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Reporter

Nancy Hicks reports on Lincoln city government, but she’s been following the leaders of local and state government for more than 40 years.

Lincoln skyline

The Lincoln skyline

Lincoln is again on a top-10 list.

Lincoln is ranked No. 9 on a “Top 100 Best Places to Live" by Livability.com.

And part of that equation is affordability. Last year, Lincoln's average home value was $184,811, though the livability comparison used a lower figure.  

The 2019 rankings were guided by a survey of more than 1,000 millennials across the country to determine what matters most to them when making relocation decisions.

The top responses — affordability and job opportunities — were factored into this year’s ranking criteria, including, for the first time ever, a cap on housing costs.

No city on Livability’s list has a median home price exceeding $250,000.

Livability.com looked at more than 1,000 cities — with populations between 20,000 and 1 million — in the ranking.

The full list of the 2019 Top 100 Best Places to Live is featured on Livability.com, along with each city’s LivScore and information about the qualities and amenities that helped them make the list.

This year’s top 10 cities are:

* 1. Boise, Idaho.

* 2. Raleigh, North Carolina.

* 3. Madison, Wisconsin.

* 4. Iowa City, Iowa.

* 5. Rochester, Minnesota.

* 6. Columbia, Missouri.

* 7. Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

* 8. Pittsburgh.

* 9. Lincoln.

* 10. Greenville, South Carolina.

Here’s some of what Livability.com says about our city:

Lincoln is the state capital of Nebraska and the home of the University of Nebraska, so there’s always something going on here, yet it feels a lot like a small town.

The city of 288,000 maintains a relatively low cost of living while providing high-quality amenities and infrastructure, like the historic Haymarket District and the 131 miles of trails that run through town.

You’ll find a growing craft beer scene, a strong economy and lots of friendly people wearing red to support their beloved Huskers. Arts and culture are important here too: the Lied Center for the Performing Arts always has theater, dance and music performances on the calendar, while the Sheldon Museum of Art has new and exciting installations and events to attend.

Climate Described In 6 Words Or Less: Humid always, cold and cloudy winters.

Local Dream Job: Taste-tester at Ivanna Cone, a beloved family-owned ice cream shop with an old-timey vibe.

Quintessential Meal: A Runza, which is a special sandwich/meat pie filled with cabbage, ground beef and onions.

After-Work Meetup Spot: Lazlo’s, a classic Lincoln restaurant serving up American food and beers from its in-house brewery, Empyrean Brewing Company.

Best Local Brewery: Blue Blood Brewing Co, which was started by former Lincoln cops. It’s located above the 5,000-square-foot Robbers Cave, which you can tour.

Beloved Bookstore: Indigo Bridge Books and Cafe, located in Lincoln’s historic Haymarket District.

Free Way To Have Fun: Sample 160 different types of licorice sourced from all over the world and learn about this popular candy at Licorice International (then maybe buy some!).

Truly Hidden Gem: Unless you’re a car person, you may overlook the Museum of American Speed — but it’s a totally awesome way to spend an afternoon, even if you can’t tell the difference between a carburetor and a muffler. The museum has more than 150,000 square feet of exhibit space.

12 ways Lincoln ranks nationally

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7250 or nhicks@journalstar.com

On Twitter @LJSNancyHicks.

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