Provo Wins! | Urban Living

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Provo Wins!

Posted By on May 16, 2018, 11:00 AM

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Utah makes the top of just about every list these days—best place to start a business, best state economy, lowest unemployment, etc. Provo is the seventh "Best City to be Young and Broke," according to magnifymoney.com. The site asked 100 young folks ages 18-24 to rank the importance of 12 city features that factor into the quality of life for them. Then they weighted the answers according to which were the most important. Here are the survey's priorities in order of highest to lowest:

Median rent; price of goods compared with the national average; average commute times; unemployment rate for young people; statewide income tax rates; statewide sales tax; percentage of the young adult population who live in poverty by federal standards; percentage of the population between the ages of 18 and 24; percentage of young adults who have either completed or are pursuing a college degree; percentage of the population who uses public transportation; percentage of young adults who moved from another state or another country in the previous year; and my personal favorite: availability of cheap food, as expressed in the number of pizza parlors per 100,000 residents.

So, the best cities to be young and broke are: 1. Madison, Wis., 2. Grand Rapids, Mich., 3. Dayton, Ohio, 4. Syracuse, N.Y., 5. Durham, N.C., 6. Des Moines, Iowa, 7. Provo, Utah, 8. Akron, Ohio, 9. Chattanooga, Tenn., 10. Lexington, Ky. Certainly there are many financial concerns when you're young, like student loans, rising rents, establishing a career and starting a retirement account. Oddly, most of the winning states aren't too far from the mighty Mississippi river. The survey found the highest proportions of young adults in Springfield, Mass., and our own little Provo. It also found most young adults living in poverty are in Madison, which also has the highest number of young people taking public transportation.

The worst ranked cities were: 1. New York City, 2. Los Angeles, 3. Tampa, Fla., 4. Sacramento, Calif., 5. Fresno, Calif., 6. Stockton, Calif., 7. Santa Rosa, Calif., 8. Bakersfield, Calif., 9. Modesto, Calif. and 10. Riverside, Calif. As you can see, nine out of the 10 worst cities to live young and broke are in California. As a frequent visitor there, I can say mass transit sucks in all of those towns. But on the flip side, it's great in the Big Apple—and there's a pizza joint about every 30 feet.

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