20-Something, Hipstercrite Life, Pop Culture

Best U.S. Cities For Young People

Last week, Forbes released their annual “Best Cities For Young Adults” list and guess who was number one?


Yes, it was Austin, Texas. The lovely city where beer grows on trees and we all live in a perpetual state of twenty-something whether we’re thirty-something or forty-something. Austin is like adult Disneyland- if Mickey stumbled through the park drunk, unshaven, and stroking his Stratocaster.

Besides the demographic of man-children running amok, this city truly does have a lot to offer young people. Employment at fun and innovative small business-like corporations such as Whole Foods, Sweet Leaf Tea and Gowalla, more film, art and music events than one can count on their appendages, a vibrant culture, and really really good-looking people.

Four Texas cities made it on Forbes’ list (Austin No. 1, Houston No. 2, Dallas No. 6, and San Antonio No. 9) New York, Chicago, Denver, Seattle, Atlanta, Minneapolis-St.Paul rounded out the rest. These are all good choices, but I noticed a few glaring holes! Below are my picks of top places for young people to live in America.

What other cities do you think are good for young people?


1.) Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Population- 494, 486 (metro)
Motto- “Home of the Peeps-As in the Candy, Not Cool People” 

Whether you’re interested in the art of canning or helping others to can Lancaster is the place for you! Nestled in the armpit of Pennsylvania, Lancaster is only a short distance to such historical landmarks as the entire city of Philadelphia and the King of Prussia Mall.  This quaint little town is known for it’s covered bridges, quilts, bed and breakfasts, and I’m not sure what the hell else, really. What makes this place great for young people? Your choice in the creme de la creme of socially-defective romantic partners. Once you go Mennonite…you stare out the window for long stretches of time, tracing the words “Help Me” over and over again in hot breath condensation.


2.) Naples, Florida
Population- 314,649 (metro)
Motto- “Where The Median Age is Older Than Florida”

Located right on the Gulf, Naples is a tropical paradise like no other! With the median age of residents at 61, any young person is guaranteed to find themselves a Sugar Momma or Daddy in no time. Soon enough you’ll be living next to the likes of Donald Trump, sharing plastic surgery horror stories with Buzz Aldrin, and playing pick-up b-ball with Larry Bird. Watch out for that incontinence, Larry! What makes this city great for young people? Whether your vice is golfing, fishing, or all-you-can-eat buffeting, Naples is a hot spot of activity for any young person going through an identity-crisis.


3.) Flint, Michigan
Population- 443,883 (metro)
Motto- “At Least St. Louis Was Number One This Year”

If deindustralization, urban decay, and the demise of the American Dream is your thing, then look no further than Flint, Michigan. Home of Michael Moore and massive amounts of annihilation, Flint has repeatedly been in the top five most dangerous places to live in America. Only an hour drive from it’s sister-in-death, Detroit, this area of Michigan is great for any person who likes living life on the edge…of the black void known as Satan’s Lair. What makes this city great for young people? No really, I’m asking…


4.) Phoenix, Arizona

Population- 4 trillion (metro)
Motto- “Cook a Turkey On Your Toyota Corolla TODAY!”

With a city square mile calculation bigger than Chicago, Boston, and Atlanta COMBINED, Phoenix is the place to go if you want to get lost. Or work at your choice of big box corporations. Or join McCain’s plight to end civilization as we know it. Phoenix, or “Methlandville”, as translated by the Hohokam people who first lived there, is known for being hotter than balls and having more Waffle Houses than one could possibly hope for. What makes this city great for young people? With no semblance of community, an inactive downtown, and more Freeway exits than citizens, what young person wouldn’t want to live here? 

5.) Bismarck, North Dakota
Population- 106,286 (metro)
Motto-“We Exist”

With a state-wide population smaller than Boston, a 2.7% unemployment rate, one downtown building that is taller than two stories, and the racial make-up of white people, young white people, and old white people, this city is a shoe-in for any young person looking for adventure. Why is this city great for young people? Well, if you’ve always wanted to live out your fantasy of becoming a ranch hand in a Coen Brothers movie in your head, here is your chance. Also, this place is littered with Jesus Camps, so make sure you practice your Glossolalia and dance shimmies.

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  • Reply eviatkin December 21, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    I believe it's the best cities in America because leaving out montreal is crazy. best city ever 🙂
    I would go check out Austin,but it's a little far…

  • Reply Hipstercrite December 21, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Noted and changed! The title now includes "U.S." because I have heard that Montreal does kick major ass. I'd love to check it out sometime. I love Canada in general. Growing up close to Ontario, I always envisioned myself being a Torontonian when I grew up! Wait, is that a word…?

  • Reply theTsaritsa December 21, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    I would argue that Lancaster is not a cool place to be a young person. It's friggin boring. Everyone that I know who grew up there moved to Philly eventually. Philly is a great city for young people, it's hipster heaven!!

  • Reply girluntitled December 21, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    i agree whole-heartedly…montreal's the poo…i mean le poo…

  • Reply Hipstercrite December 21, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    @tsaritsa- uh oh. uh ohhhh…i guess my sarcasm in this post didn't come through. shit. this is making me nervous now…

    @girluntitled- what does le poo mean?! i'm so curious now!!!

