USAA and Announce List of Best Places for Veterans

Top 10 Best Places for Veterans

List of Best Places for Veterans

List highlights best places for post-9/11 veterans transitioning to civilian life

SAN ANTONIO —Pittsburgh ranks as the top place in the nation for veterans to transition from combat boots to civilian shoes, according to a new study commissioned by USAA and

The “Best Places for Veterans” list identifies U.S. metro areas that offer America’s most recent veterans more opportunities to find a job or go to college while providing a higher quality of life in an affordable location. The remainder of the top 10 list includes:

2. Phoenix
3. Dallas
4. Cleveland
5. Atlanta
6. Warren, Mich.
7. Ann Arbor, Mich.
8. Cincinnati
9. Columbus, Ohio
10. St. Louis

“Today’s veterans are battling a highly competitive job market and need to proactively plan for life after the military,” said Scott Halliwell, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM at USAA. “This study allows us to help recent and soon-to-be veterans identify preferred locations throughout the U.S. where they can launch a civilian career and use the G.I. Bill to further their education.”

“The millions of young veterans who have already entered the workforce and the many more that will join them in the coming years have the opportunity to use the discipline and determination they’ve acquired in the Armed Forces to make a significant impact in their workplaces and communities,” said retired Cmdr. Ward Carroll, editor of “Best Places for Veterans was commissioned to help equip this remarkable group with tools for a successful transition.”

USAA, a leading financial services provider focused on serving the military and their families, and, the largest military and veteran membership organization, commissioned Sperling’s BestPlaces to develop the list. Researchers reviewed variables for 379 major U.S. metropolitan areas, including:

  • Employment opportunities and sectors that align with military skills sets such as defense, engineering, medical services and aviation, as well as the overall jobs climate based on unemployment rate and recent job growth.
  • Presence of colleges/universities, as well as quality of local primary schools.
  • General quality of life and pocketbook issues such as affordability, crime rate, taxes and recreation opportunities.

Each of the variables was weighted based on what recent and soon-to-be veterans said was important to them, and each metro area was then ranked based on its total points for all variables. Metro areas with the following attributes were excluded from the list: unemployment rate more than 1 percent above the national average, median cost of living greater than the national average and total crime rate more than 25 percent above the national average.

USAA and also commissioned a list of the top metro areas in each state to provide service members with more choices. Veterans and soon-to-be veterans also have the opportunity to create a personalized list with the new Best Places for Veterans calculator by identifying which criteria is most important in their military-to-civilian transition. To see the entire list of Best Places and access the Best Places for Veterans calculator, visit

The list does not represent any endorsement, expressed or implied, by the Department of Defense or any other United States government agency.

About USAA

USAA provides insurance, banking, investment and retirement products and services to 9.3 million members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. USAA membership is open to all who are serving or have honorably served our nation in the U.S. military – and their eligible family members. For more information about USAA, or to learn more about membership, visit More information about the list criteria can be found at

About is the nation’s largest military and veteran online news and membership organization serving active duty personnel, reservists, guard members, retirees, veterans, family members, defense workers and those considering military careers. enables Americans with military affinity to access their benefits, advance their careers, enjoy military discounts, and stay connected for life. is a business unit of Monster Worldwide Inc. More information is available at

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

Reader Interactions


  1. aaron matteson says

    sad. why can’t colorado be of any help to vets. I live in Fort Collins and it has been very difficult getting anywhere as far as employment.


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