In this blog post we’ll take a look at five cities that are prime moving spots for people looking to relocate in 2018. The qualifications for a “big city” in this case refer to metro areas with a population over one million. For example, the city of Richmond, Virginia has a population of roughly 250,000, but the metro area has over one million so it qualifies.
Denver has been a known destination for many transplants for several years, having experienced a significant influx of population from other states during the early 2010s. Though that trend may have tempered somewhat, Colorado still has plenty of people moving there from out of state, especially California, Texas, and Illinois.
Here are some of the reasons why:
For a metro area of its size, Denver has a relatively low crime rate, which may explain some of the recent transplant movement. Houston and Chicago both rank worse on the crime index.
Despite becoming a recently popular living destination, Denver is still affordable relative to other larger cities in the U.S. Denver also gets a nice dose of all four seasons, has several pro sports teams, an excellent selection of breweries and offers a ton outdoor activities. For more pedestrian friendly activities, the city also has several museums, parks, and art walks.
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
The Twin Cities rank very well across a range of different metrics that indicate that it’s a great place to live: low crime, affordable cost of living, and a generally strong education system. Even the traffic is pretty tame compared to other metro areas of similar size.
Minneapolis and St. Paul both rank highly for quality of life standards such as health care and job opportunities. The Twin Cities are also filled with parks, creeks, lakes, as well as many unique and charming neighborhoods, each offering something different.
There is a strong local music scene, from major stars to small, local indie shows, you’re sure to find something you like. The arts, in general, are well supported too—there’s many local galleries and museums, as well as various art-related events throughout the year.
Houston is one of the fastest growing cities in Texas, which is itself one of the fastest growing states in the nation. Offering a vibrant place to live balanced with affordable cost of living, Houston has become one of the most desirable spots to land for those looking to move to a big city.
In addition to a healthy job market and being home to several major industries, you will also keep more of your paycheck in Houston since Texas is one of the states that doesn’t have state income tax. Houston is also home to largest school district in the state and has several colleges in or near the city.
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Houston is a great city for food and you’ll want to be sure to explore the options in the different neighborhoods. Just like the other cities mentioned on this list, there’s plenty of outdoor activities too, from the Houston Zoo to local museums and parks to the numerous professional sports teams.
One downside of living in Houston is that the rapid growth can lead to some bad traffic, especially during rush hour. On the same topic, the public transportation system isn’t great so driving is often your only option. Because of the congestion, many locals try to find a place to live that is near to their work—definitely not a bad idea!
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Like the other cities mentioned on this list, Richmond has a healthy job market and affordable housing. In fact, housing is very reasonable in Richmond compared to other cities of similar size, especially on the East Coast. The job market is fueled by several major industries and government related jobs.
Richmond experiences all four seasons, but temperatures are moderate compared to other cities in the region. Still, summers can get very hot and winters will bring snow with them.
Just like Charlotte (see below), Richmond has a rich culture around both barbecue and beer. If barbecued meats aren’t your favorite food, you’ll still have plenty of options as Richmond is very much a food lovers paradise, especially if you’re looking for a tasty local eatery.
Richmond is chock-full of historical landmarks, buildings, sites and museums. There is definitely no shortage of history to soak up and there is also plenty of support for the arts, with several galleries and art walks, as well as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Charlotte, North Carolina consistently ranks highly on lists of the best places to live and the growth of the city over the past ten years reflects that. Though housing prices have steadily crept up along with that growth, Charlotte still remains one of the more affordable big cities in which to live in the U.S.
Charlotte offers several distinct neighborhoods, each with their own feel, and is located centrally enough to make many of the other major nearby cities and vacation spots accessible. As for weather, you’ll definitely experience all four seasons, but they are not extreme as they would be in other areas of the East Coast.
There is a big craft beer scene in Charlotte and the area is known for its world famous barbecue culture—and there’s plenty of reasons to combine the two. College sports are popular in Charlotte, especially basketball, and it’s also home to the Charlotte Motor Speedway, which makes it a very popular destination for NASCAR fans.