Aug 02, 2020
The 17 best US cities for millennials to live in after coronavirus
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- Millenials have recently been moving to places in the South and West region of the US.
- We took a look at where this generation should move to next.
- Business Insider recently ranked the best cities to move to post-pandemic based on various metrics, including economic and housing ones, for each metro area.
- We then looked at which of these metro areas have a larger share of millennials than the average from all metro areas.
- Based on our list, cities throughout the Midwest, like those in Illinois and Iowa, are great cities for millennials to move to after the pandemic.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
If you are a millennial looking to live in cities populated with other people in your generation, the following cities are some great places to move to after the coronavirus.
Business Insider came up with the best cities to move to after the pandemic using nine different metrics, such as average weekly commute, ability to work from home, and housing affordability.
You can learn more about our methods and data sets used to create the overall city ranking here.
A recent city migration ranking from SmartAsset found millenials were moving to Southern and Western cities before the pandemic.
We wanted to figure out which cities would be best for millennials to move to based on our overall list. To do this, we looked at the share of millennials in each metro area using data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey in 2018. Because the government agency reports the data by age brackets, we took the shares in ages 20-39 because they are closest to Pew Research Center's cut off point for millennials. We then filtered out from our main list the cities that had at least 26.9% of residents in this age cohort, the average share across all metro areas used in our overall ranking.
As with our overall national ranking, many of the best cities for younger Americans are located in the Midwest. Fargo, North Dakota, took on the top spot, with 34.6% of residents falling in our target age bracket. The city also offers a relatively high share of jobs that can be done from home, high share of educational attainment, and short weekly commute.
It is important to note that our ranking was created using data prior to the pandemic. The economic crisis as a result of the coronavirus may change conditions in a city. For instance, State College, Pennsylvania, was the 16th-best city for millennials to move to. This metro area has a high share of people age 25 and over who have at least a bachelor's degree, one of the metrics Moody's Analytics found that will help a city quickly bounce back from this pandemic. However, this city may have also been negatively impacted by the closure of college campuses these past few months.
Read on to find out the 17 best cities for millennials to move to.Read the original article on Business Insider 2/18 SLIDES © Getty Images/Matt Bills 17. Omaha, Nebraska
Share of people age 20-39: 28.2%
About 38.9% of jobs can be done from home in Omaha, the 13th-highest share among metro areas in the Midwest and a higher share than most metro areas. This metro area's cost of living is 7.9% less than the US' cost of living.3/18 SLIDES © Kristopher Kettner/Shutterstock 16. State College, Pennsylvania
Share of people age 20-39: 35.6%
State College was one of the two metro areas in the Northeast region of the US that made the top of our list for millennials. The cost of living in this metro area is close to that of the national average. The school district with the most students enrolled in this metro area also had the 16th-highest total spending per pupil in elementary and secondary public schools of all metro areas, at $18,328 per pupil.4/18 SLIDES © Nagel Photography/Shutterstock 15. Columbus, Indiana
Share of people age 20-39: 28.3%
Columbus' cost of living is 11.1% lower than the US' cost of living. The metro area also has one of the higher housing affordability scores, where about 79.5% of households spend less than 30% of their income on housing. However, only about 26.3% of jobs can be done from home in this metro area.Slideshow continues on the next slide 5/18 SLIDES © Ryan J. Foley/AP 14. Iowa City, Iowa
Share of people age 20-39: 36.4%
Before the pandemic's negative impact on the economy, Iowa City had an unemployment rate of 2.2%, tied for the sixth lowest rate. This metro area also had the 10th-highest share of people who are at least 25 years old with at least a bachelor's degree, at 49.3%.6/18 SLIDES © Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock 13. Lansing, Michigan
Share of people age 20-39: 30.0%
Lansing's cost of living is 8.8% lower than the US' cost of living. Lansing's school district with the most students enrolled had the 19th-highest total spending per pupil in elementary and secondary public schools in the Midwest, at $14,255 per pupil.7/18 SLIDES © Matt Champlin/Getty Images 12. Ithaca, New York
Share of people age 20-39: 35.4%
