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Employers Take Note – The Top 5 US Cities to Live 

US cities

Employers Take Note – The Top 5 US Cities to Live 

Family ties or friends bring people to new cities. Employment opportunities sway others. Whatever the reason, it’s rare these days to remain stagnant in one city for long. The US economy is dynamic, even in this slowdown, and most cities have enough similarities that acclimating to a new place is not overly difficult. 

There is a host of “best of” lists, but the good people at StudyFinds compile some of the best. The company consulted 10 expert lists and narrowed down an exhaustive list of US cities to their top five best places to live. Employers should take note, these are affordable destinations that people are flocking to. 

5. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado is home to several very liveable cities. Boulder, Colorado is one of the most beautiful places in the US, while Denver is centrally located with an array of outdoor activities all within a major metropolitan area. But once sleepy Colorado Springs is finally getting the attention it deserves. Home to the US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs is a quaint town, historically in the shadows of Boulder, Denver, and even Fort Collins. But with more affordable home prices, minor traffic, and a plethora of nature to take advantage of, Colorado Springs is drawing more new residents than ever before.

4. Fayetteville, Arkansas

A bit of a head-turner, Arkansas cities generally do not make top 5 or even 10 lists often. But Fayetteville is experiencing a boom in growth with more and more young entrepreneurs making their way to Razorback country. The town is home to the University of Arkansas Razorbacks and the city revolves around the young university life. Additionally, Fayetteville’s proximity to the Ozark Mountains is a real plus for outdoorsy types. The abundance of community green space, parks, playgrounds, and walking trails are perfect for folks of all ages and interests.

3. Huntsville, Alabama

Remaining in the south, Huntsville became known in the 1960s as it was a regional hub for NASA. This helped draw interest some 60 years ago, but a recent tech renaissance is bringing in a new crop of residents eager to test out their entrepreneurial ideas while not paying $4,000 a month for a studio apartment in San Francisco or other overpriced tech centers. Artists have also had a hand in transforming the center of Huntsville, with performing arts centers, a slew of craft breweries, and hip eateries.

2. Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh is not a surprising addition. Long-known as a tech mecca, Raleigh is strategically situated within the three corners of North Carolina’s Research Triangle. A center of innovation on the East Coast, Apple recently announced plans for a billion-dollar campus which has the state excited beyond belief. Yet, it’s the city’s new culinary offers and cultural activities that have most buzzing. Despite being home to a large university – North Carolina State – Raleigh had historically taken a back seat to Chapel Hill. But the tide is turning and Raleigh is the new darling in North Carolina.

1.Ann Arbor, Michigan

Coming in at number 1 is another college town – Ann Arbor. For those who were rivals of the University of Michigan and made the trip to Ann Arbor to watch a game, Ann Arbor’s addition to this list is a no-brainer. But like Raleigh, Ann Arbor is attracting more culture to the town than ever, featuring world-class restaurants, an arts sector that is impressively well-rounded, and outdoor options that have long been the calling card of this northern city.   



The Best-Paying Cities for Millennials

Numbering over 72 million, millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers to be the largest living adult generation. Millennials, defined by the Pew Research Center as people born between 1981–1996, are now in their prime home-buying years. However, millennial homeownership rates have lagged that of older generations—in part, because while home prices have been rising, income has not kept pace. According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, median annual income for full-time working millennials was $42,000 in 2019, leaving many millennials struggling to afford a home.

Nationally, data from the Census Bureau shows that while the homeownership rate in the U.S. was 64.6% in 2019, the rate for millennials was just 39.9%. The median income for 25 to 34-year-olds has increased 2.5-fold since 1980; however, housing prices have more than tripled over the same time period. Median income growth for that age group kept pace with housing prices until the year 2000 when housing prices began to rise more steeply. Although housing prices dropped significantly during the Great Recession, they have been rising rapidly since 2012.

At the state level, millennials living in Minnesota and Massachusetts had the highest median incomes after adjusting for cost of living, at $51,282 and $50,137 in 2019, respectively. Due to its very high cost of living, millennials living in Hawaii tend to earn less with a cost-of-living adjusted median income of $37,849 last year. The cost of living in Florida is about the same as the national average, but millennials in Florida earned just $34,990 in adjusted median income, the lowest in the country.

