Minneapolis is for Millennials

In this Midwestern city, cool meets affordable

Some of the trendiest cities come with a cost-of-living price tag that’s not so cool.  Let’s take San Francisco for instance. It’s an incredibly hip and super conscious city. They made composting and recycling mandatory before some parts of the country even offered recycling dumpsters you could to drive to. But to own even a median-priced ($682,000) home there, you would have to make $115,000 plus per year.  In New York, the numbers are more doable, but still not what we’d call amazing.  In the Big Apple, you need to make $66,000 to afford the average ($386,000) home. It’s no surprise that hordes of millennials aren’t flocking to either of these fine metropolises.

 Let’s look on the bright side: you don’t have to break the bank for cool.  Believe it or not, there are a some very hip cities that offer urban living, art and culture, music, great food, parks – and, oh, yeah, jobs.

One of our favorites is Minneapolis, which you’ll find on many a list of top cities:  best purchase markets for millennial homebuyers (CNN.com), best cities for “broke millennials” (Estately.com), healthiest cities (Forbes.com).

In Minneapolis, jobs in graphic arts, health care, and tech abound, unemployment is the lowest among the country’s largest metropolitan areas, and the average starting salary of $43,000 is actually $10,000 over what you’d need to purchase the average home ($197,000).

Head for the North Loop neighborhood (also known as the Warehouse District), which saw the population grow from 1,500 to 4,300 between 2000 and 2010. A whopping 37 percent of those new residents are Millennials.  In the North Loop, you can snatch up a condo for as little as the low $200s and live within walking distance of restaurants, boutiques, nightlife, and the James I. Rice Park. Plus, the ’hood (which landed the 12th spot on the Forbes list of the 20 best hipster neighborhoods in the country) is home to an arts collective, close to downtown, and boasts a new Whole Foods.

Can we please take a second to imagine being able to shop at Whole Foods – on a starting salary?

No, Minneapolis does not yet have San Francisco’s citywide composting program, but it doesn’t appear to be very far behind.  A pilot program for curbside organics recycling is underway in some parts of the City of Lakes. We’re willing to bet that by the time the program is in full swing, it won’t come with quite as hefty a cost-of-living price tag as its predecessor.


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Elizabeth Salaam
Along with her work as Senior Contributing Writer for Girl's Guide, Elizabeth Salaam writes for the San Diego Reader. Her work has also been published in Elle Magazine. | Most inspired by: Contradictions. | Favorite room in my home: The Master suite. The windows have views for days! | Best design idea I may never do: Adorn my enclosed toilet room with library book wallpaper and a chandelier. | Will never: Bungee jump. | Have always been: Rebellious. | Dying to: Live in a Paris flat with herringbone wood floors.
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