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Sugar House Journal

Millennials react to Salt Lake City being named Best City for them to live

Oct 26, 2020 16h26 ● By Drew Crawford

By Drew Crawford | [email protected]

Over recent years Salt Lake City has attracted attention across the country by working professionals and families seeking new opportunities to develop professionally and recreate. 

The desirability of the Wasatch Front has not gone unnoticed by companies looking to showcase its unique features. In a recent study conducted by, Salt Lake City ranked No. 1 on the list of most desirable places in the country for millennials to live. 

According to the report, Salt Lake City strikes a perfect balance between affordable rent prices, walkability and opportunity for economic growth from the resulting growth of the tech industry over the last decade.

The study lists the average cost of a Salt Lake City one-bedroom apartment at $1,269 and median income as $61,125 while highlighting the health benefits that are a unique part of the Utah outdoor scene.

Morgan Sites, a chemical engineer for Marathon who recently moved from Athens, Ohio to Salt Lake City in July feels that the conclusions drawn by are representative of the value that Salt Lake has to offer.

“I wanted to experience city living and Salt Lake City allows me to do that without it being an extreme change,” Sites said. “Because [Salt Lake City] is a smaller city I’m able to live right downtown and still afford a nice apartment. Other bigger places have much higher cost of living for being as close to downtown as I do.” 

Despite entertainment options having changed during Covid-19, Sites is encouraged by the variety of entertainment that her new home offers. 

“Even though the city life and typical social experiences aren’t happening right now, there are still so many opportunities and things to do that allow for social distancing within the Salt Lake Valley.”

Paige Huber, who moved from Reading, Pennsylvania to Springville over the summer to complete her graduate program in speech language pathology, feels that she has still not fully adjusted to what she considers to be unique factors of Salt Lake City’s social scene. 

“I feel like I go out to these bars and restaurants and there is no live music anywhere. The one or two that I’ve seen have been just so off from the crowd,” said Huber, who has been to Gracie’s and Purgatory, both popular bars in the heart of the city. 

Huber also cited the state alcohol laws as a drawback to living in Salt Lake.

“The alcohol and social aspect is so different. At home back in Pennsylvania and other states I’ve been to it’s so easy to go grab a drink,” Huber said, describing how hard it is to casually hang out and catch up with friends here. 

“The overall laws are just bizarre. You can’t have two drinks at once, you can’t get doubles, the percentages are lower so you never feel like you’re getting a real buzz,” Huber said, questioning if she should spend so much money on alcoholic drinks during a night out. “Back home it’s just more loose, more fun, more casual, you’re not worried about all of the rules. It’s not as strict.”

The information used in the study by is from July 2020 and accounts for Covid-related unemployment and rent prices. To create the rankings, analyzed a variety of factors including rent prices, the availability of entertainment, walkability and employment opportunities.

In addition to Salt Lake City, Madison, Wisconsin; Norman, Oklahoma; Austin, Texas; and Lexington, Kentucky round out the top five cities in the rankings. The study complete with additional rankings can be found online at