To find the best-paying metropolitan areas for millennials, researchers at HireAHelper analyzed the latest data on income and home prices from the U.S. Census Bureau and Zillow. The researchers ranked metro areas according to the cost-of-living adjusted median income for full-time working millennials. Researchers also calculated the unadjusted median income for full-time millennials, the median home price, and the millennial homeownership rate.

To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis. Additionally, separate rankings were generated for small (100,000–349,999 residents), midsize (350,000–999,999 residents), and large (1,000,000 or more residents) metros.

Here are the large metropolitan areas with the highest median income for full-time millennials, after adjusting for the cost of living.

Metro Rank Median income for full-time millennials (cost-of-living adjusted) Median income for full-time millennials (unadjusted) Median home price Millennial homeownership rate Cost of living (compared to the national average)


San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA     1         $60,201 $77,900 $1,219,074 26.6% +29.4%
San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA     2         $53,191 $70,000 $1,113,664 25.0% +31.6%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA     3         $51,727 $58,400 $555,689 36.3% +12.9%
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH     4         $51,664 $59,000 $520,206 35.4% +14.2%
Pittsburgh, PA     5         $51,557 $48,000 $172,719 44.3% -6.9%
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV     6         $50,934 $60,000 $455,038 38.0% +17.8%
Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown, CT     7         $48,972 $50,000 $246,266 41.3% +2.1%
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI     8         $48,733 $50,000 $307,156 48.8% +2.6%
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN     9         $48,667 $43,800 $201,822 43.9% -10.0%
Kansas City, MO-KS    10         $48,439 $45,000 $218,314 43.9% -7.1%
St. Louis, MO-IL    11         $47,967 $43,650 $188,845 48.0% -9.0%
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO    12         $47,664 $50,000 $462,724 42.9% +4.9%
Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI    13         $47,489 $45,020 $200,213 35.4% -5.2%
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD    14         $46,860 $50,000 $307,675 44.3% +6.7%
Columbus, OH    15         $46,790 $43,000 $223,010 37.9% -8.1%
United States         $42,000 $42,000 $259,906 39.9% N/A


For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on HireAHelper’s website:


Metros With the Most Successful Entrepreneurs

Many Americans dream of quitting their job and becoming their own boss. Whether the goal is to live the laptop lifestyle or turn a creative pursuit into a full-time business, entrepreneurship offers flexibility and excitement, but it is not without risks. While the potential upside of starting a successful business is appealing, it often takes years for a new firm to become profitable, and many entrepreneurs do not earn as much as they did in their previous jobs. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median annual income for full-time entrepreneurs is $50,000, which is the same as the median income for all full-time workers.

At a more granular level, full-time entrepreneurs (defined here as self-employed workers in their own incorporated or unincorporated businesses) tend to report higher incomes than full-time employees at for-profit businesses. However, the typical full-time entrepreneur makes less than both full-time employees of non-profit organizations and full-time government workers. Interestingly, Census data shows that federal employees enjoy the highest median income at $65,000 per year, followed by non-profit employees at just under $53,000.

While nationally the median income for entrepreneurs is the same as the median income for all workers, there are big differences at the state and city level. At the high end, entrepreneurs in Rhode Island and North Dakota have median incomes that are 28.3 and 20.0 percent higher, respectively, than the median income of all workers. On the low end, entrepreneurs in Vermont and Delaware have median incomes that are 18.8 and 16.7 percent lower, respectively, than that of all workers.

To determine the metropolitan areas with the most successful entrepreneurs, researchers at ZenBusiness analyzed data from the U.S Census Bureau. The researchers ranked metros according to the income premium for entrepreneurs, which is defined as the percentage difference between the median income for full-time entrepreneurs and the median income for all full-time workers.

Here are the top 15 large metropolitan areas with the most successful entrepreneurs:


For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results for all metros, you can find the original report on ZenBusiness’s website: