Pittsburgh tends to get a bad rap, but it’s a city on the rise with plenty of things to offer millennials. It’s a college town filled with young families, affordable housing, great food, a thriving arts scene, and plenty of opportunities to advance your career.
Coming in with more than 300,000 residents, Pittsburgh is the biggest of the smaller cities we have on the list—and has plenty of opportunities because of it.
For starters, it has plenty of job opportunities, or opportunities to go back to school to get a better job—because there are more than 60 colleges and universities in the Steel City, including Carnegie-Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh. Plus, there are more than 1,600 technology firms, along with businesses dealing with robotics, steel, healthcare, and nuclear engineering, among others. Naturally, Pittsburgh attracts a well-educated populace, including a high number of people with advanced degrees.
Those aren’t its only high rankings, though. It also has been recognized as a great city for beer, a 100 best place to live, and a top 10 for best downtowns. Plus, the average price of a home in Pittsburgh is $91,500—tens of thousands of dollars below state and national averages. And the value of these homes has been on the rise, increasing by 3.4 percent in the recent year.
Pittsburgh is also home to a vibrant arts scene, including several orchestras, an opera company, a ballet theater, the Andy Warhol Museum, the Carnegie Museum of art, the Three Rivers Arts Festival, and 200 arts-related businesses besides. But wait, there’s more—because Pittsburgh is packed with things to do. You can root on the Penguins, Pirates, or Steelers; picnic in one of its 57 parks; or take a chance at one of the 3,000 slot machines of Rivers Casino Pittsburgh; or, since Pittsburgh has the most bars per capita, you could just go out for a nice drink.
In terms of starting a family, Pittsburgh is a great choice. There are plenty of great schools, and of course, plenty of great places for them to go to college if they want to stay close to home. There are 19 public libraries they can explore, and more than 850,000 children’s books are in circulation between them. Plus, it’s pretty hard for them to get bored in Pittsburgh. There are more than 30 museums in Pittsburgh, including the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, and the ToonSeum—which is all about cartoons. Plus, there are plenty of fun things to do involving nature, like the National Aviary (featuring rare birds, endangered species, penguins, owls, and more) and nearby Kennywood amusement park, which has been open for more than 100 years.
Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? Then #10 city on this list is great, too, especially if you’re a lover of coffee.