Starting Over in 2012: Relocate to Midwestern Cities

Sometimes you just need to get a fresh start on life – maybe you have been laid off from your job, recently experienced a divorce, or possibly just graduated from college. The stresses and pressure of our fast paced society can wear you down.  If you are looking to relocate to a new city in 2012 for a chance on starting over in life, then we highly suggest reading Jerold Leslie’s article titled the 6 Best Cities for Starting Over in 2012 before you decide on a location.

Great Day Moving was founded in a Midwestern city, Kansas City, so our opinion of starting fresh and relocating to the Midwest is probably biased, but don’t take our word for it, here’s an excerpt from the article:

If you’re looking for a fresh start following a layoff, a divorce or other life-changing event, experts suggest that you go Midwest, young man — or young woman, middle-aged man, etc.

“Things are really booming in parts of the Midwest right now,” says Bert Sperling, of Sperling’s BestPlaces. “If you take a map and draw a line from North Dakota straight south to Texas, that’s where you’re going to find areas that have really low unemployment.”

Sperling recently analyzed the latest government data and found that five Midwestern cities and one Utah locale offer America’s best combination of low joblessness and a high percentage of singles (i.e., people you can date after a divorce). The expert says the heartland’s inexpensive living costs attract plenty of unmarried people, while high commodities prices are boosting the region’s farming, oil and gas industries.

As a result, Sperling says the cities below all provide great opportunities for starting over after a life setback — or really for anyone who’s looking for a nice place to live.

“A low unemployment rate is a pretty good sign that a city’s economy is doing well, while a large singles population is an indication of a community’s vibrancy,” he says. “In any metro area, singles are the hope for the future.”

All figures below are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest American Community Survey data and the U.S. Labor Department’s latest city-by-city jobless statistics. Singles rates refer to the percentage of unmarried people among 25-to-34 year olds, while population figures reflect an entire metro area:

5th-best city for starting over in life: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Population: 235,600

The largest city in South Dakota, Sioux Falls has just 5.5% unemployment and a 15.7% singles rate (America’s19th-highest). Sperling says South Dakota’s business-friendly laws — there’s no corporate income tax — have attracted lots of employers, especially banks.

4th-best starting-over city (had a tie): Lawton, Oklahoma / Logan, Utah

Population: 114,600 / 123,800

Lawton combines a low 5.6% jobless rate with a high 15.9% singles rate. Sperling attributes both to the presence of the Fort Sill U.S. military base, which pumps an estimated $1.9 billion into the local economy and hosts some 16,000 troops. Lawton also has a large Goodyear tire plant, as well as major government, health care and educational employers. Put it all together and the city “offers a low cost of living, a small-town atmosphere and a stable economy,” Sperling says. “It also sits in a very nice spot on the edge of the Wichita Mountains.” Logan, Utah, boasts just 5.7% unemployment and a 16.4% singles percentage.

3rd-best starting-over city: Lincoln, Nebraska

Population: 297,200

Lincoln has only 4.1% unemployment — the lowest rate for any U.S. city. The city is also home to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, which provides jobs and contributes to the community’s high 15.1% singles rate. “Lincoln is a nice, clean city with lots of parks and a good community feel,” Sperling says, although he admits winters “can be brutal.”

2nd-best city for starting over: Fargo, North Dakota

Population: 196,300

North Dakota’s agricultural, mining and oil-and-gas industries are booming, helping to give Fargo the nation’s third-lowest jobless rate — 4.5%. North Dakota State University and Minnesota State University at Moorhead across the state line also contribute to Fargo’s economy, as well as to its 15.9% singles rate (America’s 14th-highest).

Number 1 starting-over community: Iowa City, Iowa

Population: 150,000

This city is home to the University of Iowa, which helps contribute to its 4.7% jobless rate and 16.1% singles population. Located on the Iowa River, Iowa City served as Iowa’s territorial capital from 1841 to 1857, and the Old Capitol Building is still a local landmark. “Iowa City really is a nice town,” Sperling says. “It has an attractive downtown, a well-educated population and a great community feel to it.”

You can view Mr. Leslie’s full article about starting over in 2012 HERE.

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