Trying to find the best places to move to in 2023? Whether you’re looking for exciting nightlife, affordability, great career opportunities, or all of the above, check out these 15 best cities for young professionals!
- Austin, TX
- Boston, MA
- Denver, CO
- Des Moines, IA
- Madison, WI
- Minneapolis, MN
- Nashville, TN
- Omaha, NE
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Portland, OR
- Raleigh, NC
- Salt Lake City, UT
- San Francisco, CA
- Seattle, WA
- Washington, DC
- Population: 907,779
- Home Price: $257,800 median purchase price; $1,106 median monthly rent
- Median Household Income: $60,939
- Median Age: 32.4
- Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Austin ranks among the best big cities in the U.S. and best places to live in the South, making it one of the best cities to move to in 2023! This major tech hub is a great place for entrepreneurs to launch startups and has the added benefit of being in a state with no income tax. Austin has also increased its sustainable living efforts by implementing hydroelectric energy along Lake Travis and constructing a community solar project. Meanwhile, you can find the best nightlife in the U.S. here in Austin, from the cocktail lounges and cowboy bars on 6th Street, to the music venues that make Austin the Live Music Capital of the World. You can find more to do in Texas’ capital city at outdoor spots like Mt. Bonnell and Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail. And with fun events like the world-famous SXSW Conference as well as some of the nation’s best BBQ, Austin is the perfect city for young professionals to live!
- Population: 658, 279
- Home Price: $423,200 median purchase price; $1,369 median monthly rent
- Median Household Income: $58,516
- Median Age: 31.7
- Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
Considering moving to Boston? The City on a Hill is one of the best East Coast cities to live in, partly because it offers great job opportunities for young professionals with established companies like General Electric, Gillette, and Liberty Mutual Insurance. Although the cost of living in Boston is relatively high, the city still offers safe, affordable neighborhoods with budget-friendly housing options. Residents can take advantage of Boston’s public transit system or simply hit the sidewalks, as the historic city has great walkability by design. Additionally, many Boston residents live within a ten-minute walk of a public park, contributing to Boston’s status as one of the fittest cities in the country. Living in Boston also gives you a wide variety of things to do when you’re done with work, like getting tickets to a Red Sox (MLB) or Boston Celtics (NBA) game. And don’t miss out on the food scene in Boston! Try out the famous baked beans from Union Oyster House in honor of the city’s original nickname, Beantown.
- Population: 663,303
- Home Price: $292,700 median purchase price; $1,035 median monthly rent
- Median Household Income: $56,258
- Median Age: 34.2
- Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
For several years now, the capital city of Colorado has been named among the best places to live for young adults! Denver‘s low unemployment rate and the presence of major companies like Xcel Energy, US Bank, and Dish Network help make Mile High City one of the best cities for job seekers. But job opportunities aren’t the only reasons why Denver is one of the best cities to live. Residents are also able to go skiing, mountain climbing, and hiking in a city with endless opportunities for outdoor recreation! Living in Denver also puts you in the heart of one of America’s best beer cities, so you can spend your weekends exploring breweries like Great Divide Brewing Company or nearby headquarters of Coors, exploring the beer trail, or attending the annual Great American Beer Festival. And of course, Denver’s nightlife is hot—from jamming out at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre, to hanging at the South of Colfax Nightlife District, you can always find something to do!
Des Moines, IA
- Population: 212,859
- Home Price: $119,800 median purchase price; $775 median monthly rent
- Median Household Income: $48,088
- Median Age: 33.7
- Unemployment Rate: 5.0%
Des Moines is not only one of the best mid-size cities—it’s also one of the most affordable cities to live in! The “Hartford of the West” is a great place to jumpstart your insurance career as the region is an insurance hub, plus Des Moines offers plenty of jobs with major employers like Wells Fargo and Principal. Beyond great job opportunities for young professionals, there are plenty of things to do in Des Moines, like finding your new favorite coffee places, clubs, and shops in the historic Downtown Des Moines neighborhood, East Village—one of the best neighborhoods for young professionals in Des Moines. Take a walk through the Blank Park Zoo, bike 800+ miles of trails, or shop local vendors at the Downtown Farmers Market. The Des Moines art scene promises additional attractions, like the Des Moines Art Center, Pappajohn Sculpture Park, and the Des Moines Art Festival, which is a 25-year-old tradition!
- Population: 246,034
- Home Price: $217,000 median purchase price; $959 median monthly rent
- Median Household Income: $56,464
- Median Age: 30.8
- Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Young adults love living in Madison, which ranks as one of the best cities for singles and one of the best places to live in the Midwest! Madison has additionally been ranked as the best city for work-life balance. You can pick your next career from Madison’s major industries—including agriculture, healthcare, and manufacturing—or find jobs in Mad City at Fortune 500 companies like Spectrum Brands and American Family Insurance. Residents can also enjoy fun things to do, like exploring Capitol Square in Downtown Madison, cheering on Badgers football at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and checking out Dane County Farmers Market, the largest farmers market in the U.S. The City of Four Lakes (which actually has five lakes!) offers plenty of water recreation, too—like fishing, boating, kayaking, swimming, and more—as well as events like the Marquette Waterfront Festival, which is held on the shore of Lake Monona.
