If you happen to be a recent college graduate amid an economy recovering from a financial turmoil, where would you choose to live in order to launch a career, look for a partner or both?
Forecasting which cities will emerge as post-recession hotspot for today’s teens is quite easy to argue about, however, virtually impossible to predict empirically. Whether you like to stay in a hip and casual city as Austin or in a fast-paced cosmopolitan setting like New York City is just a matter of personal preference. A recent survey asked six experts which 10 cities will probably emerge as the hippest hubs for professionals in their 20s when the U.S. economy awakens from its slumber. The panelists were economists, geographers, demographers and authors on urban matters. They picked their cities according to certain criteria which they believe as most important, from lifestyle to economic diversity.
Here’s a peek at the survey’s top five cities:
First Place (Tie): Washington, D.C.
The 2008 election brought forth a youthful expedition to the nation’s capital and most of the panelists said that the trend won’t end soon. To some teens, Barack Obama is America’s coolest boss. Moreover, government hiring is expected to grow exponentially and jobs in aerospace lobbying, defense contracting and professional services are also popular among young people.
First Place (Tie): Seattle
To many, none could rival Seattle’s blend of a diverse high-tech sector, cultural life, access to jagged natural landscape as well as a strong university appeal. Seattle is known as a region of corporate innovators, from Starbucks to Amazon.com., the city is definitely “a high-tech and lifestyle haven,” Seattle’s high-tech sector which employs 226,300 workers, is just a bit smaller than Silicon Valley’s and unemployment remains relatively low at 7.7%.
Third Place: New York
Dazed from the financial crisis, the largest city in the U.S. seems as an unlikely choice. However, the chief reason behind New York’s daunting unemployment rate of 10.3% is that job seekers continue to flock to the city. But experts say that this only means that New York’s allegorical status as a place to test one’s mettle against the best and the brightest remains intact. Residential growth in communities outside Manhattan, such as Brooklyn, is making the city more affordable, and some panelists predict housing prices would fall further.
Fourth Place: Portland, Oregon
Portland is seen as a symbol of West Coast hippiness and continues to draw migrants despite the recession. The city is an urban-growth boundary which nurtures a strong metropolitan culture while maintaining suburban sprawl, providing ease of access to nearby forests and mountains. Portland has stretched its mass transit and brags of massive active wear and electronics companies, a number of wind- and solar-energy enterprises, and plenty of green-building projects.
Fifth Place: Austin, Texas
Among the scores of American cities, Austin is one of a few that offers affordable housing and promising career opportunities as well as a welcoming, youthful culture. Austin is increasingly becoming a gathering place for arts and tech- conscious young adults. Unemployment and the cost of living are also comparatively low. And with considerable high-tech, videogame and renewable-energy sectors, the city is a model for a burgeoning 21st-century knowledge-based society.