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It’s probably no surprise Seattle is on this list: It’s full of parks; it’s walkable; health insurance abounds, the food scene is amazing; and, of course, it’s full of young people who share your likes and interests.
Of course, Seattle has always held a draw for hipsters, but with companies headquartered in the city like Amazon and Starbucks—and an unemployment rate nearly a full percentage point below the national average—it’s a vibrant city full of opportunities that anyone could love.
And there’s plenty of employment to be found outside the city, too. Costco is based in Issaquah; Microsoft and Nintendo are in Redmond; T-Mobile and Expedia are in Bellevue; and, well, you get the picture. There are a ton of major employers, and also, a good number of transplants, meaning moving there out of the blue is a bit less scary because there are plenty of people in the same boat. Plus, all these businesses draw in a very well-educated population, and the majority of the city is in the 25-34 age range, so it’s easier to find people of similar world views.
Or, if working for someone else isn’t really your thing, Seattle has just been ranked in the top 25 best cities for entrepreneurs, as its business growth between 2011 and 2015 was 10 percent.
However, for those interested in raising a family, there is still a sizable population of children—13 percent of the city is of school age to be exact. And the entire city has a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10. Pair this with 27 libraries and a whopping 210 parks, and there are plenty of free ways to help your children learn and grow (or maybe just keep them entertained for an afternoon).
With all those parks, it’s probably not surprising that Seattle is frequently ranked in the top 10 healthiest cities in America. This is likely compounded by its walkability; it ranks as the eighth most walkable large city in the U.S., and is bikeable as well. Plus, the city is surrounded on all sides by stunning places for hikes and picnics—the Olympic and Cascade mountains, Lake Washington, and Puget Sound all encircle Seattle—and its temperate climate means mild summers to enjoy them in. Further, a whopping 96 percent of the city is covered by health insurance, which is about 8 percent higher than the U.S. average.
Besides an abundance of outdoor sports, Seattle serves as the regional center for music and performing arts—including the 113-year-old Seattle Symphony, the Seattle Opera, and the Pacific Northwest Ballet—and it hosts a large number of pro sports teams, including the Seahawks and the Mariners, meaning there’s something for everyone.
Now that you’ve seen all of the cities, head to this page to take a second look at them all! Or just your favorites!