Best Cities To Move To Start A New Life

Sometimes we need to put the past behind us and start afresh. It can be the end of a relationship, the end of a year, or a lost job. Moving to a new city gives you a chance to start anew with a new job and new friends. In such cases, you need to look for a city that makes starting from scratch easier for you. Whether for a grave reason or simply for a change of scenery, moving is the best way to regain new perspectives.

In order to identify which city will be the best for you, you should consider factors like affordability, job market, crime rates, and quality of life of the city you’re considering. We’ve taken all these aspects into consideration and compiled this list of the best cities to move to start a new life.

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Things To Know About Living In The Best Cities In The US

Only the broad factors we stated above don’t define whether a city is ideal to move to. The diversity of the population, quality of education, culture, and net migration of the city also speaks a lot about it. A city with cultural diversity teaches you a lot and acts like a great environment to raise a family. You also need good schools in the city if you plan to start a family.

If you’re moving as a young professional, we’re sure you want to do interesting things on your weekends. You should check if the city you’re moving to has good museums, cafes, and restaurants. Wide outdoor spaces, green cover, and parks are also some things that keep the city’s population happy. That’s why which city is best for you is subjective and depends on your current needs. Let’s start by looking at some of the best cities in the US!

Top 10 Best Cities To Move To Start A New Life

  1. Jacksonville, Florida
  2. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  3. Boston, Massachusetts
  4. Nashville, Tennessee
  5. Charlotte, North Carolina
  6. Portland, Oregon
  7. Columbus, Ohio
  8. Temple, Texas
  9. Kansas City, Missouri

1.   Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville FL

Jacksonville is located on Florida’s Atlantic coast and is the most populous city in the state. The city is known for its sandy beaches, abundant waterways, and eclectic neighborhoods. Living here means that you can easily indulge in the seafood culture, go surfing on the beaches, or sway to the nightlife. Jacksonville is also the birthplace of Southern rock and has many music festivals.

Jacksonville’s low cost of living and great year-round weather makes it a sought-after place for families and singles alike. The serene and beautiful residential neighborhoods also make Jacksonville appealing for those looking to start a new life. Jacksonville is well connected to major cities like Atlanta, Naples, Miami, Orlando, etc.

Upsides: There are a few Fortune 1,000 and Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Jacksonville. The job market is attractive and the unemployment rate is low.

Downsides: The quality of public transportation in Jacksonville is poor due to inadequate schedules and frequent delays.

Median Home Value: $273,730

Monthly Median Rent: $1,411

Median Household Income: $54,701

Also See: Top Cities with best public transport system

2.   Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, or OKC as everyone likes to call it, is the capital and largest city of Oklahoma state. It is home to the world’s largest livestock market and has significant natural gas reserves. The low cost of housing also makes Oklahoma City the best city for first-time homebuyers. The cost of living in Oklahoma City is 14% lower than the national average, which makes it more affordable.

A benefit of living in Oklahoma City is that you get to enjoy all four seasons. The summers are not overbearing and the winters are mild. The residents of OKC are lovers of art and music which is evident through the number of festivals the city holds. The culinary scene and culture of Oklahoma City make it a wonderful city for millennials and families to move to. The downtown areas are walkable and you’re sure to meet warm people in this city.

Upsides: The vast job opportunities and low rental rates make Oklahoma City ideal for young people to move to.

Downsides: Oklahoma City is landlocked, which means there are no seas or mountains surrounding it. This makes outdoor activities less diverse.

Median Home Value: $183,125

Monthly Median Rent: $893

Median Household Income: $55,557

3.   Boston, Massachusetts

Boston MA

From great career opportunities to a vibrant lifestyle, there are many things that make this capital city of Massachusetts sought after. Boston has a good quality healthcare system because of its top-rated hospitals. The infrastructure of Boston is advanced; many locals have given up their cars because the connectivity is that good! The city’s historic parks and green spaces also keep the residents happy.

Boston is an educational hub and has several notable universities. The growing tech scene, healthcare scope, and finance opportunities make Boston a hotspot for working professionals. When you’re in Boston, there’s always something to do because of the sporting events, shopping festivals, and concerts. The high quality of life makes Boston one of the best places to move to start a new life.

Upsides: The strong economy and numerous recreational opportunities make moving to Boston worth it.

Downsides: Boston is pretty expensive and you need a high salary to lead a good life in the city. But it can also be affordable if you choose the right neighborhood to move to.

