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Best Cities for the Next Decade
The last few years have been very tough economically, but there are signs that the country is coming out of its deep recession. Some parts of the country are recovering more quickly, though, and present more opportunities for employment growth.
The editors of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine recently identified the best cities for the next decade. The editors say these cities are characterized by smart people, great ideas and collaboration that together produce “out-of-the-box thinking.” Several of the cities are home to universities or state governments, and all have a lot of amenities to make living there as desirable as working there. The cities are:
Austin, Texas. This is both the capital of the Lone Star State and the site of the main campus of the University of Texas. Kiplinger’s calls Austin “arguably the country's best crucible for small business,” with a potent combination of business support, venture capital and available brain power. Plus, it is a laid-back city with lots of outdoor opportunities and a strong music scene, a place “where hippie communalism coexists with no-nonsense capitalism.”
Seattle. Already a tech haven with Microsoft and Amazon, Seattle has a reputation as a city that supports and values entrepreneurs, especially of the geek variety. As the home of the University of Washington, there is plenty of brain power, too. The result, according to Kiplinger’s, is “a host of risk-taking, garage-tinkering entrepreneurs.”
Washington, D.C. The nation’s capital always has drawn people interested in helping to shape the government, from lawyers to lobbyists. As a result, there is lots of intellectual energy and passion. And there are jobs, as well as great universities and entertainment hotspots. As if that weren’t enough, the surrounding area includes 11 of the 25 wealthiest counties in the country.
Boulder, Colo. Home to the University of Colorado and nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder is both beautiful and smart. There are more than 6,600 small businesses in the city, as well as federal research labs. Boulder is especially popular with people who enjoy the outdoors and are interested in the environment.
Salt Lake City. The capital of Utah and the headquarters of the Mormon Church, Salt Lake City boasts low operating costs and low taxes that make it very popular with businesses. And on the weekends, you are minutes away from beautiful mountains and world-class ski resorts.
Rochester, Minn. The main business of Rochester is health care, especially the world-famous Mayo Clinic. As part of its plan to expand its reputation in medical research, the city opened the Minnesota BioBusiness Center in 2009. Any many businesses also service the 2.7 million people who visit Rochester each year, most of them as clinic patients or their family members.
Des Moines, Iowa. Like much of the rest of the Hawkeye State, Des Moines was experiencing an exodus of young people. But the state capital decided to work hard to lure people back with plentiful jobs, low-cost housing and a family-friendly lifestyle.
Burlington, Vt. As home of the University of Vermont, Burlington has plenty of available brain power. It also is deeply involved in the environmental and local food movements. And it doesn’t hurt that it is a lovely town in a beautiful location.
West Hartford, Conn. An upscale suburb of the state capital, West Hartford has stepped it up a notch in recent years. It still has a strong sense of community and the benefits of suburban life. But now, according to Kiplinger’s, the city has become “a regional destination for shopping and dining.”
Topeka, Kan. Topeka is the state capital, and the state employs almost one-quarter of the workforce. This makes for low unemployment. In addition, the city has good schools and hospitals, universities and low housing costs.