- Population: 404,670
- Home Price: $212,800 median purchase price; $898 median monthly rent
- Median Household Income: $52,611
- Median Age: 31.9
- Unemployment Rate: 5.1%
With plenty of career opportunities in business, finance, and publishing, Minneapolis finds itself among the best cities for young professionals, and even one of the best big cities in the U.S.! As the headquarters for major corporations like Target, US Bank, and Ameriprise Financial, in addition to opportunities at publishing companies like Graywolf Press and Milkweed Editions, it can be easy to find a job here. Minnesota’s largest city is also one of the healthiest cities in the U.S., partly due to its abundance of parks and outdoor activities. And while it may be a thriving metropolis, Mill City ranks high for climate efforts thanks to its Minneapolis Climate Action Plan and Green Zones Initiative, which supports communities that have been disproportionately affected by pollution. Living in Minneapolis gives you access to a thriving live music scene and incredible pro sports teams like the Minnesota Vikings (NFL), Minnesota Twins (MLB), and Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA).
- Population: 643,771
- Home Price: $174,600 median purchase price; $902 median monthly rent
- Median Household Income: $49,891
- Median Age: 34
- Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Thinking about moving to Nashville? With great neighborhoods for singles and young professionals and plenty of friendly Southern hospitality to make you feel at home, Music City is a fantastic place to settle down. The city offers ample job opportunities to young professionals thanks to major companies like Ardent Health Services and HCA Healthcare. A thriving job market and a cost of living that’s 4% lower than the national average are just some of the reasons for Nashville’s steady population growth. You’ll also find an abundance of outdoor activities in Nashville, like strolling around the Cheekwood Estate & Gardens or hiking at Radnor Lake. Make sure to get in touch with Music City’s culture while living in Nashville by attending concerts at two of the top-rated music venues in the world, Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry.
- Population: 443,072
- Home Price: $139,800 median purchase price; $819 median monthly rent
- Median Household Income: $50,827
- Median Age: 34.2
- Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
Want to find a good city where you can live, work, and have fun? Consider relocating to Omaha! Nebraska’s largest city has recession resilience, offers low costs of living and housing, and is one of the best cities for remote work. Young professionals can find plenty of jobs in Omaha with established companies like Mutual of Omaha and Union Pacific, and new startups continue to emerge in one of America’s fastest-growing tech hubs, earning Omaha the nickname “Silicon Prairie.” The Omaha arts and culture scene offers several opportunities for artists and audience members alike, with locales like the Blue Barn Theatre and Artists’ Cooperative Gallery, or annual events like Omaha Fashion Week—one of the biggest fashion events in the nation. Residents can find lots of things to do in Omaha, including seeing over 1,000 different species at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, cheering on the best teams in college baseball during the College World Series, or dining out and shopping in The Old Market.
- Population: 305,305
- Home Price: $100,800 median purchase price; $844 median monthly rent
- Median Household Income: $42,450
- Median Age: 32.9
- Unemployment Rate: 4.8%
Pittsburgh is more than welcoming to young professionals seeking remote career opportunities! With major employers like PNC Financial Services, PPG Industries, and Alcoa, it makes sense that Pittsburgh is one of the best U.S. cities for jobs. The cost of living in Pittsburgh is well below the national average, as are its median home prices and rental rates, which is a major draw for young professionals. Get to know the community through beloved festivals like Go Green at Market Square—which has eco-friendly vendors and live music—Juneteenth & Black Music Festival, and Pittsburgh Irish Festival. For more fun things to do in Pittsburgh, check out the local watering holes in one of America’s best bar-hopping cities, including great options in the famous Strip District. Gather with friends in massive Frick Park, or grab some friends and spend a day at the Andy Warhol Museum!
- Population: 620,589
- Home Price: $319,400 median purchase price; $1,025 median monthly rent
- Median Household Income: $58,423
- Median Age: 36.8
- Unemployment Rate: 5.2%
In addition to its beautiful mountain views, Portland is known to offer a wide range of job opportunities for young professionals, especially if you want to kickstart your career in the booming tech industry. Find jobs in The Silicon Forest with large companies like Intel and Deloitte, or with any number of tech startups in the area. Additionally, there are plenty of outdoor things to do in Portland. Explore breathtaking mountaintops, trails, and parks, such as Washington Park and Forest Park. And don’t forget to visit the International Rose Test Garden to find out where the city’s nickname—the Rose City—came from! Looking for a place to wind down after a long day of work? Head to the Distillery Row for a relaxing evening of spirits and craft cocktails from Aimsir Distilling Co. and New Deal Distillery. Or check out one of the 70+ breweries in Portland like Rogue and Wayfinder Beer. Along with the great distilleries and breweries, the shopping scene in Portland is not to be missed—and with no state sales tax, you can shop ’til you drop in the Pearl District!
