10 Most Popular Cities To Move To In 2015

You might think it would be easy to find a list of the 10 most popular places to move to in the United States, but a quick Google search will turn up a thousand different opinions. That’s because the answer depends greatly on who you ask. Retirees and young professionals move for very different reasons. But by combining a number of different factors, lists, rankings, and economic indexes, we’ve put together a list of the top cities people moved to in 2014, and the most popular places to live in 2015.

Atlanta, Georgia

Blame gentrification, blame the hipsters, or blame uncool parents everywhere, but this decade has seen more and more people fleeing the suburbs for downtown metro areas around the country. And new urban revitalization projects have led to a surge in young professionals moving to downtown Atlanta. Atlanta boasts one of the largest media markets in the South, plus a wave of new restaurant and nightlife options for people of all ages. In fact, Atlanta was named Business Insider’s #1 hottest place to live for 2015.

Median Salary: $62,500

Austin, Texas

For years, Austin has hit the number one spot on a number of Best Of, Top This and Top That lists. The Milken Institute named it the top performing U.S. city economically because of its business friendly tax and regulation system as well as an emerging technology industry that’s attracting big names like Apple and IBM. Combine that with one of the hippest nightlife and music scenes outside of New York or Los Angeles, and it’s clear why so many young professionals, families, and job seekers of all kinds go to Austin to find out if things really are bigger in Texas. Among large cities, Austin is the fastest growing in the country.

Annual Job Growth Rate: 4.1%

Boulder, Colorado

Although you won’t find Boulder in the top spot on many lists, you will find it somewhere on every list. The “Berkeley of the Rockies” has long had a reputation as a hippie haven, which probably won’t change now that Colorado has legalized marijuana. It’s one of the top cities for eco-conscious Americans, and at 5,430 feet high in the Rocky Mountains it has a ton of outdoor activities all year round. It’s also a destination for pet lovers, foodies, and craft beer lovers.

Home Ownership Rate: 63.1%

Charlotte, NC and Raleigh-Durham, NC

Although these two cities might not like sharing a spot on the list, these North Carolina towns are some of the nation’s top destinations. Charlotte was the fastest growing city in the U.S. for many years, and although its growth rate has slowed somewhat, thousands of young professionals and families move to the Queen City for its job opportunities. Meanwhile, the Raleigh area is home to a number of the nation’s top colleges and universities, and is home to world famous research centers. Plus, according to the United Nation’s population growth projections, Charlotte and Raleigh will be the two of the three fastest growing cities in America between 2015 and 2030.

Projected Population Increase by 2030 for Charlotte and Raleigh: 71%

Houston, Texas

Overall, Houston was the top destination in the country for college educated Millennials in 2014, a trend that will most likely continue into 2015. So what makes Houston such a big draw? Easy, it’s the largest job-creating city in the entire country, with more Fortune 500 headquarters than any other city. People of all ages looking for work in the oil and energy industries often pack up and move to Houston. If you’re looking for a hip music scene, head to Austin. But if you’re looking for a great paying job, Houston might have more to offer.

Rate of Increase of College Graduates: 49% between 2000 and 2012

Madison, Wisconsin

Though certain big city types might look down on the flyby states, it’s called the heartland for a reason. And Madison consistently has a quality of life rating that would make New York City and San Francisco residents turn green with envy. Livability.com’s second annual study on the “Top 100 Best Places to Live 2015” ranked Madison number one, specifically citing their great school system and unique blend of college town dynamics and state capitol job opportunities. Plus, you can live there without spending $2,000 a month on a studio apartment.

Average Rent: $1,118 a month

Queens, New York

With all due respect to the people of Queens, many people are surprised to see the borough on Top Places to Move lists. But there’s one simple reason for the city’s newfound popularity. The median rent for a studio apartment in Manhattan is $2,300, and Brooklyn was recently named the most unaffordable housing market in America for 2015. Experts say Brooklyn residents would need to spend nearly 100% of the median income to afford the typical Brooklyn home. So until the same thing inevitably happens in Queens, expect the borough to be a major refuge for New Yorkers in the next few years.

Average Monthly Rent for a Two-Bedroom Apartment: $1,300

San Francisco and Oakland, California

Despite a worsening drought, thousands of people move to these Golden State cities each year. The Milken Institute named San Francisco their number three best performing city economically because of its booming technology industry. Unfortunately for new residents, the city is such a major draw for entrepreneurs that the housing and rental market has climbed sky-high, sending many residents across the Bay to nearby Oakland, hence its new nickname, the “Brooklyn by the Bay.”

Average One-Bedroom Apartment Rent in San Francisco: $3,213

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