clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

You should move to Minneapolis

Few people wake up on an unseasonably cold morning and say to themselves, "I wish I lived in Minneapolis." But if you're young and looking to get ahead in the world, you should probably move to Minneapolis.

The five highest-income large metropolitan areas in the United States are San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Greater New York, the DC-Baltimore area, the Twin Cities area, and Greater Boston (Anchorage is also way up there, but tiny and I'm not entirely convinced Alaska is real). Four of those five metro areas have something in common — they are very expensive places to live. The Twin Cities are the exception. The $54,304 median household income in Minneapolis carries more purchasing power than the $59,799 median household income in New York.

That's the high-level case. But Derek Thompson shows that the case is particularly strong for young people. He combined Trulia data on housing affordability for the under-35 set,with Raj Chetty's data on economic mobilityThere are only a few metro areas that are both affordable and have high levels of mobility:

Graphic by Derek Thompson, data from Raj Chetty & Jed Kolko

Of course if you only cared about mobility, you could move to Pittsburg or Salt Lake City instead of Minneapolis. But while mobility is nice, absolute incomes are important too. in Salt Lake City's median income is about 10 percent lower than Minneapolis's, and Pittsburgh's is about 30 percent lower.

So the economic evidence is pretty clear. You should move to Minneapolis (or to Saint Paul or to the suburbs of Minneapolis and Saint Paul). In an ideal world, of course, suburbs and cities California and the Northeast would fix their housing policy to allow for more supply and more affordability. But until that happens, the Twin Cities are the place to be.

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.