Where Are Young Professionals Happiest?

According to CareerBliss, an online career site, and courtesy of SmartPlanet, here’s the list of the “10 happiest cities for young professionals”:

1. San Jose, Calif.

2. San Francisco, Calif.

3. Washington, D.C.

4. Chicago, Ill.

5. San Diego, Calif.

6. Riverside, Calif.

7. Philadelphia, Pa.

8. Houston, Texas.

9. Phoenix, Ariz.

10. Boston, Mass.

CareerBliss defines young professionals as those with less than 10 years’ experience in the workplace. The study’s results were based on data from more than 45,000 individuals who provided reviews of U.S. cities between April 2012 and March 2013.

At first glance it’s easy to understand why San Jose was crowned king, considering the city’s impressive roster of world-class innovators, such as Facebook, Intel, HP, LinkedIn and others, who pay very well to lure the best and brightest workers.

Because Boston is the only city on the list in which I’ve lived as a young professional, I can’t agree or disagree with any of the other results with any firsthand authority. However, I am surprised by a few that made the cut in light of several omissions, namely Austin, Texas; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Seattle.

I also find it interesting that, with the exception of Houston, the South is totally unrepresented.

And while it’s just one study’s list of the 10 cities in which young professionals are happiest, only Houston is also on Entrepreneur’s list of the top 10 U.S. cities in which to start a business.

It seems to me as though more successful startups would take root in the cities that retain the happiest workers, but the differences in the two separate studies suggest otherwise. Why do you think that is?

And among Forbes’ 2012 list of the best cities for raising a family, none are found on the happiest young professionals list, and just two, Raleigh, N.C. and Omaha, Neb., are considered among the best locations for starting a business.

I realize each study asked different questions and compiled and analyzed different data, but had somebody asked, I would’ve guessed there’d be a stronger correlation between the three sets of results. However, I only say that because from the 10,000-foot viewpoint it seems logical that many of the cities in which the happiest young professionals are found would also be considered among the best places to start a business, as well as the best cities for raising a family.

But to be clear, I have no empirical evidence to support my brand of logic.

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  1. Emily Romaine April 29, 2013 - Reply

    Great article !

  2. Nathan Van Ness April 30, 2013 - Reply

    Glad you liked it, Emily. Thanks for reading!

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