  • Reply Melanie's Randomness December 21, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    I love the part about Lancaster!! LOL!! Yeahhhh I've been there once & the manure smell gave me such a headache. I was going to say Chicago has to be on there because it has such a crazy night life scene that everyone is young. NY yeah definitely too! =)

  • Reply j.m. neeb December 21, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    I thought the sarcasm rang loud and clear. Funny stuff… especially about the racial diversity of Bismark. As a white guy, I should go there and experience some new culture. Hopefully they have fast food and tv's! *crosses fingers*

  • Reply Ella December 21, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    As a native Flint-Stone I can't say I agree with what you say about Flint.

    Flint has a lot to offer to everyone, especially young people. Most people are too close minded (not saying you are) to look past the crime and the poor economy.

    Here are some examples of the good things we have to offer.

    Flint has a thriving arts community with multiple successful theatre companies as well as an outstanding theatre program at UM-Flint. We also have multiple museums, a BEAUTIFUL theatre that brings in amazing shows.

    We have the number 1 growing University in the state at UM-Flint as well as Kettering University which is one of the top Engineering Schools in the nation. This inspired people to change our downtown into a hot spot for fantastic restaurants/bars and other awesome events that helps us as a city to come together.

    Yes, we are likely to be named the murder capital of the country this year also likely to claim arsen capital as well, but it isn't fair to base a city based on that alone.

    The rock that you picture above is one I drivFlinte by on a daily basis, and yes sometimes it says things like that, or worse. but 90% of the time it is used for inspirational quotes/happy birthdays/remembering their loved ones that have passed away.

    I am a young person living in Flint, Michigan. I know a lot of young people that live here that love it too.

    I will be putting out a post about Flint to share even more awesome things we have to offer in the next day or 2.

  • Reply Hipstercrite December 21, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    @Ella- Thank you for your comment. I typically don't like "making fun" of people or places so I took a chance on this. Obviously I'm going off of the stereotypes of these places. I'm sure Flint, and the rest of the cities, have many good points and bad points like any other place. Believe me, the town I grew up in is nothing amazing. I'm glad you posted all of those points and I look forward to your post. Hope I didn't cause too much harm. Please send me link when you finish it.

  • Reply Ella December 21, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    No harm.

    I guess I just get a little defensive.

    It gets old hearing about how awful people think your city is.

    I'll send it your way once I have it written!

  • Reply Tocalabocina December 21, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    I reside in a city that will never make any top ten lists (aside, maybe, from "Places that people move when they're broke").

    Where we live is what we make of it and I rather like living in a place with a secret energy that you have to experience for awhile to understand. Plus, due to the lack of lists, floods of young(er) people won't come here, stealing my booth at the place where I eat my eggs on sunny Sunday mornings.

  • Reply ISRAEL CARRASCO December 21, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    since you live in Austin, could you give us the good, the bad , the ugly from someone that is in the mix of things? I'd like to get that perspective.

  • Reply Jessica December 21, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Hahaha! You left off Charlotte, NC (or it's suburb: Ft. Mill, SC). Mega-churches, suburban sprawl, McMansions and plenty of concrete to drive on without any of those pesky sidewalks.

  • Reply Lilly December 21, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Haha nice. The picture of the old foggies is freakin' hilarious. The guy on the left looks like my grandpa. If you ever do an updated list, be sure to include Albuquerque, NM. You can be 22, married, have a kid on the way, live down the street from your parents, AND the best thing to do on the weekend is go to Hinkle Family Fun Center! :/

  • Reply pearldrummer44 December 22, 2010 at 12:18 am

    I don't know what you mean…your hometown is the bomb! It has for the past few years reigned as the welfare capital of NY state. Most large businesses that once thrived in the town have vacated or closed, but they are still celebrated in annual parades. Also, a super-Walmart just opened, now giving its residents more opportunity for fame via the people of Walmart forwards.

    Nice blog…hilarious!

  • Reply That Chelsea Girl™ December 22, 2010 at 5:32 am

    I am not surprised Austin was number one! Your list cracked me up. Take care.

  • Reply Justin December 22, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Fun fact: I just found your blog and I'm a big fan. Then end

  • Reply voiceofangel December 22, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    My sisters and I have wanted to visit Austin ever since a restuarant was featured on Food Network's Man Vs. Food. 😀 But then, we love TX as a whole, even though we're stuck in UT.

  • Reply EzraBlum February 8, 2011 at 11:14 am

    This is kind of funny, but I would love to create a website where people from all over the country could post about what makes their town great. I mean it's obvious NYC, Austin, Portland, etc are all really cool places with great things for a hipper younger crowd. But I would like to know if there is anything redeeming about Davenport Iowa or Reading Pennsylvania. Some smaller towns do have some "cool" to offer. But we need authorities on each of these places to give us the pros and cons. Oklahoma City: Great feeling of an effort to make things culturally relevant. Good music scene just south in Norman, Oklahoma. Home of the Flaming Lips and some really good record stores. Horrible politics, surrounded by voters who sway towards neo-conservative evangelicalism. Shitty beer is sold as 3.2 and people don't seem to want to change shitty beer laws, etc, etc. If anyone wants to work on this idea with me, hit me up.

  • Reply HUNTER January 23, 2013 at 2:46 am

    lancaster is pretty hip.
    I saw beach house, deerhunter, deer tick and bonnie prince billy there all in warehouses and farms. the DIY scene is sporadic

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