U.S. News releases its Top 125 best places to live in the country.

Sarasota ranks as one of the top places to live in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Florida city, according to a new list compiled by U.S. News & World Report.

The publication ranked the 125 largest metropolitan areas and found that life’s good in Sarasota, placing the city at No. 18 overall and ahead of every other city in the Sunshine State. Austin was ranked at No. 1.

U.S. News considered five main indexes (and graded them on a 10-point scale) in compiling the list: desirability, value, job market, quality of life and net migration. Sarasota earned a score of 7.0, with a quality of life score of 7.4 and a value score of 5.7. The publication cited Sarasota’s warm temperatures, “year-round, award-winning beaches and a thriving arts and cultural scene.” It also says Sarasota is struggling to keep up with infrastructure needs as the population grows. The area “offers a sizeable job market for those working in health care, small business and tourism.” U.S. News puts Sarasota at No. 3 in its list of best places to retire.

The other Florida cities that made the list:

Melbourne, No. 25: One of the Space Coast's most populated areas, Melbourne is beloved by urbanites, families, professionals and retirees. It has a thriving art scene and access to water activities along its 155-mile estuary.

Fort Myers, No. 35: Tucked alongside the Caloosahatchee River in SouthWest Florida, Fort Myers made the list for its "charming downtown lived with shops and restaurants, many of which are dog-friendly." Fort Myers is also ranked the No. 2 best place to retire.

Pensacola, No. 37: Loved by locals for its blend of history and nature, Pensacola made the list for, among other things, its "beaches are known for their white sand and emerald waves."

Jacksonville, No. 42: The largest metro city are by land mass in the continental U.S., Jacksonville made the list for its "culturally and aesthetically diverse neighborhoods surrounding downtown."

Tampa, No. 56: "Living in the Tampa Bay area is like being on vacation all year," the report said. Tampa made the list for its hip social scene and thriving Hispanic community -- not to mention the professional sports teams, interesting museums and "laid-back beach lifestyle."

Lakeland, No. 59: If you love Old Florida history, you'll understand why Lakeland made the list of best places to live. Its location gives residents easy access many of Florida's tourist destinations -- think Disney World, Universal Studios, etc.

Orlando, No. 63: This city is far more than theme parks, though "for many residents, the theme parks are a point of pride," too. Orlando made the list for its diverse neighborhoods, ranging from the bustle of downtown to the calm beauty of the residential areas featuring "canopied oaks and lakefront bungalows."

Port St. Lucie, No. 78: Known for its relaxed atmosphere, Port St. Lucie's "clean streets and quiet neighborhoods are woven around scenic waterways and lush green golf courses." Port St. Lucie also made the list because of its world-class amenities like MLB spring training games and the PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance.

Daytona Beach, No. 99: Also ranked as the No. 13 best place to retire, Daytona Beach offers its residents the buzz of summertime when tourists arrive to the quiet of winter when the streets and fishing spots once again become their own.

Miami, No. 113: "One of the most vibrant metro areas in the U.S.," Miami made the list for more than just its beaches and its club scene. This thriving city is "becoming one of the largest international business hubs in the world.

Check out the full list here.

This story originally published to heraldtribune.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the GateHouse Media network.