For some, it might mean a white picket fence. For others, it might mean a gilded penthouse high above a big city. Generally, though, most people agree that the American Dream is about living a full and fulfilling life, surrounded by a community of people doing the same. It means having economic opportunity, having the ability to save enough to own the place where you lay your head at night and living someplace where people from all walks of life can live comfortably. ‘SmartAsset’ combed through data to find the cities where the American Dream is most achievable. Specifically, we considered the five metrics: homeownership rate, diversity rate, upward mobility rate, median home value and unemployment rate. This is the 2019 edition of this study.
1. Aurora, IL Aurora, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, is at the top of our list. It has the highest diversity score in the top 10 and ranks well for economic mobility, coming in third place in this list for this metric. Aurora doesn’t lead any single metric we used to determine the best cities for living the American Dream, but places solidly in all of them.
2. Odessa, TX The highest-ranked Texan city in our top 10 is Odessa, located in the western part of the state. This town is another all-around performer. It has the highest score for economic mobility on our list. It also has a homeownership rate of 63.08%, which is the second-highest rate in this top 10.
3. Midland, TX Midland, Texas, another city in the western part of the state, comes in at No. 3. Midland has the lowest unemployment rate in our top 10, at 2.30%. It also ranks well in other metrics, including the second-highest economic mobility rate of all of the other cities on this list.
4. West Valley City, UT West Valley City, Utah lost its top spot on the list this year, but it still places a respectable fourth. It is tied for the second-lowest unemployment rate on this list, at 2.80%.
5. Abilene, TX Abilene, Texas brings us back to the Lone Star State to round out the top half of this list. Located in Central Texas, Abilene has a homeownership rate of more than 60% and a median home value of $114,900 (the lowest home value in our top 10). Diversity suffers, however: Abilene has the worst diversity score among Texas cities in the top 10.
6. Round Rock, TX Round Rock, Texas, located near Austin, is the final Lone Star State town on this list. The unemployment rate is 3.40%, and it has a homeownership rate of 67.79%. Round Rock, however, does have the highest average home value in the top 10, at $267,500.
7. Des Moines, IA Des Moines, Iowa is the first of two cities in Iowa in the top 10. The city does not have a good diversity index score, ranking seventh for this metric out of the top 10, but it has a relatively low unemployment rate of 3.30%.
8. Cedar Rapids, IA Next up is Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which has the second-worst score for diversity on this list. Cedar Rapids also has the highest homeownership rate of all our top 10 cities, at 73.99%.
9. Rochester, MN Rochester, Minnesota is the only representative from the North Star State in this top 10. Rochester has the second-highest homeownership rate in the top 10, at 72.40%. The average home value there is $211,900, which is the third-highest figure for the cities on this list.