BEST CITIES FOR MID-LEVEL PROFESSIONALS - Slide Show
Slide Show

BEST CITIES FOR MID-LEVEL PROFESSIONALS

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You're building your career, and you want a city with the maximum wind at your back, financially speaking. To identify metro areas that would particularly appeal to mid-level professionals, these criteria were given extra weight: the average growth in creative-class wages between 2000 and 2005, average commute time and housing affordability. Of course, you'll also want all the perks that come with a cool city. See our top five choices by clicking the navigation bar to the right:
For a full explanation of our criteria click here.
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BEST CITIES FOR MID-LEVEL PROFESSIONALS - Slide Show | Slide 2 of 6

KANSAS CITY

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BEST CITY FOR MID-LEVEL PROFESSIONALS

Population: 1,909,666
Cost-of-Living Index: 94 (100 being national average)
Percentage of Workforce in Creative Class: 31.8%
Bohemian Indicator: 97
Creative-Class Salary Growth (2000-2005): 19.5%

To suit your role as an up-and-comer, move to downtown Kansas City, where you can live in a loft with a stunning view, grab a drink at the Drum Room and agonize nightly over whether to go for the three-inch steak at the Plaza III or the barbeque at Bryant's.

For a full explanation of our criteria click here.
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BEST CITIES FOR MID-LEVEL PROFESSIONALS - Slide Show | Slide 3 of 6

BOISE, IDAHO

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BEST CITY FOR MID-LEVEL PROFESSIONALS

Population: 530,359
Cost-of-Living Index: 96 (100 being national average)
Percentage of Workforce in Creative Class: 35.2%
Bohemian Indicator: 115
Creative-Class Salary Growth (2000-2005): 15.6%

Located on a high desert plain in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boise is a great location for outdoors enthusiasts. The local economy is diverse and includes strong agriculture, forestry and mining industries, as well as knowledge-based industries such as business and information services and high tech.

For a full explanation of our criteria click here.
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BEST CITIES FOR MID-LEVEL PROFESSIONALS - Slide Show | Slide 4 of 6

PORTLAND, MAINE

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BEST CITY FOR MID-LEVEL PROFESSIONALS

Population: 500,263
Cost-of-Living Index: 100 (100 being national average)
Percentage of Workforce in Creative Class: 31.8%
Bohemian Indicator: 123
Creative-Class Salary Growth (2000-2005): 40.3%

Its spectacular location, near both the sea and the mountains, is a big draw for mid-level professionals who love the outdoors. Residents love the high quality of life and great networking opportunities for professionals. With a strong arts scene, good restaurants and pleasant neighborhoods, it's easy to see why many professionals have left Boston and New York to relocate here.

For a full explanation of our criteria click here.
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BEST CITIES FOR MID-LEVEL PROFESSIONALS - Slide Show | Slide 5 of 6

HUNTSVILLE, ALA.

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BEST CITY FOR MID-LEVEL PROFESSIONALS

Population: 358,646
Cost-of-Living Index: 92 (100 being national average)
Percentage of Workforce in Creative Class: 38.2%
Bohemian Indicator: 113
Creative-Class Salary Growth (2000-2005): 17.8%

Huntsville might seem a slower-pace alternative to other creative-class cities, but job growth is brisk, cost of living is low and mid-level professionals are coming in droves. Technology, space and defense industries have a major presence here with the Army's Redstone Arsenal, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and Cummings Research Park.

For a full explanation of our criteria click here.
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BEST CITIES FOR MID-LEVEL PROFESSIONALS - Slide Show | Slide 6 of 6

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.

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BEST CITY FOR MID-LEVEL PROFESSIONALS

Population: 324,076
Cost-of-Living Index: 96 (100 being national average)
Percentage of Workforce in Creative Class: 27.8%
Bohemian Indicator: 49
Creative-Class Salary Growth (2000-2005): 16.2%

The city is revitalizing its downtown, job growth is steady and the cost of living is as charming as the local Southern accents. Fayetteville is home to Ft. Bragg and Pope Air Force Base.

For a full explanation of our criteria click here.
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