great cities for 20-somethingsIt is true that many people who are in their 20’s want to live in the city. There is more night life and lots for 20-somethings to do in a city. Which cities are most desirable to that age group? Those in their 20’s typically want a decent job, low rent, access to good public transportation, active pursuits, and a good social scene. So which cities stack up to be the best cities to live in for 20-somethings?

The staff at Greatist took many factors and statistics into consideration when they compiled the list of cities below. This year’s criteria was: cost of housing, eco-consciousness, fitness, health and well-being, nightlife, and public transportation. The cities listed below are just 10 of the 20 cities that Greatist listed and are in no particular order. Did any of your favorite cities make the list?

Boulder, CO

Boulder has developed a reputation as the place to be for outdoor enthusiasts. And rightfully so—the city is home to 200 miles of hiking and biking trails and 43,000 acres of open land. GQ also named it the “worst-dressed city that looks the best naked.” We think they should take that recognition in stride (not that they need our help—the city also tops the charts in terms of well-being). Boulder’s adventurous spirit trickles in to the boardroom with lots of startups—from Crocs to Justin’s Nut Butter—calling the city home.

Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City might be landlocked, but it sure has a chill surfer vibe. SLC earned the honor of least-stressed city because of its minimal cost of living and low unemployment rate. But maybe locals are stress-free because they’re so well fed—Salt Lake was just named one of America’s five new foodie cities. Plus, what other major city allows you to hit the slopes right after work at one of the four major ski resorts just minutes from city limits? Word seems to have gotten out that this city is perfect for young people—one in six residents is in their 20s.

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh is a great city if you like books and bars. The Steel City is home to the highest number of bars per capita in the U.S. and it’s also one of the most literate cities in the country, thanks to its big three universities: the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, and Duquesne. Pittsburgh is also quickly developing a reputation as a sleeper city for bike enthusiasts. The Three Rivers Heritage Trail includes 24 miles of urban biking along the city’s winding rivers, and the city will unveil a bike share program in April 2015. More committed cyclists can opt to trek the Great Allegheny Passage, part of 330 miles of bike paths between Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.

Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix tends to get overshadowed by bigger cities along the coasts, but there are many reasons why 20-somethings should keep this city on their short list. For starters, Phoenix is the sunniest city in the U.S. and was recently named one of the happiest cities for young professionals. All of this beautiful weather means plenty of opportunities to explore the metro area’s 200 parks. And if you’d rather be watching the game, Phoenix has you covered too. The undercover sports town boasts four professional sports teams and two NASCAR races. Perhaps best of all: You won’t spend your entire paycheck on rent; the average rental goes for less than $800 per month.

Philadelphia, PA

Sure, Philadelphia is known as a city rich in history, but it also has plenty of new things to attract young adults. The editor of Forbes magazine recently named Philly “a city in ascent” because of its fast-growing population of millennials—one in four residents falls into that age demographic. It’s easy to understand why the city attracts 20-somethings. The city boasts high starting salaries and city planners have worked to add more nightlife options—did someone say beer garden?

Minneapolis, MN

Given the many months of below-freezing temps, it might be a surprise that Minneapolis is one of the fittest cities in the country. Locals looking to stay in shape can do double duty exercising and exploring the great outdoors on some of the 200 miles of walking, biking, and cross country trails found within city limits. The Twin Cities are also in the midst of a cultural renaissance that’s enticing many young professionals to move from the suburbs into the city’s urban core. It doesn’t hurt that rents are low and starting salaries are high at some of the area’s largest employers, including Target, 3M, and the Mayo Clinic.

Atlanta, GA

New Yorkers and Angelenos love to talk about all of the artsy and cultural events they have access to, but the people in Atlanta are actually going. A recent study found that city residents are more likely to go to events (parties, seminars, music festivals) than anywhere else in the U.S. Young adults looking to get a taste of the city’s culture can head over to Little Five Points, the boho-chic capital of the south. Besides the arts and culture, Atlanta is a strong draw for young professionals because it combines low rents and the highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the country.

St. Louis, MO

Millennials are bucking the nearly century-long trend of population decline in St. Louis and moving to the Gateway to the West in droves. Today, 20-somethings make up one out of five of the cities residents. And this Rust Belt City has lots to offer them, from the second highest numbers of bars per capita to a burgeoning startup scene. And with less competition than startup hubs like New York and the Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs are finding they can quickly make an impact.

Cincinnati, OH

It’s hard not to start off on the right foot in Cincinnati. This Midwestern city is home to a number of Fortune 500 companies including Kroger, Procter & Gamble, and Macy’s. Young professionals can start saving early here, where average pay tops $40,000 and you can nab an apartment for $700 a month.

Chicago, IL

Residents of America’s second city have always known the drinking options in their hometown were many, varied, and world-class. Now they’re getting recognized for it. It’s hard to travel a few blocks without running into a trendy new brewpub or a longstanding local haunt. But the Windy City has much more to offer than a long list of watering holes. The city’s infamous elevated trains are part of one of the best public transit systems in the country. And Chicago was also named the second most bike-friendly city in the country.

To see 10 additional awesome cities for 20-somethings, see the full article at Greatist.

Source: Greatist

Image Source: Aidan Grey

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