Median Home Value: $710,654

Monthly Median Rent: $3,549

Median Household Income: $71,115

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4.   Madison, Wisconsin

Many young people are moving to Madison in Wisconsin. It’s a great place to go to college, to build a career, and to start a family. The low cost of housing, plenty of job opportunities, and highly rated education system make Madison one of the best cities to move to. Even though there has been a great inflow of millennials in Madison, the city is welcoming to both recent graduates and retirees.

For those who’re looking for recreation, Madison gives you 260 parks, 11 beaches, and 5 lakes! There’s a lovely small-town feel to this capital city of Wisconsin. The streets are bike-friendly, the commute time is less, and the pace of life is slow. This means that you’ll get to spend more time with your family. Madison is also an inviting city for those who enjoy music, food, and beer!

Upsides: Scope for career growth and becoming a part of a close community are the benefits of starting a new life in Madison.

Downsides: Winters in Madison can get unbearable with temperatures dropping below 0°F on days at length.

Median Home Value: $349,786

Monthly Median Rent: $1,365

Median Household Income: $65,332

5.   Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville is the capital city of Tennessee and is affordable as compared to other metro cities in the US. Interestingly, this big city offers you the taste of both urban living and small-town charms. The high quality of life, affordable cost of living, and growing job market are some of the reasons why people dream of moving to Nashville.

Nashville is home to many independent aspiring artists, an array of breweries, and several local events. The residents of Nashville take their food seriously, which is evident from the city’s culinary scene. Nashville has people from all races and ethnicities. The city also has a lovely LGBTQ community. All these factors make Nashville a perfect city to start a new life.

Upsides: Nashville is a fast-growing city with a low unemployment rate. Many young people are moving to Nashville to build their careers.

Downsides: Hot humid summers and ugly traffic conditions are some cons of living in Nashville.

Median Home Value: $404,945

Monthly Median Rent: $1,644

Median Household Income: $60,380

Also Read: Moving From Michigan To Tennessee | Top Moving Companies in Tennessee | Moving From NYC To Nashville | Moving From San Diego To Nashville

6.   Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte is one of the few big cities with a low cost of living. Whether you’re looking for a change of job, a breath of different weather, or need a vibrant culture, Charlotte will satisfy it all. Charlotte’s cost of housing is also 2% lower than the national average. The growing job market, happening social scenes, and brilliant school systems make Charlotte an ideal place to move to start afresh.

The city has an epic music vibe and the concerts happening here are always well packed. There are several award-winning restaurants in Charlotte and the city is a food lover’s paradise. You can also enjoy fun outdoor activities and spend your weekends at various sporting events. Charlotte is also very diverse as compared to other US cities because of its racial inclusivity.

Upsides: There are several jobs in the banking sector, healthcare systems, and air travel sector in Charlotte.

Downsides: Charlotte has seen many hurricanes historically and is a hurricane hotspot.

Median Home Value: $358,605

Monthly Median Rent: $1,522

Median Household Income: $62,817

7.   Portland, Oregon

Moving to Portland

Portland is Oregon’s largest city and is famous for its large green spaces, eco-friendliness, and its thriving art scene. Portland is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the US; you’ll find people cycling to work! Portland’s coffee shops, microbreweries, food carts, and boutique clothing shops are proof that residents support local businesses. There’s a strong sense of community and a hip culture in Portland.

The city’s tech industry is booming and there are several athletic wear companies. Moving to Portland and investing in its real estate is profitable in the long run. The weather in Portland is warm and there’s lovely summer weather for most of the year. The high quality of life and welcoming people will make the transition to a new life easier if you decided to move to Portland.

Upsides: There’s no sales tax in Oregon, which means everything you buy will be sold tax-free. You save a ton on big purchases this way!

Downsides: The cost of living in Portland is high, but if you plan your finances well, you can lead an affordable lifestyle. You end up saving a lot though, like saving on buying a car and insurance because of the city’s walkability.

Median Home Value: $564,334

Monthly Median Rent: $1,667

Median Household Income: $71,005

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8.   Columbus, Ohio

If you want the vibe of a small town whilst living in a large city, Columbus should be your next home. The cost of living in Columbus is 14% lower than the national average and the job market is diverse as compared to other US cities. Columbus has proven profitable for many businesses and startups. The tech industry is booming and offers several job opportunities.

The local culture of Columbus keeps you hooked. You’ll find musicians playing at small cafes, families exploring the museums, and youngsters grooving to the nightlife. There’s a great diversity of the population in Columbus and the city is also LGBTQ friendly. A food lover and craft beer enthusiast will surely find their spot in Columbus.