- Population: 441,326
- Home Price: $218,200 median purchase price; $966 median monthly rent
- Median Household Income: $58,641
- Median Age: 32.9
- Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Raleigh, also known as the “City of Oaks” because of its abundance of oak trees, has been ranked as the best place to live in North Carolina. With a low unemployment rate, Raleigh is a great option for young professionals looking for jobs in a variety of industries. Major companies like First Citizens Bank, Red Hat, and WakeMed are just a few top places to work in Raleigh. In addition to Research Triangle Park access, this city also has incredible higher education opportunities at some of the best colleges in North Carolina—including North Carolina State University, Duke University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As one of the healthiest cities in America, there are a large number of outdoor activities in Raleigh for those who love to stay active. Bike from Downtown Raleigh to the North Carolina Museum of Art on the Art to Heart trail—or spend the day hiking, biking, and canoeing at William B. Umstead State Park, with over 5,000 acres of forest, trails, and lakes. Looking for great food? North Carolina-style barbecue and Southern comfort food are things that you don’t want to miss out on, so be sure to check out the best restaurants in Raleigh!
Salt Lake City, UT
- Population: 191,446
- Home Price: $248,700 median purchase price; $844 median monthly rent
- Median Household Income: $50,353
- Median Age: 31.8
- Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Salt Lake City is one of America’s best places to live, and thanks to major employers like Energy Solutions, Sinclair Oil Corporation, and the rising tech companies within the Silicon Slopes, SLC is one of the best places in the country to start a career. But that’s not the only reason why young professionals are flocking to this city! With residents in such close proximity to the Bell Canyon Trail‘s beautiful waterfall, Alta Ski Resort‘s fun slopes, and the city’s namesake, Great Salt Lake, it’s easy to stay active and spend lots of time outside. In fact, the capital of Utah ranks as one of the best U.S. cities for outdoor recreation, with all kinds of opportunities to ski, hike, bike, and jog. Events like the famous Sundance Film Festival, Utah Pride Festival, and Utah Arts Festival are also huge attractions for young people moving to SLC.
San Francisco, CA
- Population: 850,282
- Home Price: $858,800 median purchase price; $1,632 median monthly rent
- Median Household Income: $87,701
- Median Age: 38.4
- Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Looking for a place to jump-start your career in technology, digital media, or business? Job opportunities in San Francisco are great for young professionals! With Fortune 500 companies like Meta, Visa, and Wells Fargo, job seekers have a variety of options to explore. Although SF’s cost of living is higher than national average, there are still safe and affordable neighborhoods that can help you maintain your budget. Amazing work opportunities and a variety of housing options aren’t the only things that make San Francisco a great place to live, though. With fascinating historical sites like Alcatraz Island, recognizable landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, and unique natural features, San Francisco is one of the best places to live on the West Coast. And with the abundance of activities in the city, it’s easy to find something to do after a long day of work. Immerse yourself in fun things to do in the San Francisco area, like hiking at Twin Peaks or Muir Woods, surfing at Ocean Beach, and strolling along the famous Lombard Street—“The Crookedest Street in the World.”
- Population: 668,849
- Home Price: $484,600 median purchase price; $1,266 median monthly rent
- Median Household Income: $74,458
- Median Age: 35.8
- Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
Seattle is experiencing tremendous growth year after year, and with its low unemployment rate and the presence of tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft, Seattle is recognized as one of the best cities to move to in 2023 for young professionals. Along with easy access to plenty of outdoor activities—like kayaking at Discovery Park or hiking up scenic Mount Rainier—Emerald City’s passion for sustainability helps keep the city more eco-friendly, with initiatives to increase electric transportation and a Seattle Climate Action Plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. Seattle residents can also peruse goods from over 500 vendors at famous Pike Place Market, contribute to the Gum Wall, catch interesting movies and documentaries at the annual Seattle International Film Festival, and rock out to show-stopping musical performances at Showbox. Plus, you’ll never be without a cup of Seattle coffee—the birthplace of Starbucks is also one of the best cities for coffee lovers!
- Population: 659,009
- Home Price: $506,100 median purchase price; $1,362 median monthly rent
- Median Household Income: $72,935
- Median Age: 33.8
- Unemployment Rate: 6.0%
Searching for a city with a booming job market? As the capital city of the U.S., Washington, DC has it, especially if you’re practicing law or want to jump-start a career in government. Thanks to higher-than-average pay and the presence of major companies like Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, The Carlyle Group, and Fannie Mae, the nation’s capital is one of the best cities for jobs for young professionals. DC also boasts an abundance of museums, memorials, and notable government buildings like The Capitol Building, The White House, and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Wondering what the social scene and nightlife in Washington, DC looks like? Residents have a love for wine, so be sure to try out the best wineries around DC if you’re looking to wind down after a long day, including Potomac Point Vineyard & Winery or Bluemont Vineyard.
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City statistics from AreaVibes