Irvine, California, is the top city in the country for veterans.
That is according to the analytics website WalletHub, which recently compiled a list of the “most livable” cities in the United States for former military service members.
To determine the top city for veterans, the website explored two main categories for each city: “Economic Wellness” and “Environment, Education and Health.” Within those categories, analysts examined sub-factors like each city’s percentage of military skill-related jobs, home affordability, rate of veteran income growth, percentage of veterans living below the poverty line, the number of VA facilities, crime rates, and educational opportunities.
Irvine came out on top with a score of 74.84 in WalletHub’s index. Scottsdale, Arizona, placed second with a score of 69.21, while Raleigh, Orlando, and Gilbert, Arizona, rounded out the top five.
According to the study, cities in California and Texas provide the best living standards for former service members: the Top 15 includes San Diego (#6), El Paso (#7), Sacramento (#8), Austin (#9), Lubbock (#10), Bakersfield (#11), Chula Vista (#12), and Fort Worth (#13).
“Freedom is not free,” WalletHub’s Richie Bernardo said in a statement accompanying the study:
Protecting that right demands hard sacrifices, including the loss of millions of American lives. Here at home, we have a duty to safeguard the rights of our military personnel by providing adequate benefits — such as health care, housing loans, and education assistance — upon their safe return from service.
“With our findings, we aim to help our veterans find a comfortable home in the country they once served,” he added.
Irvine placed number one in key metrics, including Highest Veteran Income Growth and Lowest Percentage of Veterans Living Below the Poverty Line. The city also boasts the nation’s third-lowest Veteran Unemployment Rate, according to the study.
Meanwhile, Henderson and Las Vegas, Nevada, place at the bottom in key metrics, including the Lowest Percentage of Military Skill-Related Jobs and Lowest Veteran Income Growth. Three cities in Virginia — Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Chesapeake — place in the Bottom 5 for Highest Veteran Unemployment Rate, while San Francisco and Long Beach, California, have among the highest percentages of homeless veterans in the country.
WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez told Breitbart News the company plans to update its list of the best cities for veterans yearly.
Check out the complete study of the top U.S. cities for veterans here.