These are the best cities for living the American Dream

Natalie Mayrath

Every Friday our Personal Finance team will round up consumer news you need to know ahead of the weekend, on a segment we call “Family First” for YFi PM. Read below for this week’s round-up.

If you want to live the American Dream, the best cities for doing so are revealed in a new list released by SmartAsset. Aurora, Ill. ranks in the top spot, with Texas cities dominating the top 10. The ranking considered 5 factors:

  • Diversity score: To measure diversity, we considered the population percentage of different racial and ethnic groups. A lower number means more diversity. The data comes from the Census Bureau 2017 1-year American Community Survey.

  • Economic mobility: This metric measures how families are able to change economic position over generations. High numbers mean more mobility. Data comes from The Equality of Opportunity Project.

  • Homeownership rate: This shows the percentage of households that own their own house. Data from the Census Bureau 2017 1-year American Community Survey.

  • Home value: The median home value in each city. A lower value is considered better for this survey, as it shows affordability. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 1-year American Community Survey.

  • Unemployment rate: This is the unemployment rate by county. Data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Out of the 257 cities studied, Aurora ranked fifth-best in economic mobility and the 16th-best in diversity.

Texas had a strong showing given that the state tends to have affordable homes and plenty of good jobs, which keeps the unemployment rates low and activates upward economic mobility. Odessa, Midland, Abilene and Round Rock all crack the top 10, with unemployment rates below 3.5%. These four Texas cities also rank in the top 30% for their high economic mobility scores.

Washington, D.C., ranks in last place of all the cities researched. New York City is #221 and Los Angeles is #209. San Francisco came in at #82, Boston #196, and Chicago #198.

Whether you want a white picket fence or a penthouse, SmartAsset considers the “American Dream” to mean living a fulfilling life, surrounded by a community of people doing the same, while having economic opportunity and the ability to work hard and live comfortably.

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