Another Top-10 List — Best Cities for Living the American Dream 2017

The definition of the American Dream, no doubt, varies from individual to individual.  To one person it might be a small home with a front porch and quaint neighborhood, while the next person may define it as high-paying readily available jobs or a great place to raise a family.  As usual, I invoke the TINSTAANREM axiom — There Is No Such Thing As A National Real Estate Market.  Nor is there such a thing as an agreed upon definition of what makes up the American Dream.

SmartAsset once again used their methodology that encompasses many of the metrics that would likely make up factors utilized by people to define their version of the American Dream.  They examined 261 of the largest U.S. cities  for which data were available.   The five metrics included:

  • Diversity – population percentages of different racial and ethnic groups, with a lower  score equating to greater diversity – U.S. Census Bureau data
  • Economic Mobility – change in families social position between generations with a higher index equating to greater mobility – Equality of Opportunity Project data
  • Homeownership Rate – one year estimates from U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey (ACS)
  • Home Value –median home value reported  by the Census Bureau’s ACS
  • Unemployment Rate – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Every city was ranked on each of the five metrics.  The rankings were then averaged using an equal weight, with the city with the best average ranking receiving a 100 score and the lowest ranking zero.

The top 10 ranking cities are listed in the following table.

8-10-17 table

Some tidbits from SmartAsset:

  • Washington, D.C. placed last at the 261st rank in the American Dream Index
  • Aurora, Illinois was the lone top-10 ranked city located East of the Mississippi River
  • Texas had 12 of the top 25 total ranking American Dream cities

To read the entire article including a list of the top 25 rankings click

My definition of the American Dream is for people to have the ability to be upwardly mobile.   Hence to me the American Dream is  the expectation that our children and grandchildren will have more opportunities to improve themselves than we do today.



  1. Carla Gerlich

    Round Rock makes top 10 list of “Best Cities to Live the American Dream”!

Leave a Reply