Although it's hard to predict what the future will hold, we've come up with a list of 15 cities that we think will be hot in 20 years.
To compile this list we looked at job growth, population growth and demographics, affordability, livability, and the health and well being of the residents.
We also considered how the city is innovating in terms of technology, sustainability, culture, and more. And we thought about how "cool" the city is--an important factor in attracting the young, creative types who will make the city hot.
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We looked at how the next generation will influence the city--whether they're hipsters, tech-savvy pros, artists, or environmentalists. The cities that made this list vary greatly, but they all have one thing in common: great people and great ideas.
1) Brooklyn, NY, will become a cool capital of culture
For years, Brooklyn took a backseat to its towering neighbor, Manhattan--but no longer.
Today, Brooklyn is one of the fastest growing cities with a population of about 2.5 million, making it the most populous borough in New York and independently one of the largest cities in the US.
This hipster-friendly borough attracts young chefs, artists, entrepreneurs, families, and more, who have opened hip farm-to-table restaurants, cool art galleries and boutiques, and hipster markets like the Brooklyn Flea and Dekalb Market. With amazing cultural venues like the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and the Brooklyn Museum, and the addition of the Barclays Center, NYC’s newest sports and entertainment venue, the area is bound to continue to develop and gentrify.
2) Seattle, WA, will be the best place to be a young professional
Seattle gained momentum back in the ‘90s when Kurt Cobain started the grunge trend and a little coffee shop called Starbucks began to gain traction.
Today the city continues to attract young people and was recently ranked the best place for young professionals to thrive, according to mobile events company timeRAZOR, thanks to its high number of bars and restaurants (numbering over 6,000) and its high median income (the average college graduate there earns $53,185 annually).
Seattle was also ranked one of the 10 Cities with the Fastest Growing Wages in America. Home to major corporations Microsoft, Amazon, and Boeing, and tech startups like Facebook and Zynga (which recently opened offices there), the city will continue to attract young, creative professionals in the next few decades.
3) Austin, TX, will create tons of new jobs
This college town was recently ranked the Next Biggest Boomtown in the US by Forbes.
It’s the third fastest-growing city in the US, according to the US Census Bureau, with high rates of job creation.
Austin is also a hip, artsy college town that attracts artists, students, intellectuals, and creative types. The thriving live music scene and Tex Mex food add to the allure, ensuring that people will continue to call Austin home.
4) Portland, OR, will become one of the coolest cities for young people
With its laid-back outdoorsy lifestyle, organic restaurants, hip coffee shops, and a featured role on the IFC show Portlandia, Portland has become a popular destination for young twenty-somethings.
According to a recent YPulse survey, more and more millennials are opting to live in small cities, like Portland.
This small, creative city was ranked the number one green city in the US by the Mother Nature Network, and it's also one of the most bike-friendly cities in the US.
5) Boulder, CO, will become the newest hotbed for startups
Boulder is fast becoming the newest tech center with a thriving community of startups, earning it the nickname of Silicon Flatirons.
In fact, there are so many new jobs here, with at least 50 tech companies hiring, that the organizers of Boulder Startup Week paid for people to fly to Boulder to fill these open jobs.
Boulder is widely regarded as one of the healthiest and happiest cities in the US according to Gallup, thanks to the active outdoor lifestyle and the thriving intellectual community that comprises this college town.
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6) Raleigh, NC, will be an amazing place to get a job
This charming city attracts college students, families, and immigrants, with its job prospects, safety, affordable housing, and short commutes.
As a result, Raleigh was ranked the number one city for business and careers by Forbes, with the fastest growing job market in the US. It’s also the fastest growing city in the US, according to the US Census Bureau.
7) Detroit, MI, will make a comeback
After years of neglect and devastation--sinking so low that the state of Michigan threatened to take over the city--Detroit is poised for a comeback.
According to a recent YPulse survey, more and more millennials are opting to live in small cities, like Detroit.
These young idealists are moving back to Detroit, breathing new life into the downtrodden city with their small businesses, many of which are socially and environmentally responsible. The Urban Innovation Exchange showcases Detroit’s growing social innovation movement, promoting small businesses, like Recycle Here! and Food Lab Detroit. This type of optimism and innovation makes Detroit a city to watch.