25 US cities where housing is affordable, people work less, and there's plenty to do
- Work-life balance can be hard to achieve, but it partly depends on where you live.
- SmartAsset recently released a report ranking the 25 American cities with the best work-life balance.
- Midwestern cities took the top three spots in the ranking.
Work-life balance is an equilibrium many chase forever, but it can be easier to achieve in some places than others.
SmartAsset recently released a report on the US cities with the best work-life balance. It looked at 10 metrics across the 100 biggest cities in the country using data from the US Census Bureau. This included concentrations of entertainment establishments, restaurants, and bars; the average weeks and hours worked per year; the unemployment and labor force participation rates; housing as a percentage of income; average commute time; and percentage of workers with a commute longer than one hour.To determine the final list, SmartAsset then ranked each city in each metric and found each city's average ranking. The unemployment ranking was given a double weight, while the average weeks worked and average hours worked were given a half weight.
According to its findings, Midwestern states have the best cities for work-life balance - they took the top three spots in the ranking. Only three coastal states, plus Hawaii, had cities that made the top 25.
See the top 25 cities for work-life balance below, ranked from worst to best.
We included housing affordability, shown as the median housing costs as a percent of income for the median full-time worker; average weeks worked per year; and entertainment density, which is the percent of all establishments dedicated to arts, entertainment, or recreation.