Where’s the best place to live? ITP? OTP? Which Atlanta neighborhoods are great for being able to walk to dinner? What if you need great public schools for your family?

While there’s no perfect place in Atlanta that fits everyone, there are certain characteristics that most people look for when moving to an area. We’ve taken those characteristics, measured them for Atlanta’s most popular neighborhoods, and we’ve created our own list of the best places to live in Atlanta.

What are the criteria we used to evaluate each neighborhood? We examined each neighborhood’s:

· Walkability
· Crime rate
· Public schools
· Housing costs
· Commute time

We evenly weighted all of these criteria to calculate the best places to live in Atlanta.

Which neighborhoods did we rank? While Atlanta is full of many incredible neighborhoods, we examined these areas:

· Alpharetta
· Buckhead
· Canton
· Decatur
· Grant Park
· John’s Creek
· Marietta
· Midtown
· Roswell
· Smyrna
· Virginia Highlands

Our results were surprising. We expected the top rankings to come from a place like Alpharetta or Canton, but we were pleasantly surprised at the overall rankings. Without further ado, let’s begin the countdown.

11. Grant Park

· Walkability: 4
· Crime rate: 11
· Public schools: 9
· Housing costs: 2
· Commute: 11

First up on our list is Grant Park. Grant Park really excels as an incredibly walkable area, full of restaurants, cafes and shops. No car required. It is also a very affordable place to live.

However, it lacks in area such as crime and public school. Grant Park has nearly double the number of crimes committed when compared to an average Atlanta neighborhood. And, surprisingly, its commute time is one of the worst in the Atlanta area.

Overall. Grant Park is a fun, walkable neighborhood. But, it lacks in areas such as safety and public education.

10. Marietta

· Walkability: 6
· Crime rate: 10
· Public schools: 6
· Housing costs: 3
· Commute: 7

Marietta, a suburb of northwest Atlanta, is an affordable area to live with average schools. In fact, it is one of the most affordable places to live in Atlanta.

However, Marietta’s relatively high crime rate and long commute times hurt its rankings.

One surprise bonus for Marietta: it ranks as one of the most walkable suburbs in Atlanta.

9. Roswell

· Walkability: 8
· Crime rate: 2
· Public schools: 3
· Housing costs: 5
· Commute: 8

Like Marietta, Roswell is another suburb located in northern Atlanta. Roswell is one of the most idea places to live for families, with a low crime rate and good schools. As an added bonus, its housing costs are relatively low.

However, Roswell suffers from long commute times and a city that requires everyone to drive a car. While the historic Roswell area offers many restaurants clustered together, the rest of the city is not walker friendly and requires a car to get around.

8. Decatur

· Walkability: 5
· Crime rate: 9
· Public schools: 11
· Housing costs: 9
· Commute: 5

Decatur is best known as one of Atlanta’s “hipster” neighborhoods. In fact, Decatur sports one of the best walkability scores, and it’s tied for the best commute time. If you enjoy being outside, walking to stores, shops and restaurants, Decatur is the place for you.

On the flip side, Decatur’s crime rates, schools and housing prices all rank below average in Atlanta. Most notably, its crime rates really harms its ranking.

7. Smyrna

· Walkability: 7
· Crime rate: 8
· Public schools: 7
· Housing costs: 4
· Commute: 6

Thinking of Smyrna? If you’re a house hunter looking for a bargain, Smyrna may be your place. After Grant Park and Marietta, Smyrna ranks as the most affordable place to live in Atlanta.

The flip side is that Smyrna’s crime rates and schools rank below average for Atlanta. Walkability is about average. Overall, it’s an average Atlanta neighborhood with good housing prices.

6. Alpharetta

· Walkability: 10
· Crime rate: 4
· Public schools: 2
· Housing costs: 6
· Commute: 4

Alpharetta is one of the most desirable suburbs to live in Atlanta. Its low crime rates and good schools attract many families. Surprisingly, the average commute time for Alpharetta residents is better than the Atlanta average; a rarity for Atlanta suburbs.

What prevents Alpharetta from ranking higher is its very low walkability score and its average housing costs.

5. John’s Creek

· Walkability: 11
· Crime rate: 1
· Public schools: 1
· Housing costs: 8
· Commute: 9

John’s Creek is perhaps the most desirable location for families to live in Atlanta. Its crime rate and school quality both rank as the best in metro Atlanta.

However, the tradeoff is that housing costs are the worst for an Atlanta suburb, and its walkability score means that you’ll need a car to get to Publix.

4. Canton

· Walkability: 9
· Crime rate: 3
· Public schools: 5
· Housing costs: 1
· Commute: 10

Surprisingly, Canton ranks as one of the top places to live in Atlanta. This Atlanta suburb fares incredibly well with great schools, the most affordable housing, and a very low crime rate. No wonder it’s one of Atlanta’s up and coming neighborhoods.

The only drawbacks? Canton faces one of the worst average commute times. And, as with most suburbs, it has one of the worst walkability scores.

3. Virginia Highlands

· Walkability: 2
· Crime rate: 7
· Public schools: 8
· Housing costs: 10
· Commute: 3

2. Buckhead

· Walkability: 3
· Crime rate:6
· Public schools: 4
· Housing costs: 11
· Commute: 1

We’re now moving into the city of Atlanta, and Virginia Highlands and Buckhead rank as two of the three best places to live in Atlanta.

Why do people love the Virginia Highlands and Buckhead? Walkability and commute times reign supreme here, as grocery stores, parks, restaurants and stores are all typically within a few minutes walk.

And somewhat surprisingly, crime rates are not terrible, with both Virginia Highlands and Buckhead having average crime rates.

The only downsides? Both areas sport the most expensive housing prices in the Atlanta area. Buckhead schools are merely OK, while Virginia Highlands’ schools are below average.

  1. Midtown

· Walkability: 1
· Crime rate: 5
· Public schools: 10
· Housing costs: 7
· Commute: 2

Here we have it, the best place to live in Atlanta is Midtown. Of course, if you’re going to live in Atlanta, why not live where the action is? Midtown has both incredible commute times to work and also a great walkability score, meaning that you’re never too far from your job or all of the happening things in Atlanta.

The biggest surprise? Housing in Midtown is relatively affordable. Midtown housing costs are actually slightly better than the Atlanta average. It’s even more affordable to live in Midtown than a place like John’s Creek or Decatur.

These are the top places to live in Atlanta based on data. Of course, your preferences will change based on the importance of different. Use the rankings we provide to create your own list!