Discover the 10 Best Cities for Young People In the US

You may be wondering what young people look for when they are ready to leave home and launch themselves into the future of independent living.

Some look to continue their education, and some look to join the workforce.

Either way, the young gravitate to other people that are within the same age range…pure and simple.

They are like a group of birds, migrating to where the other hip and chic birds are. When a city makes a trending list, it begins to see an increase in people under the age of 30.

So what drives and motivates youth to choose a particular city?

Just like any other group, the youth are drawn to cities that provide them with the least expensive overhead. Additionally, the cities need a good helping of venues that give with similar interests.

Drawing each other like magnets, the young do not need too much coaxing as to where to hang their hat when other young people are already thriving in a particular city. The initial scouts or trendsetters do pave the way, and while there are many great cities within the US that seem to provide all of the stimulation, excitement and income opportunities that these youth are motivated to strive for, ten stand out among the rest.

Taking a look at each city’s active nightlife, festivals, culture, and rent opportunity, we examine the 10 best cities for young people in the US here.


10. Phoenix (Arizona)

The first draw of Arizona is the ever-present heat, sunshine, and favorable temperate climates.

Let’s be real for a second: who does not want to be able to work on their tan during a lunch break?

Fashionable clothes that are light to wear, nights out on the town sitting on a patio sipping drinks and socializing…it could almost be construed as a vacation spot that is VERY affordable.

Phoenix, AZ is known for lower overhead (rent, utilities, etc.), inexpensive food, and the city is brimming with cultural opacity that is difficult for any young person to resist.

For those who enjoy a taste of the classical, Arizona provides high-level cultural offerings with their Phoenix Symphony Orchestra as well as Ballet Arizona.

Additionally, the city is also home to the Orpheum Theatre, which houses many prominent groups in the Phoenix area, including the Valley Youth Theatre, iTheatre Collaborative, and Actors Theatre.


9. Denver (Colorado)

Denver adds a different type of spice for the youth and attracts a certain crowd of them. With the Rocky Mountains in the horizon, this city is overflowing with the musically-inclined, the technology buffs, and those who thoroughly enjoy being surrounded by microbreweries.

Yes, even microbreweries exist in Denver; the city hosts one of the most prominent beer festivals in the entire world, the Great American Beer Festival, each and every fall.

The employment rate in Denver is among the lowest in the entire country; in October 2007, the rate was only 3.8%. New economic opportunities in the forms of startups and increasing real estate boost employment opportunities for those looking to advance their careers in a bustling and big city.

If you are the type to revel in nature, clearly Denver is your winning city: Weekend hiking or hitting the slopes are readily available for those who love experiencing the thrill of the outdoors.

Denver is also widely renowned for its celebration of ethnic diversity in the form of four Mexican-American festivals. Cinco De Mayo (which gets over ½ million attendees), El Grito de la Independencia, Lowrider, and Dia De Los Muertos are all widely popular city events celebrating Mexican culture in America.

Young people embrace the liberal, diverse, and exciting culture of Denver every day.


8. Long Beach (California)

This is one city that is so relaxed that even the busy ports do not interfere with the total enjoyment of this city.

Within easy access to Los Angeles for that major city’s venues and entertainment, Long Beach is the quintessential heart and soul of California when it comes to trends, interesting vibes, and for those living the prototypical dreamy California lifestyle.

The sounds/music & arts scene is a huge attraction for the young. Every year, Long Beach hosts a number of famous festivals with attendees from all over the world. These include the Bob Marley Reggae Festival, held every February, the Cajun & Zydeco Festival held every May, and the Long Beach Jazz Festival, held every August.

Contributing to the youthful atmosphere of this city is its vast displays of street art. Some of the murals were city-sanctioned, but many others are “vandalist” art.

I have seen some of these murals personally and can tell you they are quite an attraction for a young tourist city-goer.

For those looking to find a job in this classic California city, the employment rate is very favorable, among the top 5 percent in the entire country.

Believe it or not, another draw for tourists and residents alike is the bike lanes; this cuts down on motorized transportation on a larger scale, and this cleaner and quieter environment seems to maintain that friendly and relaxed vibe found here.

Long Beach is much less expensive than Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego; the youth here are attracted not only to the bustling music, arts, and oceanside waves, but also the friendly and attractive price points for living.


7. Atlanta (Georgia)

What is Atlanta’s biggest draw, you may ask?

Well, quite simply…Atlanta is pure fun, diversity, and opportunity!

Since the 1996 Olympics, which were held in Atlanta, the city has become witness to a remarkable revitalization of neighborhoods.

The major employment sectors in Atlanta, which are as diverse as professional business services, logistics, technology, entertainment, media operations, and retail,  can appeal to nearly any young person with a college degree seeking employment opportunity in a major US city.

Unlike the first three cities on this list, the overhead of living in this city is a bit on the higher side, but if you have employment or a career set up in advance, you will thrive in Atlanta.

One of the major attractions for people young and old throughout Atlanta is the sports scene – the Atlanta Hawks are a world-renowned cultural milestone of the city. The Hawks recently had their best season in well over a decade in the 2014-2015 sports season.

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