Ithaca was one of the two metro areas in the Northeast that made the 17 best places for millennials to move to. That's due to a high share of jobs that can be done from home, at 41.6%, and a high share of people who are at least 25 years old and have high educational attainment, at 51.9%. However, this metro area's cost of living is 5.9% greater than the US' cost of living.8/18 SLIDES © Walter Bibikow/Getty Images 11. Madison, Wisconsin
Share of people age 20-39: 31.0%
This metro area in the Midwest has a high share of residents who are at least 25 years old who have at least a bachelor's degree, at 45.7%. If you are looking to continue working remotely after offices reopen, about 42.6% of jobs could be done from home in Madison, a higher share than most metro areas.9/18 SLIDES © Robert_Ford/Getty Images 10. Logan, Utah
Share of people age 20-39: 33.0%
Logan's average weekly commute is two hours and 57 minutes, tied for the 16th shortest among all US metro areas. This metro area in the West also has a low population density, at 77.8 people per square mile. The metro also tied for the second-lowest unemployment rate before the coronavirus at 2.0%.Slideshow continues on the next slide 10/18 SLIDES © John Coletti/Getty Images 9. Lincoln, Nebraska
Share of people age 20-39: 31.4%
About 39.1% of jobs could be done in this metro area, the 12th-highest share among metro areas in the Midwest. This city also had one of the highest share of people who are at least 25 years old who have at least a bachelor's degree in this region of the US, at 40.6%. Additionally, Lincoln's cost of living is 8.9% lower than the US' cost of living.11/18 SLIDES © Jason_Ray_Photography/Getty Images 8. La Crosse, Wisconsin
Share of people age 20-39: 28.6%
In La Crosse, 73.7% of households spend less than 30% of their income on housing, which is higher than the share of most metro areas. It has the seventh-shortest average weekly commute in the Midwest, at two hours and 56 minutes. The school district with the most students enrolled in this metro area has one of the higher total spending levels per pupil in elementary and secondary public schools among all metro areas, at $14,413 per pupil.12/18 SLIDES © Nina B/Shutterstock 7. Columbia, Missouri
Share of people age 20-39: 35.4%
This Midwest metro area has a large share of people who are at least 25 years old with high educational attainment at 48.4%. Among metro areas in the Midwest, Columbia has the ninth-shortest commute at two hours and 58 minutes. Columbia's cost of living is also 10.7% lower than the US' cost of living.13/18 SLIDES © Real Window Creative/Shutterstock 6. Bismarck, North Dakota
Share of people age 20-39: 28.1%
Bismarck is great if you are looking to move out of crowded cities because the metro area has a population density of 30.1 people per square mile, the 15th-lowest population density among all US metro areas. Before the coronavirus, this metro area had a low unemployment rate of 2.4%.14/18 SLIDES © f11photo/Shutterstock 5. Des Moines, Iowa
Share of people age 20-39: 28.1%
If you are looking to continue working remotely after the pandemic, about 42.7% of jobs can be done from home in this metro area, the 17th-highest share among all US metro areas. Des Moines has one of the highest housing affordability scores in the Midwest, where about 74.2% of households spend less than 30% of their income on housing.Slideshow continues on the next slide 15/18 SLIDES © EQRoy/Shutterstock 4. Ames, Iowa
Share of people age 20-39: 40.7%
This Midwestern city's cost of living is 8.5% lower than the US' cost of living. Ames also had the ninth-highest share of residents who are at least 25 years old and have a high educational attainment at 50.7%. Before the economic effects of the pandemic, this city tied for the second-lowest unemployment rate at 2.0%.16/18 SLIDES © leightrail/Getty Images 3. Champaign, Illinois
Share of people age 20-39: 34.0%
The school district with the most students enrolled in Champaign had the 20th-highest total spending per pupil in elementary and secondary public schools of all metro areas, at $17,606 per pupil. This Midwest metro area also is among the metro areas in the region with the highest share of jobs that could be done from home at 38.2%. Champaign's cost of living is also 7.8% less than the US'.17/18 SLIDES © Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock 2. Bloomington, Illinois
Share of people age 20-39: 30.9%
Bloomington ranked as the fourth best city in our overall list, and before the pandemic had a pre-coronavirus unemployment rate of 3.2%, close to the national average in February. If you are considering continuing to work from home after offices reopen, about 39.4% of jobs in Fargo can be done from home.18/18 SLIDES © David Harmantas/Shutterstock 1. Fargo, North Dakota
Share of people age 20-39: 34.6%
Fargo, which ranked third in our overall list, had a weekly commute to and from work of two hours and 52 minutes, tied for the 10th shortest among metro areas. If you are considering continuing to work remotely after offices reopen, about 37.3% of jobs in Fargo can be done from home.18/18 SLIDES SHARE SHARE TWEET SHARE EMAIL 1/18 SLIDES Next Slide AdChoices
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How San Francisco succeeded more than other U.S. cities in fighting the coronavirus
San Francisco's coronavirus response has been far from perfect.
