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Want Work-Life Balance? Then Don’t Live Here

Those are the findings of new research by Magnify Money, a personal finance website, which compared the top 50 metros in the U.S. based on the length of residents' commutes, how much sleep they get, the percentage of income spent on housing, and other factors that affect work-life balance. It's no big surprise, of course, that New York City came in dead last, with the longest average commute time (over 35 minutes) and 41% confessing to not getting enough shut-eye. The Big Apple is followed by Miami (which ranks at the top of the list for percentage of income spent on housing), Philadelphia, and Los Angeles (which ranks as having the fifth-worse commute, at over 30 minutes, which is actually not as bad as most Californians would guess). The city with the best work-life balance, Grand Rapids, earned this honor by boasting a commute of under 22 minutes, housing costs that eat up only 18% of residents' incomes, and 56% of its denizens reporting to be in "very good health." "Most people move to New York for the intensity or opportunities, not for the balance," points out Kali McFadden, a senior research analyst at LendingTree. "I’m actually a native New Yorker, and many, if not most, of the people I grew up with don’t live in the city anymore," McFadden says. So what does the modest, Midwestern city of Grand Rapids have going for it? "Grand Rapids may be somewhat insulated from that, as it is a place people likely wouldn’t go out of their way to seek out, although people from Michigan looking for a more moderately priced and hip city may find themselves gravitating there." So, perhaps it's time to pack your bags, New Yorkers. Here's a full rundown of the best and worst places for work-life balance: Best places for work-life balance Grand Rapids, MI Salt Lake City, UT Minneapolis, MN Raleigh, NC Kansas City, MO Columbus, OH Portland, OR Virginia Beach, VA Cincinnati, OH Harrisburg, PA Worst places for work-life balance New York, NY Miami, FL Philadelphia, PA Los Angeles, CA Tampa, FL Detroit, MI New Orleans, LA Houston, TX Memphis, TN Chicago, IL