1
  • Housing Rank: 172
  • Education and Training Rank: 19
  • Employment and Volunteering Rank: 4
  • Affordability Rank: 183
  • Safety Rank: 32

2. Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City, Utah
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 41.71
  • Community Rank: 104
  • Support Rank: 7
  • Medical Health Care Rank: 7
  • Mental Health Care Rank: 2
  • Housing Rank: 83
  • Education and Training Rank: 3
  • Employment and Volunteering Rank: 2
  • Affordability Rank: 129
  • Safety Rank: 169

3. Miami, FL

Miami, Florida
littleny / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 38.21
  • Community Rank: 142
  • Support Rank: 17
  • Medical Health Care Rank: 21
  • Mental Health Care Rank: 4
  • Housing Rank: 118
  • Education and Training Rank: 5
  • Employment and Volunteering Rank: 7
  • Affordability Rank: 61
  • Safety Rank: 89

4. St. Louis, Mo

St.  Louis St Louis Saint Louis
Paul Brady Photography / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 35.42
  • Community Rank: 74
  • Support Rank: 8
  • Medical Health Care Rank: 10
  • Mental Health Care Rank: 16
  • Housing Rank: 99
  • Education and Training Rank: 2
  • Employment and Volunteering Rank: 36
  • Affordability Rank: 114
  • Safety Rank: 101

5. Syracuse, NY

Syracuse New York
Paul Brady Photography / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 35.36
  • Community Rank: 101
  • Support Rank: 116
  • Medical Health Care Rank: 3
  • Mental Health Care Rank: 5
  • Housing Rank: 124
  • Education and Training Rank: 13
  • Employment and Volunteering Rank: 39
  • Affordability Rank: 152
  • Safety Rank: 23

6. Des Moines, IA

Des Moines, Iowa
Nail Photography / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 34.67
  • Community Rank: 87
  • Support Rank: 44
  • Medical Health Care Rank: 17
  • Mental Health Care Rank: 18
  • Housing Rank: 33
  • Education and Training Rank: 12
  • Employment and Volunteering Rank: 22
  • Affordability Rank: 21
  • Safety Rank: 66

7. Tampa, FL

Tampa, Florida
kevin-j-king / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 34.40
  • Community Rank: 68
  • Support Rank: 12
  • Medical Health Care Rank: 15
  • Mental Health Care Rank: 33
  • Housing Rank: 117
  • Education and Training Rank: 51
  • Employment and Volunteering Rank: 6
  • Affordability Rank: 39
  • Safety Rank: 20

8. Atlanta, GA

Atlanta cityscape
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 34.09
  • Community Rank: 24
  • Support Rank: 10
  • Medical Health Care Rank: 56
  • Mental Health Care Rank: 94
  • Housing Rank: 120
  • Education and Training Rank: 6
  • Employment and Volunteering Rank: 1
  • Affordability Rank: 137
  • Safety Rank: 86

9. Dayton, OH

Dayton Ohio
Alex Balanov/Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 33.61
  • Community Rank: 76
  • Support Rank: 58
  • Medical Health Care Rank: 28
  • Mental Health Care Rank: 6
  • Housing Rank: 58
  • Education and Training Rank: 55
  • Employment and Volunteering Rank: 19
  • Affordability Rank: 96
  • Safety Rank: 42

10. Washington, DC

Washington, DC
orhan-cam / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 33.58
  • Community Rank: 59
  • Support Rank: 1
  • Medical Health Care Rank: 68
  • Mental Health Care Rank: 24
  • Housing Rank: 109
  • Education and Training Rank: 33
  • Employment and Volunteering Rank: 27
  • Affordability Rank: 164
  • Safety Rank: 126

11. Madison, WI

Madison, Wisconsin
Big Fish Drones / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 32.87
  • Community Rank: 149
  • Support Rank: 67
  • Medical Health Care Rank: 38
  • Mental Health Care Rank: 11
  • Housing Rank: 61
  • Education and Training Rank: 18
  • Employment and Volunteering Rank: 26
  • Affordability Rank: 13
  • Safety Rank: 36

12. Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 32.75
  • Community Rank: 154
  • Support Rank: 28
  • Medical Health Care Rank: 25
  • Mental Health Care Rank: 12
  • Housing Rank: 155
  • Education and Training Rank: 8
  • Employment and Volunteering Rank: 11
  • Affordability Rank: 89
  • Safety Rank: 78

13. San Antonio, TX

San Antonio, Texas outdoors
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 32.47
  • Community Rank: 5
  • Support Rank: 13
  • Medical Health Care Rank: 121
  • Mental Health Care Rank: 88
  • Housing Rank: 27
  • Education and Training Rank: 34
  • Employment and Volunteering Rank: 9
  • Affordability Rank: 23
  • Safety Rank: 68

14. Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis Minnesota
photo-ua / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 32.19
  • Community Rank: 43
  • Support Rank: 70
  • Medical Health Care Rank: 33
  • Mental Health Care Rank: 14
  • Housing Rank: 174
  • Education and Training Rank: 27
  • Employment and Volunteering Rank: 10
  • Affordability Rank: 111
  • Safety Rank: 18

15. Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Suzanne Tucker/Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 31.89
  • Community Rank: 141
  • Support Rank: 93
  • Medical Health Care Rank: 45
  • Mental Health Care Rank: 69
  • Housing Rank: 129
  • Education and Training Rank: 1
  • Employment and Volunteering Rank: 29
  • Affordability Rank: 26
  • Safety Rank: 21

Methodology

Data entry on a laptop
baranq / Shutterstock.com

For each of the 200 largest US cities, we gathered publicly available data on the factors listed in the table below.

We then grouped those factors into nine categories: Community, Support, Medical Health Care, Mental Health Care, Housing, Education and Training, Employment and Volunteering, Affordability, and Safety.

Next, we calculated weighted scores for each city in each category.

Finally, we averaged the scores for each city across all categories.

The city that earned the highest average score was ranked “Best” (No. 1).

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