Sep 7, 2022 - News

Will Zoomers love Salt Lake City? The data looks good.

Illustration of illuminated windows on the side of a building in the shape of a "Z."

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Is Salt Lake City a good place for Gen Z to live? Yes — in most ways — according to the factors considered in a new study of how accommodating U.S. cities are to the youngest adults.

Driving the news: Atlanta topped the list of the 20 best cities for Gen Z, tabulated by the real estate blog CommercialCafe.

  • Salt Lake City wasn't among the 45 cities scored, but the study's methodology sheds some light on whether we deserve a place in Zoomers' hearts.

Details: In the two most important factors — affordability and education — Salt Lake had a mixed showing.

  • It's in the bottom half for affordability: slightly pricier than Dallas, the study's median city for the cost of living, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research.
  • But with more than half of Salt Lake residents ages 20–24 enrolled in school, it was ahead of all cities studied, except Boston and Atlanta.

Other good news: Salt Lake City beat every city studied in unemployment and Zoomers' percentage of the population, according to census and federal labor data.

  • The share of residents who bike, walk or take public transit to work ranked alongside the top third of cities studied, according to census data.
  • While the study's source for parks per capita doesn't include Salt Lake, the Trust for Public Land reports that 87% of residents here are within a 10-minute walk from a park —comparable to the top half of cities studied.

The bad news: Internet speed was on the low end, according to figures from

Between the lines: Bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues also are on the thin side in Salt Lake, according to census data for each metro area.

  • Yes, but: CommercialCafe somehow ranks Boston — Boston! — near the bottom for fun things to do. It's below Omaha, Fort Worth and Columbus.

Our thought bubble: No offense to those fine cities, but … we're skeptical.


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