Colorado Springs earned third place in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 rankings of the Best Places to Live in America.

The rankings are based on data from the nation’s largest 125 metro areas on cost of living, job market, crime rates and quality of education, among other criteria.

Colorado Springs scored high marks for college preparedness among high school students and a consistently strong job market to place the city near the top of the list.

The only two cities that outranked the Springs were Austin, Tex., at No. 1, and Denver, which placed second. In overall rankings on a scale of 1 to 10, Denver and Colorado Springs tied with a score of 7.4 on the Best Places to Live index.

“We’re very proud to be in the top three places to live in America for the second straight year,” Mayor John Suthers said. “As Olympic City USA, it’s always good to make the podium, and it’s great to see Colorado dominate the top three.”

Suthers noted that Colorado Springs has ranked in the top five for three of the last four years.

“That’s something to be proud of,” Suthers said. “There is a lot happening in Colorado Springs, with major catalytic projects underway which will only continue to shine the light on this city. As more people learn about our great city, and as we grow and have even more to offer residents and visitors, I’m certain we’ll remain a top contender for the Best Place to Live.”

The 125 cities were given composite rankings in desirability, value, job market, quality of life and net migration.

Colorado Springs was the only city in the top three to score a 10 in the desirability category, which measures whether or not people want to live in a given metro area. To determine this, the magazine polled approximately 2,500 people across the country to find out in which of the ranked metro areas they would most like to live.

“It’s said that if you build a place where people want to visit, you’ll build a place where people want to live,” Visit Colorado Springs President and CEO Doug Price said. “Once people experience Colorado Springs firsthand, it’s easy to see why they would consider the possibility of calling Olympic City USA their home.”

San Francisco and Portland, Ore., were the only other top 10 cities to receive a 10 in desirability in 2019. Denver, the No. 2 city, scored 8.8 in the desirability category.

The job market index measures the strength of each metro area’s job market, including unemployment rate and average salary. On the job market measure, the Springs, with a ranking of 6.8, finished second to Denver, with a score of 7.9.

On the value index, which measures housing affordability and the cost of living, the two cities were about on par, with Denver scoring 6.7 and Colorado Springs ranked 6.6.

Colorado Springs and Denver were ranked equally, at 7.0, on the quality of life index, which indicates how satisfied residents are with their daily lives and factors in crime rates, availability of health care, quality of education and commuting time.

Colorado Springs scored lower than Denver on net migration, a measure of whether people are moving into a city. Denver’s score was 7.6, compared with Colorado Springs’ 7.2.

U.S. News & World Report’s Best Places to Live rankings are intended to help readers make informed decisions as to where to settle. The rankings use data from sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Labor, plus the results of the public survey of people across the country who were asked what they believed was the most important thing to consider when making a move.

The full list of 2019 Best Places To Live rankings can be viewed on the U.S. News website.