But with just over 7,000 cases and 64 deaths, in a population of over 800,000, it's better off than most U.S. cities, experts say.
At this stage, the city remains on the state's watchlist— although things have recently been frozen for the past few days because of a data glitch — and schools will open later this month with 100% remote learning.
But hospitals were never overwhelmed. That allowed the University of California, San Francisco to send medical volunteers to other parts of the country that have been harder hit by the virus.
The city's health experts say that there are lessons to be drawn from San Francisco's response. Dr. Bob Wachter, chairman of the department of medicine at UC San Francisco, has recently highlighted in a series of tweet storms how the city has one of the lowest rates of cases per 100,000, compared to other large U.S. cities. The first months of the response in March and April were particularly impressive, he notes, although things took a turn for the worse in the early summer months.
Wachter created the following chart, which shows that as of July 31, San Francisco had the third-lowest case rate and lowest death rate of the 20 largest cities.
In an interview, he shared some of the major factors that might explain why case counts remain relatively low compared to other parts of the country and state. Overall, California has seen more than 540,000 cases and more than 10,000 deaths.The early shift to remote work A pedestrian wearing a protective mask walks past signage at the Google San Francisco office in San Francisco, California, on Monday, July 27, 2020.David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Many of the city's largest companies took an early leap in recommending that their workers remain at home, rather than commuting into the office. Of course, it's worth noting that many of these companies are in the business of software, so remote work is a far easier proposition. Twitter, Google, and other tech companies with big offices in San Francisco all asked employees to stay home back in early March.
"Corporate leaders in the Bay Area were early to recognizing that this was going to be a big deal," said Dr. Wachter. "I remember it hitting me how serious it was when Google told everyone to stay home, and I figured they must know something."Wearing masksA person wearing a protective mask receives hand sanitizer while attending mass outside the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in San Francisco, California, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
California is one of the states that requires people to wear masks. Moreover, polls and surveys have consistently found that Californians are actually following the rule more than residents of most other states.
The one exception to the rule, in San Francisco at least, seems to be the parks where city officials have drawn circles in chalk to establish social distancing. But for the most part, people do wear masks while on walks and in grocery stores. City health officials have also been consistent in recommending masks and cloth coverings.
"There's also social pressure here in San Francisco," explained Wachter. "In San Francisco, if you go to a gathering with one person having a mask off, it's likely that person would be looked at funny and their friends might even say something."Politicians listening to scientistsSan Francisco Mayor London BreedJustin Sullivan | Getty Images
It hasn't been easy to be a health official in America since the outset of the pandemic. In the Bay Area, public health experts have reported harassment from residents that took issue with the guidelines.
But they still took early stands based on science and stuck to them consistently.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed declared a state of emergency in late February, before the city had confirmed a single case of the coronavirus. She was also very early to ban gatherings of more than 1,000 people.
"In retrospect, it was gutsy as hell," said Wachter. "Our local politicians have demonstrated they have the courage to do it, and the city's citizens have demonstrated in return that they will take the time to understand what's going on and they'll accept it."Looking ahead
In mid-July San Francisco Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax issued some concerning predictions about where the city could be going. He recently estimated a worst case scenario where the city could see a peak of 6,000 patients hospitalized by early to mid-October.
Wachter feels cautiously optimistic but recognizes that it's hard to know what the future may hold. People are getting fatigued by the shutdowns and may be looking for reasons to avoid the public health guidelines. But he also says some of the recent small surges were to be expected as the city starts to allow some stores to reopen and restaurants to serve customers outdoors.
"You can't be on strict lockdown for two years so we must accept some cases, but we're ready for it," he said.
He also notes that hospitals have had a bit of time to prepare, so it's better to see a modest uptick now than in March. Back then, there were widespread shortages of personal protective equipment for health care workers.
Overall, he feels relatively confident that San Francisco residents will continue to do the right thing. Despite mounting pandemic fatigue, there's still widespread acceptance of wearing masks and in social distancing compared to other parts of the country.
"From what I've seen so far, I expect that we'll be able to manage alright and get things under control," he said.VIDEO5:1705:17How to stay financially sound during the coronavirus pandemicInvest in You: Ready. Set. Grow.
- London Breed
- San Francisco
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