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Atlanta Steals the Spotlight as Best City for Gen Z in New Study of US cities

Atlanta has landed the number one spot as the best U.S. city for Gen Zers, according to a new study by CommercialCafe.

Georgia’s capital boasts the title thanks to its high score in several metrics. Cities were ranked in everything from affordability, low unemployment, a highly educated Gen Z population, and the number of parks.

With Gen Zers (anyone up to around 24 years old) now graduating and looking for their first jobs and enduring the impact of remote working, they have more flexibility than ever to choose where they live.


The new study by real estate and information resource Commercial Café ranks cities that have the most potential for Gen Zers. The study included the 45 biggest U.S. cities, which were all ranked based on eight indicators. Ranking criteria included the percentage of Gen Z population, affordability index, unemployment rate, internet speed, educational enrolment, and provision of recreational establishments.

Cities were also scored in terms of the number of entertainment establishments, including sports venues, museums, amusement parks, arcades, bars, and restaurants. The potential for all cities to offer a green commute was also measured by looking at the percentage of commutes carried out through public transportation, by walking or biking

Atlanta scored top for the highest number of parks per resident, with spots such as Centennial Olympic Park, Piedmont Park, and the historic Grant Park. Atlanta is a paradise for Gen Z joggers, dog owners, or those who just enjoy the outdoors.

Members of Gen Z make up almost 10% of Atlanta’s population, a figure that is likely to rise given the city’s steady growth statistics.

Companies are flocking to the city and Atlanta offices continue to be in high demand, due largely to the high number of educated professionals in the city and a thriving tech and start-up ecosystem.

Atlanta has the second highest rate of Gen Z educational enrollment nationally, with 55% of the city’s Gen Zers enrolled in some form of education.

Atlanta’s cost of living index is near the national average and the city’s low unemployment rate (at 5.1%), means the city ticks all the boxes for meeting Gen Z needs in terms of community, walkability, economic prospects, and educational employment.

Other cities that scored well include Minneapolis and Boston, securing the 2nd and 3rd places respectively. Minneapolis scored highly on affordability, with Boston coming out top for Generation Z education levels.

New York came in at number 10, let down by its high cost of living. It scored top for best internet, largest number of entertainment venues, and most green commute options, however.

The general pattern to emerge from the study sees the country’s best cities for Gen Z concentrated in the Northwest, Midwest, and Southeast.

To find out more about CommercialCafe’s methodology, the study’s findings, or how your city scored, visit here.