AT A GLANCE

  • A recent list ranks U.S. cities based on new jobs, growing industries, art and food scenes, and affordable real estate
  • Atlanta, Georgia is the hottest city to live in the U.S. due to its growth as a startup mecca, and for the lifestyle and opportunities it offers millennials
  • Other top cities include Austin, Burlington, Cambridge, and Detroit

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Feb 01, 2016

Ten of the Hottest Cities in the U.S.

Recently Business Insider compiled a list of the hottest cities to live in the U.S., based on new jobs, growing industries, flourishing art and food scenes, and affordable real estate. Putting together the list comprised of looking at job growth, population growth, affordability, health and well being of city residents, and how innovative and “cool” the city is.

Below is the list of the ten hottest cities in the U.S.

10. Oakland, California

The New York Times recently dubbed Oakland as the “Brooklyn by the Bay” due to the number of young people, especially hipsters, relocating from San Francisco. More than merely a cheaper option than San Francisco, Oakland has deep cultural roots, progressive politics, a thriving arts and food scene, and technology entrepreneurship.

9. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville over the past few years has grown to be more than home to the nation’s country-music scene. It has become a major mecca for the auto and healthcare industry. Currently there are more than 300 healthcare companies in the area.  Top automobile manufacturers such as Nissan and General Motors have a strong presence in the area, and there are more than 30,000 jobs in the auto industry. Additionally, the city has seen a surge in tourism, hosting a record-breaking 13.1 million tourists in 2014.

“Nashville-based companies have been involved in many of the largest leveraged buyouts and merger/acquisition transactions in health care in the United States.” ~Caroline Young, President of the Nashville Health Care Council

8. Madison, Wisconsin

Madison was recently named the best place to live in 2015 by Livability, largely because of the abundance of new jobs in the area that are luring in young professionals. Additionally, the city is a college town where students actively support the community, has vibrant art, music, and food scene, and is a naturally beautiful city with lots of outdoor activities. Madison is currently undergoing a boom in downtown housing development meant to cater to educated, young professionals. The high demand is driven by the closeness of the university and large private-sector employers offering jobs.

7. Jersey City, New Jersey

 Jersey City has been known as Manhattan’s more affordable neighbor. The city is currently home to many building projects, including multiple residential towers in the downtown area. Recently, J.P. Morgan announced that it would be moving over 2,000 jobs to Jersey City, and the state of New Jersey has offered tax incentives to encourage other companies to follow suit.

6. Durham, North Carolina

Due to the Universities in the Research Triangle and the presence of major companies like IBM and Cisco, Durham has been a center for tech innovation for years. Now, partly due to its low cost of living, the city is becoming a hub for new startups and entrepreneurial projects. Many small startups, accelerators, and venture capital firms are finding a home in the city, especially in the American Tobacco Campus, a former factory complex that has been redesigned to include working spaces, retail, and restaurants.

 5. Detroit, Michigan

Over the last few years, Detroit has been slowly declining, due to the stagnation in the auto industry. However, recently, the city is trying to turn its economy around by attracting educated and skilled workers. While the city does not have a major university to leverage in brining in educated people, it’s been successful at attracting talent at rates far higher than its production. Additionally, there have been initiatives to revitalize the real-estate market, increase tourism, and attract investment into local companies.

4. Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge is home to tens of thousands of young people between the ages of 25 to 34, mostly due to its resident universities, Harvard and MIT, along with over 100 colleges in nearby Boston. Lately, these young educated workers are sticking around because of the area’s growing biotech industry. Many of the city’s top employers, including Novartis Institutes, Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures, and Biogen Idec, offer competitive salaries and have many job openings.

3. Burlington, Vermont

Burlington has been in the media eye recently for its efforts in leading the rest of the country in sustainability. The city boasts that the local-food movement started here, and there is a local-food festival that attracts many each year. Additionally, the city is taking many other steps including weekly deliveries of produce sourced from local farms, to advance the local-food movement. Burlington also is the top city in Vermont for sustainable energy; the state plans to have renewable resources providing 90 percent of the state’s energy by 2050.

 2. Austin, Texas

According to the Milken Institute, Austin was the best-performing U.S. city in 2014, slipping to the number two spot in 2015. The city has enjoyed strong job growth due to the flourishing tech scene. Large companies such as Dell, Roku, National Instruments, and Flextronics have offices in the area, and the University of Texas has produced several startups. This has led to a flood of young professionals and college grads moving to city, in turn leading to a boom in construction. Austin has one of the largest migration rates in the U.S., gaining 31,000 people in 2014.

1.  Atlanta, Georgia

Historically, young professionals have lived in smaller cities just outside of Atlanta. However, recent gentrification and construction projects have attracted them to downtown Atlanta. The city has topped many lists recently. DataFox ranked Atlanta as one of best cities to launch a startup, and SpareFoot.com considers Atlanta to be the best city in the U.S. for web developers based on job availability, average annual salary, and median home price and annual rent. It is also considered to be the number 2 best city for millennials by Money.com due to its above average job growth, affordability, and bustling tech scene. Top employers such as Delta Airlines have been hiring local workers, and Moody’s Analytics expects job growth in Atlanta to be 14.3 percent through 2019. Additionally, The Metro Atlanta Chamber has launched a ChooseATL campaign to attract and recruit talent.

“Atlanta is the ideal location for millennials to learn and grow, find a job they love, start a business or raise a family – all while enjoying a high quality of life unmatched by other metropolitan areas. The highly ranked livability, unique culture and opportunity for career growth are very appealing qualities for millennials.” ~Hala Moddelmog, President and CEO at the Metro Atlanta Chamber

“The low burn has gotten hotter in the last year. Oakland is becoming the creative engine of the Bay Area.” ~René de Guzman, Senior Curator of Art at the Oakland Museum of California

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