5 Affordable, Yet 'Cool' Cities to Live In

Published: 06th June 2007
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Kiplingers Magazine recently put together a list of U.S. cities where one can find still find relatively cheap rents, but that are enjoyable to live in.

While many young college graduates aim to launch their careers in huge metropolitan areas like San Francisco or New York, many may find satisfaction (and save a lot of money) by looking beyond the larger urban centers. The five cites listed below all boast a cost of living that is at or close to the national average for students and young wage earners:


The University of Georgia is located in this laid-back town and is responsible for the initial creation of Athens and its subsequent growth. The city offers free wireless 'net access downtown, and the aforementioned school and two local hospitals help keep the city's unemployment rate impressively low.

Where: Downtown, West side, Five Points Cost: 650-750 dollars per month for a one-bedroom apartment, or 750-850 dollars for a 2-bedroom unit


Atlanta is the capital and Georgia's most well-known city, as well as being the center of the ninth most populous metropolitan area in America. It ranks fourth among U.S.A. cities for wireless hot spots, and is ranked #3 in the number of Fortune 500 companies headquartered in its metropolitan area, just a bit less than New York City and Houston.

Where: E. Atlanta, Midtown, Virginia Highlands Cost: 600-900 dollars per month for a one-bedroom flat, 800-1,350 dollars for a 2-bedroom


The capital of Texas, Austin is the state's fourth-largest city and the 16th largest in the U.S.A. The city was ranked as the #2 Best Big City in "Best Places to Live" according to Money magazine in 2006. A multitude of graduates each year from the computer and science programs at The University of Texas at Austin provide a steady source of young, talented, and driven employees that help to fuel the city's technology and defense industry sectors.

Where: Downtown, S. Austin Cost: 500-800 dollars per month for a one-bedroom unit, 700-1,200 dollars for a 2-bedroom


The Denver Metropolitan Area has more U.S. government workers than any other such area except for Washington, D.C. Among the citys attractions are a good light-rail system and a top-20 ranking for free wi-fi.

Where: Lower Downtown (LoDo), Highland, West Highland Cost: 700-800 dollars per month for a one-bedroom unit, 900-1,200 dollars for a 2-bedroom


The most populous city in Minnesota, Minneapolis sits next to Saint Paul, the state's capital. Availability of wi-fi, ease of transportation, medical trials, expenditures on university research, advanced degrees held by the work force, and energy conservation are so far above the national average that in 2005, Popular Science named Minneapolis the "Top Tech City" in the U.S.

Where: Uptown, Northeast, North Loop Cost: 600-700 dollars a month for a one-bedroom unit, 800-1,100 dollars for a 2-bedroom

Matthew Paolini is a consultant with Citybook Online Yellow Pages in New York, NY.

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