Gen Z City Index for Best Places to Live

While the term ‘millennial’ tends to get used to describe young people, the truth is that millennials are all grown up now, making their way through young adulthood!
‍In fact, the 2020s are the age of Generation Z (also known as Zoomers), a generation that roughly spans from those born between the mid to late 1990s and the early 2010s.

That means that Gen Z is coming of age, with a rough age span of 9 to 24, and will soon be heading out into the world on their own, paying bills, learning to cook, going furniture shopping, and all the other things that come with adulting.

So where are the best places in the country for the next generation to live?


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The list below includes 4 cities, which were ranked in various metrics such as available jobs, gender pay gap, equality and median home price. The list was dominated by California cities, which did especially well for social equality, diversity and access to services.

  1. Oakland, California
  2. Anaheim, California
  3. Sacramento, California
  4. Reno, Nevada


Oakland, California

Taking the top spot is Oakland, in California! Californian cities generally scored well across the board due to the social equality in the state including a large LGBTQ+ community. But Oakland also scored well on a number of other factors such as accessibility to mental health services and local physicians. As well as being a great place to live in its own right, Oakland is located right across the bay from the exciting city of San Francisco!!

Anaheim, California

As well as benefiting from the high state-wide scores for LGBTQ+ diversity and internet privacy, the city had one the best levels of internet connectivity and access to mental health services too. Located just outside Los Angeles, Anaheim is perhaps best known as the home of Disneyland, but if you’re a sports fan, you’ll also have the Anaheim Ducks hockey team and Los Angeles Angels baseball team on your doorstep.

Sacramento, California

Sacramento is a very diverse city and the fastest growing one in the state. A particular attraction for Gen Z is that it’s also home to a lot of great colleges, such as Sacramento State and UC Davis. It also holds the title of the most “hipster city” in California so make of that what you will!

Reno, Nevada

Reno scored especially high for equality,  the rating is based on the 2020 Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index, which looks at nondiscrimination laws and LGBTQ advocacy.

Reno scored high for the LGBTQ population metric, which is based on numbers for Nevada as a whole. Reno also had the third-best rating for gender pay equity with a gap of 6.88% between men and women, based on U.S. Census Bureau numbers. The Biggest Little City also boasted the fifth-highest number of jobs at 34,624 per 100,000 people.

Reno did not do as well when it came to health care, which includes the number of clinicians and mental health providers compared to the overall population. Housing affordability is also a concern in Reno, particularly its median home price of about $534,000. Although not as high as its Bay Area counterparts, it is still significantly above other cities such as Las Vegas!


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