The U.S.-Mexico border region continues to be an area of amazing opportunity, despite being close proximity to an ongoing issue that impacts both sides of the border. Though there are negative aspects to living in the U.S.-Mexico border region, the population growth and economic prosperity should not be overlooked. The top of the list is filled with small, coastal cities that have more than a few things in common. Whether they’re on or near the coast, these places are all close to large population centers but still offer residents an escape from city life when they want a break.
With a cost of living that is reasonable, Nashville is a city to watch for the future. The city’s growth will likely continue as it attracts not only people and companies from the South but also from across the nation. In fact, some Northeasterners may soon discover that Nashville offers many perks that their hometowns cannot. As Carrie Underwood sings, “Life is a song…and love is the key.” This is a good time for Nashville because the population is growing quickly and that is driving demand for businesses and the city’s brand. Maybe it will be the next Austin, but I don’t think so because it’s not nearly as big or forward thinking as Austin. It will be interesting to see how it develops in coming years though. Also, there seems to be some focus on helping nonprofits with funding which is cool. If you’re looking to move, particularly if you’re a small business owner ready to find greener pastures, Nashville may still be a great place to begin or grow your small business. It’s the 12th fastest growing economy out of 150 metropolitan areas in the U.S., and there are plenty of things that make this southern city inviting for entrepreneurs who may want to relocate.
While Jacksonville’s population growth is solid, the fact that it is growing more slowly than other parts of Florida may be good news for planners and leaders trying to determine how to accommodate the growing population. It may mean there is time for a plan to be put in place that can make sure Jacksonville can accommodate future residents without putting a strain on local resources. We would tell you that Jacksonville is a great place to move if you are looking for opportunities in real estate, or the military, or education. Though Jacksonville welcomes many transplants and natives, it’s still less desirable than your average city in the U.S. It’s an area trying to figure out how to make itself better, how to grow its already fantastic economic opportunity, while at the same time make sure it maintains its old world charm and community feel.
Salt Lake City
If you’re in the market for a new home, you may want to consider moving to Salt Lake City. This year, U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Places to Live” list ranked Salt Lake City as 25th best out of the 150 metro areas included in the index. Crime rates and employment opportunities drove Salt Lake City up the ranks and our affordable housing did, too. In most categories, Salt Lake City performs well. It ranks No. 12 for employment opportunities, No. 3 for employment diversity, No. 39 for its ratio of full-time jobs to the overall population, No. 7 for household income and housing affordability. Of course, research data is not always so flattering to the city. Census Bureau data says that the average commute time is 26 minutes and that the median income is $59,317 where 22 percent of households live below the poverty level—the highest percentage in the state. These statistics indicate how affordable and available housing, as well as local employment opportunities, might be among Salt Lake City’s strongest qualities as a Best Places to Live contender.
Portland, Oregon, is a well-rounded city with great restaurants, a booming economy and plenty to do. Additionally, Portlanders value good health and overall well-being, as evidenced by Sharecare’s rankings. That being said, Portland could make an even greater impact on residents’ well-being if it improved air quality and expanded its offerings in this area. The picturesque city of Portland, Oregon is home to more than 600,000 people and offers a host of opportunities for its residents. U.S. News & World Report named it among the top metro areas in the country in which to live and commute to work, while Men’s Fitness magazine listed it among their list of “20 Best Gym Cities in America.” The city’s cultural attractions are also appealing to residents and tourists alike, as evidenced by its top ranking on Livability.com’s list of up-and-coming cities with nightlife.
Scoring well on our Best Places to Live list, Albany, NY is the best city to live in America if you’re looking for comfort and affordability. The city’s air quality ranks above 126 other cities on the Best Places to Live list, and Albany has seen a slight drop in crime rates over the last three years. Plus, the typical commute for city-dwellers lasts just 23 minutes—making it one of the easiest cities in which to get around. New York City may be the most populated city in the United States, but we think Albany is a much better party to live in. What’s more, it has a comparably low crime rate and boasts clean air as well. Albany is a city that truly offers something for everyone, while still providing all the conveniences of a larger urban area. With amenities like restaurants, art galleries, live music venues and professional sports teams – not to mention the top-rated public schools and affordable housing — it’s no wonder that Albany consistently ranks among the best of the best in Best Places to Live rankings.