Upsides: Columbus is a one-day drive away or a short flight away from places like New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Memphis, and Minneapolis.

Downsides: The increase in demand has diminished the number of houses in the market. You’ll find several rental apartments though.

Median Home Value: $223,836

Monthly Median Rent: $925

Median Household Income: $53,745

See Also: Top 8 Neighborhoods In Columbus OH For Families

9.   Temple, Texas

Temple is one of the cheapest cities to move to in the US. Its cost of living is a almost 20% lower than the national average! Texas as a state also has a fast-growing healthcare system and a booming economic sector. Temple as a city provides a business-friendly environment and has a low unemployment rate. Buying a home in Temple is affordable as compared to many of the metro cities in the US.

Temple has several community parks, swimming pools, two golf courses, and a growing trail system. The city is also well connected to places like Austin and Dallas. If you want to escape the hustle of a metro city and still have the benefits of a metropolis, you can move to Temple.

Upsides: Many companies are moving to Temple and its real estate market is going to grow. This is the right time to invest in its real estate!

Downsides: Temple is a middle-sized city and it can get tough to adjust if you’re moving in from a large metropolitan area.

Median Home Value: $250,489

Monthly Median Rent: $995

Median Household Income: $54,873

Also See: Top 10 Largest Cities in Texas

10. Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City is located on the western edge of Missouri and shares the border with Kansas state. If you want to start over, moving to Kansas City is a good idea because of its affordable living and reasonable real estate. The cost of living of Kansas City is also 13% lower than the national average and the job market is promising.

There are 5 large ethnic groups in Kansas City and the city has a family-friendly vibe. The locals of Kansas City are crazy about their BBQ and there are around 100 BBQ restaurants in the city! Even though Kansas City is a bustling metropolis, there are 12,000 acres of green spaces thanks to its parks. It’s smooth to commute within the city because of the streetcar. Overall, moving to Kansas City is a great kickstart to your new life.

Upsides: The job market in Kansas City is growing and there are several opportunities in manufacturing, technical services, and healthcare.

Downsides: The summer and winter temperatures in Kansas City can reach extremes at times.

Median Home Value: $214,263

Monthly Median Rent: $1,133

Median Household Income: $54,194

Also See: Top 5 Neighborhoods in Kansas City for Families

Summing Up

Just researching and picking a city to start a new life isn’t enough. Once you know which city you want to move to, you need to choose the right neighborhood. Moving to a new city opens many avenues for you. It exposes you to newfound independence and a new chapter in your life!

Read Also: 8 Tips for Moving to a New City | Reasons to Move to Another City

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FAQs On Best Cities To Move To Start A New Life

Which Are The Best Cities To Move To In The US?

Jacksonville in Florida, Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, Boston in Massachusetts, Madison in Wisconsin, Nashville in Tennessee, Charlotte in North Carolina, Portland in Oregon, Columbus in Ohio, Temple in Texas, and Kansas City in Missouri are some of the best cities to move to in the US.

How To Determine The Right City To Move To?

You need to account for several factors like affordability, average income, transport, healthcare systems, quality of education, diversity of the population, and standard of living. You should also check if the city is fit for your needs. For instance, you’ll need to look for a city with good schools if you’re moving with your family.

How Much To Save Up Before Moving To A New City?

You should study the housing market in the city you’re moving to. If you’re going to rent a place, you need to save up for your security deposit and account for 3-6 months of rent. You should also save up and create an emergency fund to support you for at least 3 months till you find your foothold in the new city.

Also Read: Ways to Save for a House

Which Are The Cheapest Cities In The US?

Memphis in Tennessee, Indianapolis in Indiana, Omaha in Nebraska, Columbus in Ohio, San Antonio in Texas, Birmingham in Alabama, Des Moines in Iowa, and Buffalo in New York are some of the cheapest cities to live in the US.

Visit our Article to find Best Cheap Moving Companies for your Move.

Also Read: Best U.S. Cities to Rent in for 2022

Written by


Rostislav Shetman is the founder of 9Kilo Moving. He has been in the moving and relocation industry for more than 25 years, making him an expert in his field. Rostislav started as a helper, dispatcher and driver and has worked his way up to owning his own company. He takes great pride in his work and enjoys helping people relocate across the United States of America. When he's not working, Rostislav enjoys spending time with his family and friends. They are the light of his life and bring him happiness every day.