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MoneyUnder30 Names South Bend Best Place to Get Rich

Thursday, February 04, 2016

The website’s analysis takes into account that there is a difference between having a high income and getting to hang onto it. While it would be nice to found the next tech-startup unicorn, the study posits that: “Most of us will have a better shot at becoming a millionaire by finding good-paying work in an affordable city.”

To determine their ranking, MoneyUnder30 considered median income for young professionals, cost of living and employment opportunities for young professionals. They used 2014 US Census Bureau estimates—the latest available—in their analysis.

The top five cities in America for young people to get rich are:

  • South Bend, IN
  • Springfield, IL
  • Shreveport, LA
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Cedar Rapids, IA

Factors that pushed South Bend to the top of the list include:

  • Median income (bachelor’s or higher level of education): $71,829
  • Young people making more than $35,000 a year: 65%
  • Median rent: $720
  • Unemployment rate (bachelor’s degree or higher): 2.3%

According to their study, South Bend took the top spot for a number of reasons, including that median income is 10 percent above the number two ranked city (Springfield), has good employment opportunities in both education and manufacturing, and is not “in the boonies.”

The list may not be what you’d expect, but the logic is solid when you consider that bigger incomes in well-known places are offset by equally high costs of living (according to the article, an average one-bedroom apartment in Palo Alto, CA rents for $2,600 a month). So aside from winning that lottery jackpot, finding an affordable place to live while making a solid income is the better bet.

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